Album Review: Code Orange – Forever

Dark. Aggressive. Heavy. Unforgiving. Melodic. Forever, Code Orange’s third full-length album and label debut on Roadrunner Records, creates a new definition of who Code Orange is.

I’m calling it; Album of the Year and January hasn’t even ended yet. Forever marks Code Orange’s most ambitious effort to date, with the band exploring new sounds without losing their roots. Code Orange went back to producer Kurt Ballou for most of the album, and also brought in producer Will Yip (Circa Survive, Balance and Composure, Title Fight) to contribute to the new album. It is more apparent than ever now that if you try to put Code Orange’s sound in one room, they will blow the walls down and rip the foundation apart.

While Code Orange brings the same aggression and intensity that was present in their previous album, I Am King, some tracks take a more melodic approach, but don’t lose sight of the eerie and evil sound that defines the record. Drummer and vocalist Jami Morgan (cited from Exclaim!) states “We applied different styles of songwriting, but sound-wise we wanted those more melodic tracks to be like an evil Nirvana, or Alice in Chains.” And they nailed it.

Another interesting aspect of Code Orange’s sound that they have expanded on is the use of electronics, an effort used in order to attempt to make their sound more monumental. Also within the album, Code Orange uses them to throw off the listener. You’ll think a song will take a certain direction, but then be thrown off by sinister electronic sounds, changing the dynamics of the song, only to come back swinging full force.

This is the best hardcore (should I even call it that?) record that I’ve ever heard, and Code Orange show no signs of slowing down. With a full-length album out on Roadrunner Records, crafting a whole new live show presentation, and even adding an unnamed fifth member, Code Orange is showing the world that they don’t care what anyone thinks and breaking down the barriers of what it means to make a hardcore record.

Code Orange released Forever on January 13, 2017 on Roadrunner Records.


Listen to: Real

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