In the short time they’ve been active, Pittsburgh mob Code Orange have not just become one of America’s finest exports in recent years, but one of the countries most important bands. Forever is the follow up to 2014’s brutal and intense I Am King and is without a doubt a very special album. It’s another great stepping stone which could onto something great. In my review for I Am King I wrote “watch this space, the hype is real!” One listen to Forever proved I was right.
From the get go, Forever is a relentless album but it’s not 100% aggression. There are many ‘softer’ moments on the record that are special and set the album apart from the pack. Opening trio ‘Forever,’ ‘Kill the Creator’ and battle cry ‘Real’ are all monster songs perfect for stomping round a venue and punching your mates after a successful stage dive. But then the album takes an exciting twist, ‘Bleeding In The Blur,’ introduces grunge influenced clean vocals courtesy of guitarist Reba Meyers and a guitar solo that wouldn’t be out of place on a hard rock album. After this I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew this album was going to baffle and amaze me.
Next song ‘Mud’ starts off like a Nine Inch Nails song before launching into a sludgey fusion that brought Crowbar, Discharge and Killing Joke to mind. ‘The New Reality’ is more hardcore mayhem while ‘Spy’ is reminiscent of an industrial Converge. Penultimate track ‘Hurt Goes On’ contains a strong Earth meets noise sound, while ‘dream2’ is full of Deftones shoegaze vibes. In short, this album will leave you on your toes anticipating the next move, but it is better for it. Code Orange really are onto something here and are going to make intelligent, destructive waves in the future if they carry on this trajectory.
If all hardcore albums in 2017 are like Forever, then this year is going to be very special. A dark, twisted, unpredictable instant classic that proves this band are going places; but whether you want to follow them down the rabbit hole is another matter.
Best Songs: Forever, Real, Bleeding in the Blur, Ugly
2. Kill the Creator
4. Bleeding in the Blur
5. The Mud
6. The New Reality
9. No One Is Untouchable
10. Hurt Goes On
Code Orange are:
Eric Balderose – Guitar/Vocals/Synthesizer
Reba Meyers – Vocals/guitar
Jami Morgan – Drums/Vocals
Joe Goldman – Bass