TOMB MOLD – Aperture of Body (2022)REVIEW

Whereas some still concern themselves with the ephemeral nature of the the body and mind when faced with the infinitesimally small stature of their own self-actualization within the known universe the cult of critical thought’d rather not grasp at the extremes of cold transcendentalism any longer in order to surpass the weakness offered by we specks of flesh. There is no deus ex machina coming, after all. It is nonetheless no small wonder among the appreciably sentient that there are so many unthinking brood amidst, as thoughts themselves remain the sole survivors of our willful, gods-damned walking decay and represent the Sisyphean “work” of living with consequence. The limitations of the mind and the increasingly in-bred weaknesses of our simian will are so, so apparent nowadays that no one ascendant would blame the doe-eyed escapist in dreaming deep a lysergic vision of release into the stars and moldering into spume altogether — But, it’ll amount to nothing more than a gasping of air without a document, or, record of applied science in hand, right? In this sense the description of sentience itself changes only for the remaining literate, the rest be damned, we are no longer positing the ultimate goalpost of existence as a personalized connection to god(s) and/or creationist origin for purpose but instead piling all stakes into becoming one with -all- far away from the churning planes of suffering and rebirth one impactful, poetic stammer into thought at a time.

By aura, by will, by self and the shedding of the body by blistering, unknowable light — Reaching from the top of the ladder with both hands and one leg kicking out the side for a bit of flair we find Toronto, Ontario-borne death metal trio Tomb Mold looking into the truth of the ‘self’ and its worthiness for ascension on this fifth demo tape, finding that the body must fade before the Beyond is within grasp on this shredding, grooving and glistening featurette of what’s to come for this pole-positioned deathcraft entity. At this point we can pragmatically assign their habit of demoed material is a direct precursor to a deeper plunge founded in an upcoming full-length and well, if you are not familiar with their past work the progression is cumulative and the precedence of the past is relevant in witnessing their collective ‘self’ justified through gore, surrealism, cosmic horror and existential modelcraft. The sum of my thoughts on this ~14 minute demo tape? I’d say it is a bit like the beach scene in Contact (1997), eh, you might want to experience it a number of times and get a bit lost in it as a looping thought before you accept it as the archway, the crux of the way forward.

There’ll be no escaping the rationale of describing ‘Aperture of Body‘ as progressive death metal within the context of ‘old school’ post-1991 hysteria for the sub-genre naturally leading us down a chain-linked logic of improving standards of performance and fleet-fingered arrangement yet Tomb Mold are still quite intentionally a pure death metal band for the sake of their grooves speaking a simple, moshable language. Amidst the shaping of each song’s central riff-house we find the signature grooves these folks are known for, still absolutely adept in their pushing n’ pulling writhe and bursting brutality despite the appreciably silent four years of the world burning around ’em in between. This isn’t the major reason of the showcase here but it’ll serve the “older stuff was better” crowd to know that they’ve still got that groovy fuckin’ cleverness you’d always like in hand, it is the core of what the band present today.

Beyond that point of recognizable Tomb Mold sound defined the major purpose of ‘Aperture of Body‘ seems to be revealing what it’ll be like when they begin dealing in the beauteous and bold side of what I’d consider post-Cynic levels of progressive death metal application wherein science-fiction apropos synth intros (“Final Assembly of Light” is likely a Klebanoff joint), even more adept dual-shredding guitar leads, a bit of fretless bass, and sparklingly atmospheric ventures amount to stunningly high potential energy going forward. The elastic-snapping waltz of their keen-as grip on groove shines on dramatic closer “Prestige of Rebirth” just as much as its gloomy send-off in its second half and in this sense we find guitarist Vella‘s skills packing the heat into this demo to the point of bursting with enough ideas and finer details that it all becomes a lot to take in at once, in a good way. My initial reaction was “stunned” more-or-less, as the rhythmic play and technique here reflect an evolution of what has come before but not a purely obviate stretch beyond what they’d accomplished on ‘Planetary Clairvoyance‘ (2019).

Much as the focus and major impact of this tape is “Prestige of Rebirth” and the spectacle it generates by way of an Atheist-esque rhythmic torsion and Dream Unending infused endpoint, it’d been the title track (“Aperture of Body”) that’d truly shocked me into this sense of excitement that Tomb Mold are back and still copacetic as a rhythmically gifted merger of minds. The mental contortions of rhythm we’d found feature in the past serve a run-on thrill still rooted in the weirding of Finndeath but at this point they’ve arguably made it their own. “Aperture of Body” reinforces this thought with its ever-curling motions but also points us in the right direction as to why these guys are specifically so ace and why so many similarly influenced bands are kinda bunk. It really comes down to performative sensibility wherein the sheer energy of each song is built upon a smart reveal, a sort of explosive bravado which has always been key for all but the most brutal and/or destructive death metal riffcraft. We’re in the realm of thinking man’s death metal herein and its given me a bit of galaxy brain ’til the inevitable full-length rides out. Anyhow, that is about enough blathering from me about just a couple of songs but, no doubt there is enough communicated here within this hell of a 14 minute ride to drive hype through the ceiling for what follows next. A very high recommendation.

Very high recommendation. (90/100)

Rating: 9 out of 10.
TITLE:Aperture of Body [Demo]
RELEASE DATE:June 10th, 2022

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