I haven’t posted here in a while. Between all day school and all night rehearsal, it’s been hard. But I have been writing for a different blog, Indy Metal Vault, which is sort of still crazy to me that someone else likes my writing. Thanks to you guys! Anyway, this blog is part of my New Years resolution to keep a journal of sorts. I like the idea of using that journal to both document the music I’ve liked over this year as well as promote bands that I think deserve attention. I don’t think I’ll ever post negative reviews here as I usually try not to focus on music I don’t like. So, rest assured, if something is here it’s probably because I like it.
Okay, story time. Once upon a time, I experimented with Metalcore. That’s right. I went to Vans Warped Tour one year ON PURPOSE. Mostly, I just really liked the more “metal” than “core” bands. It was a short phase in my life that, while a little embarrassing, certainly broadened my horizons and taught me that it’s okay to have a breakdown here or there. I ended up getting into a lot of bands like Protest The Hero, Killswitch Engage, and Converge that I wouldn’t have gotten into had I just stuck to more traditional metal. It made me a more tolerant listener. I thank that younger version of me because now I get to tell you about Code Orange (and maybe another metalcore-ish band sometime soon).
Code Orange delivers a collection of great metal riffs along with some truly brutal breakdowns. Their guitar tone is absolutely perfect: thick, bassy, but never causes the guitar to lose clarity. Over the guitar work, we get a variety of vocals including some believable and distinct hardcore screams via Eric Balderson and some clean vocals from Reba Myers as well. There’s also a heavy electronic influence on this album creating a unique sound world for these songs to take shape. Think less Aphex Twin or more harsh noise kind of electronic. Each song maintains its own identity with creative compositions that, on top of everything I already mentioned, will often abruptly transition into something totally different like a new tempo, a new riff, a spoken word section, or just silence. These drastic transitions would weaken a different album but in this raucous, car-wreck-esque thrill ride, it fits perfectly and keeps you away from any source of comfort. If you care to follow along with the lyrics, you’ll find a fragmented collection of rebellious and angsty thoughts that flow poetically and beautifully despite the harsh delivery. This album is what metalcore should be: brutal, unpredictably angry, while still thoughtfully composed.