It’s pretty fitting that track eight of Code Orange‘s I Am King is called ‘Your Body Is Ready,’ because mine certainly wasn’t before I pressed play. The second album by Code Orange (the band were formerly known as Code Orange Kids with I am King being the first under the Code Orange name) has been raved about online and by all my hardcore and punk loving friends. Alongside headlining tours across the US and Europe, the four piece have toured with the likes of At The Gates, Killswitch Engage, Misfits, The Bronx, Anti-Flag, Every Time I Die, Letlive, Fucked Up among others (their touring history for a young band is most impressive). After reading Vivien’s review of the band supporting At The Gates in Birmingham UK, I decided to bite the bullet and listen to the force of nature known as Code Orange.
This is the first time in ages when an album actually scared me, at one point I had to pause it because it was too much. Code Orange are unrelenting; opening track ‘I Am King,’ sounded like the stabbing of a nerve, I had to turn my speakers down as it was making my head spin. ‘I Am King,’ is a good opening statement for the band – we’re going to hit you hard and it’s going to hurt, your ears will bleed! But it’s not all walls of chaos, there are some ‘calmer’ bits found in ‘Starve’ and the brilliant ‘Dreams In Inertia,’ which stop the album from becoming thirty two minutes of pure noise. Influence-wise it is clear they are influenced by the likes of Converge, (Kurt Ballou of the band produced the album), The Dillinger Escape Plan, Black Flag and Refused. But it’s not all hardcore and punk. There are hints of death metal, metalcore, sludge (which can be found on the surprisingly anthemic ‘Thinners of the Herd’) and even drone, there are some fantastic riffs on the album alongside the breakdowns and assorted screams. It is an album I won’t be forgetting in a hurry.
With a terrifyingly diverse mix of genres at work here, Code Orange have drilled I Am King into my skull, which feels like it has actually been drilled into after a full-length listen. This album is without a doubt one of the most exciting releases of the year. Watch this space, the hype is real!
Best Tracks: ‘I Am King’, ‘Dreams In Inertia’, ‘Thinning of the Herd’, ‘Mercy’
01. I Am King
02. Slowburn (With Guest Vocals by AJ Borish of Path to Misery)
03. Dreams In Inertia
04. Unclean Spirit (With Guest Vocals by Scott Vogel of Terror)
05. Alone In A Room
06. My World (With Guest Vocals by Eric Shaeffer of Unit 731)
08. Your Body Is Ready…
09. Thinners Of The Herd
10. Bind You
11. Mercy (With Guest Vocals by Joe Sanderson of Eternal Sleep)
Code Orange are:
Eric Balderose – guitar, vocals
Reba Meyers – guitar, vocals
Jami Morgan – drums, vocals
Joe Goldman – bass