People are going to be ‘hmm’ing and ‘haww’ing over how they perceive this latest sonic beatdown. The astounding thing is that I’ve seen many times before what happens when bands take the helm to chart their own musical journey through industry waters. Faith No More dealt with various critic bafflement with Angel Dust as the follow-up to The Real Thing; while for The Dillinger Escape Plan, it took years before everyone slowly recognized the musical dexterity and genius beyond their sheer live insanity. Even Converge (incidentally with Kurt Ballou helping Code with their last long-player I Am King) weren’t even really looked at until their Jane Doe era as being more than just hardcore.
So initially, a career voyage can be fraught with rough tides and all manner of uncertainty. With Code Orange, the transition from I Am King to their Roadrunner debut in Forever seems to have kept to the trajectory they’ve set for themselves on full tilt, with freeweights stuck on the gas pedal to ensure no stoppage. There is the punishing no-holds side to this release yes, but not to be denied is the boldness it seems to declare, “this is for now, later will be later.”
The tracks “Forever” and “Kill The Creator” have been previewed since the end of 2016 to showcase what one should expect from this album; sheer pummeling sound and aggression. Shades of Hardcore, Deathcore, noise and electronic twinges weave and jerk throughout their latest, reinforcing the accolades given these past few years as definitely being a progressive band. Another noticeable early promo track (and out-of-place to some) being “Bleeding In The Blur,” which happens to be a damn good, straight take on alternative rock. Interestingly enough, I can see a track like this being pushed to the greater commercial sheeple pastures to rope in new listeners, before beating them with the grim reality of Code’s true brutal nature; something I also see in the track “Ugly” but to a lesser extent. As the band grows, so should their testing of waters and abilities, this is just the way of almost all good bands at some point. In fact, the nu-metal and rap metal (or industrial) comparisons from others seem like lame tag cop-outs, as you can’t really consider entertaining such menial tags to label an outfit’s total output for the mere sake of description.
This album is as intense in it’s creation of purpose, as Nails’ last full-length outing was for example. Forever will knock you over, mosh on you, then briefly pick you up to hug and weep with you before doing it all over again. Code Orange are in the process of breaching their early twenties in a couple years, no doubt they will still stir their own pot to keep things interesting and others guessing. Also, if this album doesn’t blow them up to the status expected by some (including yours truly), then you should best believe by their next opus they will be absolutely monstrous. For now, this album has everything loyal followers should want, what scene hounds should be listening to, and what the rest of the industry should expect from modern acts. Nice to see some youth have the future in mind; as I envision the band facing the day’s end, with their collective middle-fingers up at the sunset and no fear for tomorrow.
Forever Track Listing:
02. Kill The Creator
04. Bleeding In The Blur
05. The Mud
06. The New Reality
09. No One Is Untouchable
10. Hurt Goes On
Run Time: 34:57
Release Date: January 13, 2017
Check out the track “Bleeding In The Blur”