Release Date: 29.03.2019
Label: Sorrow Carrier Records
The good thing about death metal is that you will never run out of good bands to listen to. Six of Swords is such a band. Hailing from Toronto, this five-piece bring you filthy but cleanly produced, middling death metal at comfortable paces. Regime Decay / Polar Vortex isn’t, however, new material for the band – it is simply a 10-track “album” comprised of their two earlier EPs, Polar Vortex and Regime Decay.
Reminding me somewhat of Vastum with cleaner production and shorter song lengths, Six of Swords’ sound can best be described as hefty. You have no shortage of the thick, borderline Swedeath guitar tones, thicc drums, actually audible bass (thank you, Bassed God!) and the old school, reverb-heavy, phlegm-drenched vocals throughout this. This is tied together with the wonderful production that keeps the guitars crunchy, bass round, drums striking and vocals ugly.
The nugat center of Regime Decay / Polar Vortex is the riffs, of course – meaty, thick riffs built from 80% groove and 20% chug. The grooves that lead the tracks are juicy, crunchy and driven, and despite the fact that they aren’t grooves that reinvent the death wheel, they never feel old, stale or a retread of anything. Furthermore, despite the pacing of most songs hovering around the mid to upper-mid tempo range (barring some breakout moments that are decidedly faster, like in the song Polar Vortex) it never gets boring. In fact, the album flat out opens with a slower track, the lumbering beast that is Eye for an Eye, but far from dragging, the track actually leaves you curious as to what’s coming next.
In fact, one of the biggest strengths of Six of Swords is how naturally their songs and the album as a whole flows. This is greatly helped by the shorter song lengths, but also, nothing ever feels like it’s dragging on or taking too long. As a result, the nearly 40 minute album breezes on by and begs for a second (or tenth) run-through.
As you’re undoubtedly gathering, Regime Decay / Polar Vortex is a worthy addition to your collection. It’s solid, driven, engaging, fun and best of all, good. Highly recommended.
01. Eye for an Eye
02. No Amnesia
05. Hells Messiah
06. Hedonistic Gluttony
07. Separation at the Seams
08. Polar Vortex
09. Lock the Cell
10. Secular World