The follow-up to 2014’s I Am King and Code Orange’s first LP on metal label Roadrunner Records, Forever is a culmination of nine years of savagery. The method remains the same – ruthless metal-infused hardcore, laced with end-of-the-world electronic samples and, you bet, breakdowns for days.
Previous efforts, Love Is Love/Return To Dust and I Am King, although glorious in their own right, integrated electronic textures to jarring effect, often sacrificing album flow. Forever is a result of persistence and perseverance – a refinement of the Code Orange way. Title track and opener Forever previews the demonic and confronting tracks to follow with textural blends that Code Orange have made their calling card, before crushing ear canals with dense production and blood red rage.
The band’s token ballad – a breath of fresh air amid the madness – Bleeding In The Blur, this time throws guitarist and vocalist Reba Meyers front and centre with clean vocals untainted by heavy use of reverb, unlike in the past. Code Orange have found the middle ground with this one – the gap between electronics and conventional instruments is reduced to a cohesive, abrasive double-edged sword.
Heads will bang, fists will fly and teeth will be lost.
By Aaron Streatfeild