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One thing I find really amusing with this Progressive Black Metal outfit from London is how they manage to change their sound for each album without losing their identity too much. They started out with a really cold and menacing Black Metal sound that completely engulfed itself in the Prog Black Metal madness Code are capable of creating on “Resplendent Grotesque”. When the new singer Wacian joined the band for “Augur Nox” they took a more melodic approach before taking a detour straight into Post Rock County with “Mut”.
So, how would they follow up that one? Release an even softer album? Hell no! Code has made a 180 degree turn from “Mut” and went straight back to the dark, vicious and gritty Black Metal sound they started out with. Right from the opening title track the deliver a harrowing assault of chaotic Metal full of twists and turns and the most sinister riffs the band has written to date. The ICS Vortex imitation that Wacian nailed perfectly on the previous albums have given way for a more diverse and matured performance which gives him a great identity of his own. The maddening blend of growls and screams and manic clean vocals blends together superb with the music, and I have never heard him this angry and insane before. He still has a distinct sense of unique melody mastery that easily can compete with ICS Vortex. “Clemency and Atrophy” and “Rat King” shows another layer of the band’s sound as well. There they manage to blend together the epic and melodic ventures into the unknown, before losing their minds completely, like the main character of a H.P. Lovecraft novel, and lashes out an eerie scream of desperation in the echoing halls of complete despair. The album ends with one of the band’s most intense tunes “Scolds Bridle” which brings the listener back to the most furious moments of “Resplendent Grotesque”. Then they end the whole voyage with the 12 minute epic “The Mad White Hair” which gives the listener and protagonist room for reflection and contemplation over the strange situation they have lost themselves in. Code has such a unique, thought-through and imaginative sound which easily could put them on the throne of Progressive Black Metal.
Release date: June 4, 2021
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