Code Orange – Forever (Released January 13, 2017 – Roadrunner Records)
All grown up and dropping the ‘Kids’ part of their name the newly christened Code Orange hit heavy and often on Forever. Elephantine riffs roll over top beat heavy drums while the vocals fuzz in and out. Unafraid to mix in electronica influences, Forever is an eclectic album and is relentless from start to finish.
Album opener and titular track, Forever, is a sludgy chaotic mess. Opening slowly, it breaks into total chaos and is the epitome of heavy as every sonic tool conspires to drive your skull into the curb. The chaos cranks up a notch on Kill the Creator as massive rests are utilized to break up pounding passages. Real is the first track where the electronic elements show up as an 808 is used to create the light drums over which the kit hammers full force. Bleeding in the Blur presents another change of pace as Reba provides some beautiful clean vocals and the band changes to a post-rock feel. Continuing the electronic presentation is The Mud as synthy shots separate the riffing. Pulling back from the electronics is The New Reality and Spy which are both super heavy, pure sludge tracks with massive fuzzed out riffs. Ugly has a distinctive Killing Joke vocal style while No One is Untouchable release jungle drums and delivers as ‘smackdown’ like feel. The final two tracks are Hurt Goes On and dream2, both of which are extremely chill and electronic driven compared to the juggernaut riffs of the rest of the album. Hurt Goes On slowly builds to some solid riffing and dream2 is another place that Reba delivers a wonderful but, this time, hushed vocal performance.
Forever had its up and downs and never seemed to find a definite identity but, it was fuzzy, heavy, and unafraid to mix in fun electronic elements.