Saturday 17 June 2017

Cortez - The Depths Below (Album Review)

Release date: June 16th 2017. Label: Salt Of The Earth Records. Format: CD/DD

The Depths Below – Tracklisting

1. All Gone Wrong
2. Poor And Devoid
3. Walk Through Fire
4. The Citadel
5. Blood Of Heirs
6. To The Skies
7. Kill Your Ghosts
8. Dead Channel
9. Orison

Band Members:

Matt - Vocals
Scott - Guitar
Alasdair - Guitar
Jay - Bass
Alexei - Drums


Greetings all,
Had the privilege of checking out the amazing new album from Boston based stoner/grunge band Cortez entitled The Depths Below. I understand the term "grunge" can make some get that prickly feeling inside, but I use it with the utmost of love and respect. As a guy turning 40 (good lord....) this summer, I grew up musically in the midst of the grunge explosion. If you do the math I was 14 years old when Nevermind came out.
But I digress, to the band at hand. This Cortez album is a definite rock monster. The band wears their musical hearts on their sleeves and do absolute justice to the influences you hear in all of the songs. You can hear elements of certain bands in just about every song, but Cortez manages to have a sound all their own.
Goddamit if their isnt an almost John Garcia/Kyuss like "Well alright" that kicks off the album opener All Gone Wrong. This track rips with a definite desert/stoner rock vibe. Poor and Devoid follows with a bit more of the grunge based influence. There are times when it sound musically, like the more rocking moments of Alice In Chains. The next three songs are part of a sort of musical trilogy called In the Shadows of Ancients.
The first is the song Walk Through Fire which features a killer driving chorus. The second part is the excellent The Citadel which shows the band slowing it down a bit in the intro and features some flourishes of acoustic guitar before closing with a big rocking outro. The trilogy closes with Blood of Heirs, which has a more old school metal feel. I may be wrong, but I swear I felt a bit of Motorhead in this one.
To the Skies is a rocker that has just a touch of Doom to it. That feeling gets revisited a bit later on. Next is Kill Your Ghosts which has a somewhat post grunge/90's modern rock feel due to the tempo before it takes a turn to stoner rock. Dead Channel carries on the mix of stoner rock and grunge with a killer chorus on this monster. The record closes with Orison which is an amazing Doom-grunge combination. Kind of a first to me, but I dig it.
The Depths Below is a mighty record. Whatever genre of rock you dig, you shouldnt have an issue getting down with Cortez. The songs are tight. It is well recorded and rocking. The vocals are excellent throughout. Their is plenty of driving guitars and killer solos. Rock fans will not be disappointed. Get down with Cortez!!
- Todd S

Instagram @alltheghoststhathauntyou

Words by Todd Stealey
Thanks to Cortez for the promo. The Depths Below is available to buy from Salt Of The Earth Records now.