Forever Album Review
Released January 13, 2016
Genre: Metalcore, Industrial, Hefty Hefty Hefty
Code Orange are easily one of the most popular acts in modern hardcore. They’ve been on a steady rise of notoriety since their inception, boosted by a critically well-received debut, Love is love//Return to Dust. An ambitious debut, the band fused sludgy hardcore with progressive song structures and occasional 90s indie rock interludes. The follow up, I Am King, traded the odd song structures for breakdowns on top of breakdowns. This led to their transition from the small Deathwish Inc. label to signing with Roadrunner Records. The entire world of hardcore has their eyes on Code Orange now that a massively recognized label is backing them. Will they release something new? Yes and no. There is some sonic experimentation, but a lot of Forever is just knuckledraggery.
If you’re looking for heavy for the sake of heavy, stop reading this review and listen to the album now. I don’t anticipate anything heavier coming out of hardcore this year, beatdown bands included. The dissonant guitar leads and breakdowns are monolithic and can’t be matched in intensity easily – because they found one good breakdown and barely varied it for the rest of the album. The same two dissonant guitar chords (that sound just like the chords from the near-ending breakdown from this Eighteen Visions song at the 2:18 mark) are on the majority of songs of Forever. I get it. I will have my face re-arranged in the pit to this song. I’ll have a good time too, but I’m in my room, not at the VFW. Listening to these breakdowns over and over again with different variations of SUPER-SPOOPY INDUSTRIAL NOISES isn’t my thing. Nor are the haphazardly constructed songs. “Kill The Creator” may have the funniest and most Gary’s Mod-like music video of 2017 but it is bisected by a totally random interlude of machine humming. It is completely jarring but not in a cool or perspective-altering way. It just sounds like a mistake.
Yes, the instruments sound great. Yes, the vocals are harsh and unsettling. The song-writing just didn’t make it. “The New Reality” has a great opening riff that sounds like an older song by Code Orange called “Nothing (The Rat).” The last song is actually creepy, also. However, the rest of this album is like being beaten to death by a vanilla-flavored hammer.
FAV TRACKS: The New Reality
LEAST FAV TRACKS: Kill The Creator, Real, No One is Untouchable