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Album Review: Forever by Code Orange

Hardcore / metalcore act Code Orange release their new album Forever via Roadrunner Records on the 13th January. Forever will be the second release since changing their moniker from Code Orange Kids and sees a continuation of the evolution of the band along the same path. Once again it’s heavier, weirder and angrier.

Weaving between the unbridled heaviness of metalcore and the in-your-face energy and aggression of hardcore punk, Forever sees Code Orange creating a visceral and frightening sound. While this may a frantically heavy album it’s the punk belligerence and snarling vocals that really sucker you in. The fact that vocal duties are shared out between three members adds a unique spice to each track, drummer Jami Morgan and guitarist Eric Balderose provide the most devastatingly aggressive vocals which add weight to ‘Kill The Creator’ and ‘Real’.

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Then you have the other side of Code Orange where they almost veer into catchy territory. Reba Meyers breaks out the falsetto and accessible vocal she normal reserves for side project Adventures on ‘Bleeding The Blur’ and you’ve got the most infectious hardcore song committed to record in recent times. ‘The Mud’ shows a doomy side to the band before the track disappears into silence only to return in a twisted form of its former self. While it may kill the momentum of the track its used as another method to ensure the listener never gets too comfortable.

‘The New Reality’ and ‘Spy’ are excellent examples of the visceral hardcore punk with the latter adding touches of electronics until ‘Ugly’ throws a curve ball in a grungy open bassline before the heaviness drops. There’s something of a quiet-loud-quiet-loud approach going on that blends accessible metalcore, refined basslines and balls out hardcore. We’re not quite sure how but it ends up becoming one of the catchiest and most instantaneous tracks on the album.

‘No One Is Untouchable’ is the last moment of real aggression and masterful guitar work before it all goes a little too weird on ‘Hurt Goes On’ and ‘dream2’. Neither track really seems to work with the former going into ambient Nine Inch Nails territory while the latter poses more questions and leaves a bad taste.

When Forever hits the right notes it has the feel of an excellent album. Unfortunately, there’s a couple of dud moments.

AD Rating 6.5/10

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