Toronto's Tomb Mold started as a duo, crafting their Finnish-influenced death metal primarily for an audience of two. Yet while writing said tunes and cranking out demo after demo something curious happened: the demos started to circulate wider and wider leading an eventual deal with respected EU label Blood Harvest, and eventually 20 Buck Spin. Today, June 8th, Tomb Mold welcome their latest LP Manor of Infinite Forms, an unrelenting and worm-ridden spiral into the catacombs with as much of an attention to ripping guitar parts as it has to deathlike atmosphere. No wonder we named them an artist you need to know.
With Manor out today and so little known about the quartet, we decided to ask guitarist Derrick Vela about their beginnings, influences, their upcoming dates with Of Feather and Bone, and growing up in the DIY scene as a fan of punk and metal. The results of our conversation are below.
TOMB MOLD STARTED OUT AS A DIY DUO. CAN YOU TALK ABOUT HOW THE PROJECT HAS EVOLVED?
DERRICK VELA In the winter of 2016 Max [Klebanoff, drums/vocals] floated the idea of starting a Finnish style death-metal band. Very simple approach, write some songs, make a tape or two and then pack it in. Mostly it was just supposed to be this fun little thing we did. Within a month we wrote and recorded The Bottomless Perdition. We put it on Bandcamp and the tapes sold faster than we had imagined. We didn't talk about it with anyone beforehand; we didn't want to create artificial hype or anything, we just wanted to put something out.
Our plan for the second tape was halted when we started talking to Blood Harvest about releasing an LP. We took the songs that would initially made the second demo and wrote a few more and that's how Primordial Malignity was born. While we were waiting for it to be released, we wrote and recorded The Moulting. That tape sort of represented us letting go of being bound by playing any particular style of death metal.
At that point, we were comfortable and just wanted to write whatever we wanted. Realizing that we needed to make this band real, we recruited two of our best friends to fill out the band. Payson [Power] plays guitar and splits leads, and Steve [Musgrave] plays bass. Everything from Cryptic Transmissions going forward features all four members! I think that kind of sums it up. Now we work with 20 Buck Spin and our first record with them comes out soon!
YOUR MUSIC DEFINITELY FOLLOWS MORE OF A EUROPEAN DEATH-METAL APPROACH. WHO WHERE THE BANDS IN THAT GENRE THAT YOU LATCHED ONTO EARLY?
The first demo/LP we definitely had bands like Convulse, Purtenance, Sentenced and whatnot in mind. But other heavy hitters for us are Disincarnate, Adramelech, Demilich, Human-era Death, Realm of Chaos Bolt Thrower, and probably a heaping scoop of Terrorizer, which I think you hear a lot in Max's drumming.
YOUR BAND HAS BEEN LOOSELY INVOLVED IN THE DIY PUNK SCENE IN TORONTO, HOW DO YOU THINK THAT HAS INFORMED YOUR APPROACH AS OPPOSED TO FOLLOWING A STRICTLY METAL TRAJECTORY THIS WHOLE TIME?
I think we all just relate to DIY because it's what we know. It's not uncommon in Toronto to meet and know people who are into genres outside of punk at punk shows. I think it goes beyond that a bit. I think for all of us involved in Tomb Mold, we just like music. I don't know how to put it more plainly! There is something that draws us into metal the same way there's something that draws us into punk, but we all find merit in just about everything. Helps you keep a fresh perspective on things.
YOU ARE ABOUT TO HEAD OUT ON A STRING OF DATES WITH OF FEATHER AND BONE. IS THIS THE FIRST OF SEVERAL TOURS TO COME? IS THE BAND A FULL-TIME VENTURE FOR YOU?
Not full time, some of us are in the midst of professional career paths, but we've all made a commitment to try and tour as much as we can. There is a lot we all want to achieve though, and we hope we can see it through! Very excited for the OFAB tour, their new record is unbelievable.
YOUR NEW LP IS OUT NOW VIA 20 BUCK SPIN AND YOU'VE BEEN RELEASING NEW MATERIAL LIKE MAD. WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU ON THE RECORDED FRONT?
We'll definitely record within the next six to eight months, I can't see us going longer than that without having something ready!