Cortez – No More Conqueror

Rating: 2.5/5
Distributor/label [URL]: https://www.facebook.com/WOOAAARGH/
Released: 2018
Buy Album: https://cortez.bandcamp.com/album/no-more-conqueror
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/cortezrocks/

Band line-up:

Gregoire Quartier – drums
Antoine Läng – vocals
Jeremy Spagnolo – guitars

Tracklisting:

1. Seven Past Forever
2. Antes Dos Dias Dos Deuses De Ontem
3. Hemigraphic
4. Ajatashatru
5. Duende
6. Abodes of Hail Season
7. According to Claude Bernard
8. In Albis
9. Nigredo
10. Tristan da Cunha

Review:

Cortez are a Swiss three piece grindcore band, who are influenced by groups such as Botch and Converge. With their new album ‘No More Conqueror’, they have a heavy focus on menacing riffs, screeching high end guitars and punchy drums, often in odd time signatures. Not only that, the musicians frequently develop their chord progressions and such through variations. They do so in a similar way post-metal bands like Russian Circles do, adding a degree of sophistication. Furthermore, the vocals are brutal yet are able to be deciphered (at least at times). When all of these elements are put together, you get a sound that is extremely intense and somewhat robotic.

Whilst there is a fair amount of development going on, the ideas that get transformed aren’t particularly good. They are repetitive, far from complicated and are just plain noisy. Noisiness is fine if done properly, Slipknot are notoriously loud and rampant. However, they are different in that they have interesting parts from all members, better musicianship and a greater sense of structure and taste on the whole. They also scream with more passion and a wide variety of ‘pitches’. Cortez in contrast, scream in the same way over and over and it gets really annoying. Having said that, their vocals aren’t as tiresome as Meshuggah’s and they’re quite popular, aren’t they?

All the songs are in the same style and there is no rest on offer, making the whole listening experience slightly torturous. If you really want some mayhem, ‘City’ by Strapping Young Lad will be a much better option for you, if you don’t have it already. It may seem crude, but it is actually filled with creativity and great songwriting that is far more effective at building tension and release. The drumming throughout NMC is pretty good, but it’s almost like listening to a long drum solo in places. That too can get tiresome and distracting when combined with the vocals. There is nothing wrong with simplicity.

In conclusion, if you like adrenaline experiences that are on the adventurous side, (or are supposed to be) you can do a lot better than this album. There are no real highs and lows in it, it’s like one long blur and it will be difficult telling the songs apart at first. However, there will be many out there who like things that are somewhat cacophonous and many more who appreciate singers who have a certain metal charisma and probably very big balls. This release may be for you, just be warned.

Review by Simon Wiedemann
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