Cortez present a display of roiling metallic hardcore on their crushing new album No More Conqueror. The album is a colossal clash of sounds, with a massive production courtesy of Raphael Bovey (Zatokrev, Impure Wilhelmina, Convulsif).
The Swiss three piece conjure sounds with clear influence from bands like Botch and Converge with a heavy focus on composition and a clear understanding of how to produce a riff. Guitars churn out howling, odd time chord sequences underpinned by clashing, jangling high strings and tight, punchy drums. The vocals come shouted from a distance, delivered with force but without becoming an indecipherable growl or screech, they have more the sound of the impassioned orator and work with the music, rather than sitting over it and overpowering the instrumentation.
All of these elements come together to produce an almost mechanical sound of intensely precise rhythmic punishment before breaking out into looser riffs or a melodic lead guitar section. Often songs will follow a particular riff or chord sequence as a theme and build on that through variations on the theme in a way almost similar to post-metal bands like Russian Circles, but in a much more song focused and less atmosphere obsessed manner.
Special mention should be made of the album art, created by Henrij Preisswhich follows the ethos of forward-thinking traditionalism presented in the Cortez sound. The sum of the parts of this release is an excellently produced, exceedingly consistent hardcore release with plenty of innovation to show within an already well-established sound.
Header image by Stéphane Schmutz