Six of Swords – Polar Vortex EP

Six of Swords is a five-piece band from Toronto, Ontario. They put out an exciting demo in 2013 which was filled with the type of extreme music cuts that all brutal death metal fans would enjoy diving into. They have also been creating a buzz in the local scene, so it’s about time they release some more material.

This new EP contains four tracks and is available for all to listen on Bandcamp. The first song, “Separation at the Seams,” has a lot of Cannibal Corpse influence going on musically, while on the vocal side they could be described as sounding akin to Suffocation. The song contains lots of blasting and pummeling chops and has a memorable midsection.

On “Polar Vortex” the group dive bombs the listener’s ears with tremolo picked riffs that are right down the alley of early Bolt Thrower and should be applauded for their technicality. Later crashing drums and hard-core breakdowns immediately create a fist throwing vibe. The song title for this one fits perfectly as the band is from the land of the polar vortex, that being Ontario, Canada. With this title the band does a fantastic job creating relatable material for all listeners that suffer living in a part of the world with four seasons.

The slow almost doomy start to “Lock the Cell” would almost make one think this was a different group but then endless blasts and annihilating cymbals take us back to the land of brutal death. Later the song has a nice change of pace again and one might assume they were listening to Crowbar as the sludge sounds are so thick that even a 20-ton bulldozer would have trouble dealing with it. The song could be said to really deliver at the 2:30 mark which is filled with lots of breakdowns and heavy doom riffs.

On “Secular World” they decide on the use of some echoing guitar effects which sound clear and precise on this loud recording. Later pinch harmonics are in full effect to slice and dice ear drums as well as some great bass work. The song changes again and displays some more heavy doom sounds and an Entombed style d-beat rhythm. The impact of the bass could be of importance as it contains the textured sound to the likeness of an Industrial album or even the great Godflesh.

Overall, this is a great EP and contains some great death and sludgy sounds. Some would say it leaves the listener wanting more but if you’re a fan of both styles go check it out for yourself. Also, they are opening for Crowbar this summer in Toronto (June 23) so you might want to arrive early and check them out.

(Sorrow Carrier Records)