QUOR – Human Paradigm

QUOR - Human ParadigmI can be really stubborn when it comes to band names – really obstinate, to be honest with you. I have put bands on the way-side just because I didn’t like their name before and knowing myself, I will probably do that again. If I hadn’t got an e-mail from Quor’s A&R guy, I would probably not have bothered with this band either. That said, the name of this band isn’t actually that bad, but I thought so the first time I saw it in writing – who in their right mind name their band Quor? Maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s an awesome name that everybody else digs. Be that as it may, now that I have grown used to the name a bit, I actually find it damn brilliant, if not only for the fact that you won’t ever forget it once you have read it. Quor is a three-piece from San Diego, CA that consists of Brian Corn (guitar & vocals), Doug Smith (bass & vocals) and John Michael Cordes (drums). They were formed back in 2011 and were originally called We Are Going To Be Awesome – now that’s a name the really blows – but they changed the name to Quor after seeing that name on a glowing sign on a liquor store one night. The band released their debut E.P. – of course called We Are Going To Be Awesome (now that’s an awesome album title!) – in 2013 and has since gained a reputation as a killer live act in America. The nine track album I’m going to review here is actually a deluxe edition E.P. – a combination of their new E.P. and the debut. Since I’m not that big on E.P.s, I find this move really great. Well, it kinda depends on how much I like the record, though, but if it’s to my liking, nine tracks are way better than four or five.

Opener “The Silence And The Spark” goes for knock-out right away. It’s heavy as f**k with a big, fat metal groove. But it never gets noisy, the song has a distinct melody that’s really memorable. “When The Gods Speak” take similar shots at the listener’s jaw with a heavy groove, a brilliant hook and an in-your-face chorus. The title track has a killer beat that carries the tune and the main melody is actually really catchy, however not the in the least commercial. “The Reverent” is a riff fest with another really strong and memorable melody and the bass lines just grooves like crazy. “Guardian” has a big Black Sabbath influence and the when the song kicks off it runs in an almost Iron Maiden-ish way. The hooks are also very accessible – a future single, maybe? “Watching You” is the first song taken from the debut E.P. and it is a really strong number. It’s just as heavy as anything else on this record, but the melodies come with an almost poppy twist. It’s not a bad thing at all, it just bring out the dynamics more. “The Fragile Break” is a bit more “modern” sounding, but it still has some classic metal riffing and great hooks. There’s a bit of a Metallica influence lurking in the shadows as well. “Paradise” is the closest thing they get to writing a ballad. It’s a slow song, but still heavy – if you want to call this a ballad, well ok, but it’s a powerful one. No, I did not write power ballad! The last tune is also the most angry one. It’s called “Let’s Rise” and has an almost Sepultura-like rhythm mixed with some System Of A Down arangements. It’s hard, dark, heavy, aggressive but with enough melody and rock ‘n’ roll. An in-your-face rocker and a perfect closer for this album.

So where do this record go, then? Well, the foundation here lies in the 70’s, but by no means is it possible to categorise this “retro”. My first thought is: “Heavy Metal”. That’s what I want to call it. But there are influences here by more extreme acts such as Slayer, Pantera and Sepultura and I can also draw some parallels to Metallica and Tool and even some stoner vibes here. But no matter how hard, heavy and aggressive this gets, Quor never go back on the melodies. As musicians, these guys are also faultless and the whole thing sound very tight. The lead vocals are both rough and angry, but they never get messy or noisy. All nine songs here are really good, but at times, the songs has a tendency to sound somewhat alike – that’s about the only negative thing I can think of here. With a big, fat, yet raw and basic sound, I bet these guys is a killer live act as well. If this sound like your cag of beer, then do check them out. They will kick your ass!

7/10

Tracklist:

1. The Silence And The Spark
2. When The Gods Speak
3. Human Paradigm
4. The Reverent
5. Guardian
6. Watching You
7. The Fragile Break
8. Paradise
9. Let’s Rise

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