Tomb Mold
The Enduring Spirit

Canada’s Tomb Mold have a pretty good underground death metal following in their short 8-year existence and their output has been excellent, honing their craft and releasing better albums each and every time.  Their third album in 2019, Planetary Clairvoyance, was their finest hour.  The band increased their touring output as well increased their exposure to the masses.  Then crappy Covid hit in 2020 and the band paused and waited to release their album – smart choice.

This newest effort, their fourth, The Enduring Spirit is their longest album at 43 minutes.  I found out about this album a few weeks prior to its release through some of my Promo and writing contacts in the industry.  But the album really kind of dropped out of nowhere on its release date, surprising many fans, but also hyping the fans up, because 4 years in between albums, is somewhat long when it comes to younger bands, nowadays, IMO.  There are 7 songs with a hellaciously long album closer at over 11 minutes, which I will discuss later on in the review.

“The Perfect Memory (Phantasm of Aura)” starts with some nice nifty drum rolls that roll right into brutal and punishing blast beats with some newer elements in play.  The ethereal and weird riff patterns are there, but I’m certainly picking up a more technical aspect to their sound.  I really do like Tomb Mold’s OSDM approach, from their past albums, and that continues on this album and song with the nice guttural vocals, but the increased technical expertise…well this band has obviously been busy during Covid honing their musical expertise.  The song whizzes by real quick and I can’t even catch my breath before “Angelic Fabrications” blasts my head off into orbit.  The riffs are much more complicated, I find, this time around, thus making me think a bit too much, but I am digging it at the same time.  But again the song races by a bit to quick and some of the lasting impression is kinda lost on the listener.

“Will of Whispers” begins next and the band goes a little proggy, think Cynic in that respect or even recent Horrendous..  This song is close to 7 minutes and honestly, if you close your eyes to the opening moments you will think Cynic.  Proggy and technical and ethereal – this section and song really go great with the incredible album cover, a continuation of their colorful and alienistic artwork.  The song blasts forward and then gets into a vintage 90’s era death metal pace.  The technical moments at the 2.20 moments and the squealing guitar solo over the blast beats are excellent.  The song slows down and more technical guitar solos and listen up, to pick out those squealing pinch harmonics that are ready to slice your face into 1,000 pieces.. There is some excellent drumming and guitar work on this track.

I hinted at the last track in my opening so let’s get to the final song, the 11+ minute “The Enduring Spirit of Calamity”, Tomb Mold’s longest and maybe most immersive song the band has created.  Starting with mid-paced rumbling heaviness and a solid rhythm section the song picks up the pace with a lot of swirling guitar riffing.  Some stop-and-start sections and off-kilter signature time changes.  90 seconds in proggy and technical elements enter into the equation.  The song enters into high-octane blast beats and then gets back into the tech/prog elements before the atmospheric and ethereal sounds erupt and listen to this section on AirPods/a good headset.  Some breathtaking moments lifted from Cynic and Pestilence Spheres moments. More blasting then back into the atmospheric instrumental passages and that is pretty much how the song ends.  An interesting choice, I kinda feel that the song could have been split into two separate songs.  The first half is the ethereal instrumental passages and then the scorching death metal moments on the other song, or have them swapped.  Either way, I do enjoy the song, but to these ears, it does sound like 2 competing songs wrapped into one epic long song.

The Enduring Spirit is an album with much creativity and forward-thinking moments. Their more straight-forward, kinda sorta Incantation/cavernous OSDM approach, is still ever present, just with heaping portions of technical progressive and emotive elements which make this an expansive listening experience.  Due to the added elements, I feel this is Tomb Mold’s strongest output.  If they would have released the same album as their three previous excellent albums, than where is the progression? –  it would just be a fourth album with a different album cover.  I applaud Tomb Mold for being so creative and making this a multi-dimensional listening experience that goes perfectly with the outstanding album artwork.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
October 26th, 2023

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