Henrij Preisswhich’s cover art for No More Conqueror, the upcoming album from Swiss trio Cortez, is an effective portent of what lies within. Cortez’s mechanized, surging post-hardcore, chopped and rewired through an ever-shifting array of time signatures, is immediately sensational. It loudly declares its presence, brash and belligerent, but beneath the initial impact lie layers of meticulous nuance waiting to be discovered. Take up the quest with our exclusive premiere of “Duende”.
Drummer Gregoire Quartier is closely attuned to bandmate Jeremy Spagnolo’s hyperactive guitar riffs, the former’s kick and snare accents mirroring the latter’s rapid note changes. The two are interlocked in unison, diverging only towards the end of the song with Quartier’s disorienting snare patterns running amok over Spagnolo’s deliberate chords. Vocalist Antoine Läng’s caustic, barking howls frequently sprawl across measures and meters, further contributing to the swirling chaos. His commanding bark, uniform in its timbre yet immediately riveting in energy, punctuates the band’s percussive progressions with imperious aggression.
Despite the music’s palpable rage, the performances are unfailingly disciplined. This is no frenetic rampage, but a calculated assault, every note considered and executed with aplomb. Once Cortez’s structured offensive commences, there is no respite, no wavering in purpose, no deviation from stated goals, until the song concludes.