Saturday, March 14, 2020

Code Orange : " Underneath"

These guys have been heading in this direction. Contrary to popular mis-information, they did not become an industrial band. I actually listen to industrial music on a regular basis, so I know what is or is not industrial. Are there electronic elements. Yes. Are there influences that extend beyond the kind of hard core they are know for hitting you with. Yes. They bring touches of djent and metal core into the mix, but without the parts of those genres that suck. The riff to "Swallowing the Rabbit Hole" induces instant head banging. They have changed but I hear nothing to indicate they have not stayed true to who they are. There little glitchy bits decorating "In Fear" . Reba's vocals that appear in this song have really improved . I of course love this album because it's dark as fuck.  I always say the rule here is cool riffs alone does not a good song make. These are beyond just cool. They are full of groove and feeling.

I also say that what I often find myself not liking about death metal is it often only colors with one angry crayon. This could also apply to hard core. It is not the case here. When I say hard core I do not mean Strife or Agnostic Front as these guy are at the more experimental fringes of the genre much like a band like Integrity or Bloodlet have been.  Reba's vocal are smoother on " Who I Am " which is the first song that goes outside of the bounds of metal But not for the entire song. Her voice almost sounds like Shirley Manson.  I can see this crossing over to the same audience that is into In This Moment. " Cold Metal Place" is the first song that is not perfect from start to finish. It just get's a little weird, but might just need to grow on me. As an album the songs all flow together nicely if you are listening to it all the way through. The less than metal moments return on "Sulfur Surrounding"> It has a hooky chorus that is more accessible. I would say there are more accessible songs on this album, but not as a whole.

There are more KMFDM like moments on " the Easy Way" . It also has some radio rock sensibility to the hook. "Erasure Scan" fins them racing back into more furious metal territory. "Last Ones Left" hits you with it's mighty chug and finds the band pounding out you it's heaviness. "Last Ones Left" kinda throws punches with more of a nu metal feel in the chug.  Up until this point the male vocals on this album have snarl with their normal aggression. It changes on "Autumn & Carbine" . They take n a more more rock  n roll  attitude. Lyrically a more rock n roll picture is painted so it makes sense. The go back into the more glitch inflected hard core on "Back Inside the Glass". Their approach to a kind of metal core is given enough of a twist to make it work.  This album has a tremendous dynamic range. All of the change still carry a dark side even when the male vocals on  " A Silver" have an  almost Placebo feel. It's a well written song for sure even if it is far from the album's heaviest.The female vocals play a bigger role in the more alt rock chorus on the title track. I 10 it is going to be hard for any band close to hard core to beat this one out unless their name is Converge.

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