Death metal duo Tomb Mold may be from Canada but they eschew the raw and noisy hellish war metal that’s become almost synonymous with their compatriots in the genre, even if that style may be suggested by the black and white hand drawn cover and particularly illegible logo, instead producing old school death metal the European way, with touches of USDM. With a Swedish chainsaw buzz to the guitars, dank Finnish production and brutally low vocals, as well as fantastic levels of US-groove to their killer basslines, it’s got an old school vibe with a fresh and energetic feel and it’s a complete, compact debut.
The intro alone is brilliant before you even get to any death metal, those droning overlapping synths make a relaxed spacey atmosphere that I could dig a whole album of, but it’s a change of pace straight into what we’re all here for almost immediately when They Grow Inside kicks off with a huge Swedish sounding barbed wire riff that’s fast and frantic, with a heavy section of groove from the d-beat drums and loud wirey bass that rattles away under the rumble of guitars like a tank crushing bones underneath. Grooving riffs swing like a scythe, while absolutely furious gutturals are bellowed forth with powerful roars that out-brutal the best of them, somewhere between Disma’s Craig Pillard’s low and slow dank emanations and Chris Barnes’ (in his prime) fast energetic barks. With the bass reminding of Cannibal Corpse’s Alex Webster’s technical fretboard mastery, the Swedish edge to the guitars and hints of Finnish filth purveyors Demigod and Rippikoulu’s faster moments, they’ve taken the best of the classic death metal scenes and combined them in one fantastic old school sound. Electrifying solos, blazing fast with a high pitched trebly tone are used sparingly but effectively throughout the album and give the hardened death metal fan another rush in addition to the groovy riff laden mayhem.
The music might be old school and originating in the early nineties sound, but the production is decidedly modern. Some of the filthy sound of Autopsy comes across with a certain rawness while the bassy production makes the guitars sound as meaty and heavy as an artillery barrage without quite going low and dank enough to delve into caverncore territory. The album doesn’t waste time either with eight tracks in just thirty two minutes, with the closer being the best part of seven, meaning Tomb Mold have no time for filler, and there’s plenty of tempo changes and monstrously heavy moments that will have you mouthing “holy fuck” while screwing your face into one of contorted death metal glee. A melding of modern and old school death metal at it’s finest.