Album Review: Code Orange – I Am King
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
Length: 33 minutes, 11 tracks
Label: Deathwish Inc.
Previous releases: Two EP’s and debut Love Is Love/Return To Dust, 2012 (under the name Code Orange Kids)
Welcome into the gruesome and sinister world of Code Orange, where hearts are uncomfortably racing and minds quickly become miserably disoriented. If you are easily frightened and don’t enjoy the sensation of suffocation and mental torture, don’t press play; turn around slowly and take your leave.
It’s tempting to simply use the word heavy, I mean HEAVY, when describing the sound of Code Orange’s second full length, but there is much more to it. For being of the hardcore style, this album is hugely diverse, bordering on sludge/doom, nu-metal and even grunge at times. Skillfully and maturely written by young band members, merely twenty years old, and professionally produced by the one and only Kurt Ballou (Converge), “I Am King” carries an expansive unpredictability weaved into a creepy, distorted wall of noise.
Sharp guitars cut their way through thick, unnerving bass lines while whispering, muttering voices can be heard in the distance, making you nervously turn around and wonder if they are real or just a figment of your imagination. Familiar hardcore screams and ugly grunts soon return, provided by at least three different band members, together with edgy drum work and chaotic song structures. The tracks barely get time to start before they abruptly end, which further reinforces the feeling of confusion and desperation. The title track is a brilliant example, one of the coolest songs I’ve heard in years, it’s also an interesting album opener and a good place to start if you’re new to the band. Code Orange already seem to have great integrity and faithful fans, and I have to say that all the hype around this release is definitely well deserved. This is my kind of hardcore.
Recommended songs: I Am King, Your Body Is Ready, My World, Mercy
Members: Eric Balderose – guitars and vocals, Reba Meyers – guitars and vocals, Jami Morgan – drums and vocals, Joe Goldman – bass