Without a doubt, Code is one of the best-kept secrets of the metal underground. Despite beginning to gather a more substantial following, they still remain unknown to large portions of the metal community. It has been a four yearlong wait for the follow up to Resplendent Grotesque, and a series of crippling line-up changes have seen this band disappear out of knowledge for quite a while, but they have finally returned with their third studio album, Augur Nox (Agonia Records).
Avant-garde black metal is one of those genre names that sends people running. So often used to describe bands that have thrown any old idea together into a clashing mess of an album. Augur Nox is the perfect amalgamation of evolving time signatures and dark harmonies. Having been through such a turbulent time between albums it is no surprise that this release is so different from their old sound. This is more progressive, less overwhelmingly hateful. One of the most noticeable changes in sound however is the vocals. Wacian’s vocals are vile and agonizing, moving into softer, controlled clean sections underpinned by a tight rhythmic backing by bassist Syhr and drummer LORDt.
This may not be my favorite release by the band; Resplendent Grotesque is seductively vile in a way that Augur Nox doesn’t quite manage. For a band that has replaced three of its members in the last few years this is a real step up. The album is tight, refined and viciously precise. Lets hope this band doesn’t remain an underground secret for too much longer.