Modern death metal often suffers under the weight of trying to emulate old school heroes while not doing very much of interest at all, so it’s a nice surprise when a newer project manages to pay homage to the old days while still bringing a nice modern flavour to proceedings. Six of Swords, who hail from Toronto, play death metal in the vein of stalwarts such as Cannibal Corpse or Carcass or Morbid Angel, but this five-piece are more than that.
Polar Vortex is a short, four track EP that showcases a taste for the pounding, brutal side of death metal yet sly hints of melody creep into their fiery landscapes of sound. “Polar Vortex” is a devastating mix of deep, grooved metal, sickening blasts and the occasional catchy moment during that lifts the song past being just another death metal track. “Lock the Cell” begins life on slower elements that lodge in the mind before bursting from its shackles and raging all the way to the inevitable end. Guitars are heavy, interesting and often filter into twisted, dissonant arcs that play into the contemporary feeling that Six of Swords have curated so darn well here.
7.5 / 10
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