Temple of Void / Tomb Mold in Toronto, December 2017

Temple of Void / Tomb Mold @ Coalition, Toronto, 9th December 2017

If anyone tries to tell you death metal is dead metal, they’re dead wrong. It’s always heartening to see a bill of highly praised fresh talent live and tonight at the Coalition is one such example. Detroit’s Temple of Void are making their debut Canadian appearance with the fantastic Tomb Mold in tow and the venue is far from empty – and for good reason.

Toronto’s own Tomb Mold released their jaw-dropping debut ‘Primordial Malignity‘ this year. This two piece have done enormously well for themselves, their demos causing excited chatter in the metal subterranean when they don’t even have a Facebook page! Employing session musicians to beef up their line up, this death metal force sound like the music playing when the lid of a casket closes, encasing a petrified living subject. They echo the horrors of mid-era Carcass, Demilich, Autopsy and Cannibal Corpse with their own fingerprint. Derrick Vella’s guitar effort is a real pleasure to experience. While not as intricate to be considered technical death, the execution is highly proficient and deals chaos and creepiness in equal measure.

Drummer Max Klebnoff simultaneously handles drumming and vocal roles. His vocals are old school filth while his drumming features an abundance of punctuating tempos. Refreshing for a death metal band, you can hear the bass in all its almost buoyant scratchiness. ‘They Grow Inside’ and ‘Vernal Grace’ level the venue and the battered admirers even get to hear a new track live, following the path of their brief but successful discography so far. The Coalition is busy now and the crowd clearly enjoy these death metallers. The only down side to such an overwhelming set is when the band announces this will be their final concert in quite some time. Maybe they’ll change their mind.

tombmold.bandcamp.com | bloodharvestrecords.bandcamp.com/album/primordial-malignity-12lp-cd

Tomb Mold aren’t the only band tonight to have released an album this year. 2017 birthed the second Temple of Void album ‘Lords of Death‘ on Shadow Kingdom Records. Death doom metal is all the rage these days and so many bands faithfully ape the revolutionaries of the genre: Autopsy, Asphyx and Incantation. These offshoots are inspired and dedicated but not creative. Temple of the Void sidestep this contemporary commonality by combining death doom with melodies more befitting for Paradise Lost or Finnish melo death. Guitars frequently foray into chugging passages and leads that are more advanced than meets the eye. Vocalist Mike Tuff (who swings the axe in Acid Witch) commands a severe and deep death metal gurgle, very appropriate for this blend of metal.

Temple of Void were formed in 2013 and already have two grisly full-length albums. Naturally, a sizeable section of the setlist is drawn from ‘Lords of Death‘ but debut ‘Of Terror and the Supernatural‘ experiences some attention. ‘Wretched Banquet’, ‘Exanimate Gaze’ and ‘Graven Desires’ are the highlights of the set, robust with neck-breaking headbanging rhythms, thundering cacophony and moody brutality. Like the fans in front of them, the Americans headbanging compulsively throughout the set, performing each song flawlessly. The crowd can’t get enough of their abrasive death doom and the venue remains busy throughout their set. When they get off stage, the applause is deservedly calamitous. Here’s hoping Temple of Void return to devastate Toronto again very soon!