Canadian death metal sure is having a great year, isn’t it? Between Tomb Mold’s Manor of Infinite Forms, Beyond Creation’s Algorythm, and Kataklysm’s Meditations, it’s shaping up to be one of the best years in recent memory. But any discussion of Canadian death metal in 2018 would be incomplete without mentioning Regime Decay, the latest release from Toronto bruisers Six of Swords.
Out of all those bands mentioned, Six of Swords are probably the purest expression of the death metal sound. Uninterested in flashy sweeping or technical solos, tracks like “Eye for an Eye” and “Hunted” are content to steamroll listeners into the ground with a slow-motion crawl. The mix is flawless, allowing the drums to thunder along without drowning out any of the guitars, something often missing in standard lo-fi production. Listen to “No Amnesia” and you’ll be convinced you’re hearing unreleased Dying Fetus or Entombed. Almost every new death act gets these comparisons at least once, but it rarely feels so justified. This isn’t a band meant for small things.
Six of Swords bill Regime Change as an EP. At six tracks long, it’s a bit of a stretch, but in underground genres, lines like these can get fuzzy. What is clear is that Six of Swords could ride this release for as long as they want to. Songs like the “Hell’s Messiah” and “Hedonistic Gluttony” simply never age. My advice is to take this opportunity to perform and tour as much as possible. The only wrong move Six of Swords could make at this point would be not allowing the public to hear these tracks played live.
The modern death metal scene can be discouraging, with its seemingly endless pool of bands and the relative impossibility of making a mark outside of a local scene. But if any act can pull this off, it’s Six of Swords. Warm-blooded death fans will eat up Regime Change like rabid sharks, given the chance. Six of Swords is a band that should be on every Canadian metal listeners radar, if they are not already.
Written by Max Morin
*edited by Kate Erickson