CORTEZ – ‘The Depths Below’ Album Review & Stream

(By Damon Gravitoyd, Guest Contributor/Writer,

With their most recent offering ‘The Depths Below‘, Cortez takes it further down to delve into a dark pool of possibilities. Shine your eyes across a review of the new album and hear an audio stream of their first single, ‘Walk Through Fire‘.

Cortez have been around the block (or ten). Since 2006, this Boston brigade of five has been no stranger to writing songs born of heavy. With Matt Harrington on lead vocals, the dual guitar work of Alasdair Swan and Scott O’Dowd, bass and vocals from Jay Furlo, and new drummer Alexei Rodriguez, Cortez has come screaming back with a vengeance.

Their aggressive release ‘The Depths Below‘, via Salt of the Earth Records, shows Matt’s vocals are strong and lend his capable voice to the razor-sharp riffs and runs that claw forth out of the guitars of Alasdair and Scott.

Jay Furlo’s relentless bass lines are hammering and focused. His low-end rumblings form the backdrop in which Swan and O’Dowd release their melodious hooks. All the while, the utter lambasting of the skins serves to punctuate the story, as it unfolds song by song and enforces the tales of depth and understanding.

Cover artwork by David Paul Seymour

This album’s subtleties insinuate through note and word, at times with sword to throat. Either way, ‘The Depths Below‘ evokes powerful imagery.

When Salt of the Earth Records signed Cortez last year, they signed a band that had been working together as a unit for four years. Rodriguez signed on as the new drummer earlier this year in 2017 (replacing Jeremy Hemond, who performed all drum tracks recorded on ‘The Depths Below‘). Guitarist Alasdair Swan had already been onboard for four years and frontman Matt Harrington for eight.

Scott O’Dowd and Jay Furlo, guitar and bass respectively, represent a full decade of the band’s history. New drummer Alexei Rodriguez is no rookie, as his résumé can attest with his decades of experience refined with the likes of Catharsis, Prong, 3 Inches of Blood, and Walls of Jericho, to name a few.

This band has the chops to pull off a very good album… and they do just that right here with ‘The Depths Below‘.

A stream of the first single release ‘Walk Through Fire‘ is in the Bandcamp embed below, as well as a snapshots teaser for the album release.

You can purchase the ‘The Depths Below‘ album at the Salt of The Earth Records Store.  Prior Cortez releases are available through their Bandcamp page.

— Note from Leanne Ridgeway, Owner/Chief Editor:  Damon Gravitoyd is a new ‘Guest Contributor’ to, but not for long. This is his first article and review for us, with many more to come, as he will soon be a permanent Riff Relevant Staff Writer.

Cortez are:
Matt Harrington – Vocals (2008-present)
Scott O’Dowd – Guitar (2006-present)
Alasdair Swan – Guitar (2012-present)
Jay Furlo – Bass (2006-present)
Alexei Rodriguez – Drums (2017-present)
Jeremy Hemond performed all drum tracks on The Depths Below

The Depths Below – Track List

  • 1. All Gone Wrong
  • 2. Poor And Devoid
  • 3. In The Shadows Of The Ancients
  • 4. Walk Through Fire (Part I)
  • 5. The Citadel (Part II)
  • 6. Blood Of Heirs (Part III)
  • 7. To The Skies
  • 8. Kill your Ghosts
  • 9. Dead Channel
  • 10. Orison
CORTEZ:     WWW  / Facebook / Bandcamp / Instagram / Twitter
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