How do you follow up a record so universally adored as Manor of Infinite Forms? The answer, simple as it may sound, is to just tighten everything up just a little bit. The shocking part is that a series of ever-so-slight tweaks results in a record that is significantly better than its excellent predecessor. Planetary Clairvoyance finds Tomb Mold shining on all fronts and expanding their already expansive death metal playbook. Shades of Swedish, Finnish, New York, Florida, and California, which is to say that nearly every savage take on death metal is fairly (and wonderfully) represented here. This record leans a little harder on a Death (the band) and Autopsy influence, which means that there’s a bit more melody and menace on display, only elevating how memorable these songs are.
Each aspect of Tomb Mold’s sound is improved upon here. The riffs are more savage yet playful. The guitar solos and proggy leads are both more enjoyable and surprising in their timing. The rhythm section anchors the experience with some seriously tight and tenacious patterns.
Seriously, there are at least three riffs on the opening track alone that could go down as the best riff in 2019, and yet it’s fair to say that “Beg For Life” might not be the record’s best track – that honor goes to the adventurously fun “Infinite Resurrection”. Planetary Clairvoyance expands on Tomb Mold’s adoration for horror and sci-fi themes, and the otherworldly guitar leads and solos only emphasize that mindset.
Tomb Mold do embrace death metal’s most grim and savage tendencies, but it’s that sense of fun, of flair, that heightens the experience. It’s one thing to be better; it’s another to take something as impressive as Manor of Infinite Forms and give it the BASF treatment. This is how you level up. Tomb Mold have released easily the best death metal record of the year.