code – Lost Signal

London-based Progressive Black Metal group code wanted to revisit some older material on their Lost Signal (Agonia) EP to see if they could cast it in a new light. This EP is six songs in total, comprising of three from the album Mut (Agonia) and three from their first three records. The band produced and mixed the EP themselves to show rich power melody and dynamics. Continue reading

Code – Mut

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Being weird used to be so much easier.  In the 80’s and early 90’s all you needed to do was throw in a bit of keyboards, some cod-operatic singing and the odd electronic boing noise and you were a maverick genre-bending genius.  Unfortunately for the weirdos, there’s nothing like two decades of repetition to normalise even the boldest experiment, and in 2015 being weird is harder than ever.

That was a very round-about way of saying that, although Code seem desperate to be seen as “progressive” or “avant-garde”, there’s very little on Mut (Agonia) that you won’t have heard before.  Having now entirely shed their Black Metal origins, the core sound here could best be described as [cough, spit] “post-rock”, though more dynamic and catchy than is generally the case.  A strong grasp of theatrics and a tendency towards the carnivalesque often calls to mind a more straight-laced, Rock-steady take on La Masquerade Infernale (Misanthropy) era Arcturus.

Whether or not Mut is truly “experimental” or “weird” is, of course, much less important than whether or not it’s actually any good, but I’ve been putting that off so far because it’s a considerably harder question to answer.  Code have a solid grasp of song-writing dynamics, and there are some effectively catchy tracks on here, but they also have a tendency to indulge their “quirky” side to an extent that can become tiresome quickly.  They also haven’t quite reconciled their catchy, carnivàle instincts with their new-found “post-rock” contemplative side, which can lead to some rather dull passages stretching between interesting sections.

If this review has leaned towards the negative so far, that’s only part of the story. Mut is a boldly written, tightly performed album with enough of its own identity to bring it out – at least partly – from the long shadows cast by its “avant garde” Black Metal forefathers and the Nerd Kings of post-rock, and there are going to be plenty of people out there who will enjoy it a lot more than I did. Ultimately, however, the overriding impression at this end was that of a band so enamoured with their own strangeness that they don’t quite deliver enough beyond it.

 

6.5/10

Code on Facebook

 

RICHIE HR

CODE – New Album, New Direction

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London’s progressive black metallers Code have announced details of their new album mut (Agonia Records)

Scheduled to be released on 27 February 2015 (UK and Europe) and 10 March 2015 (US) , the band’s fourth album sees them leave the trappings of extreme metal behind and head into the realms of post-rock. Having successfully conquered one style, they now set off a new, much less vitriolic path…

mut is the sound of us as a band freeing ourselves not just from the confines of what CODE is, but from genre conventions of any description. The time for conforming has past and we have created an album that is the purest distillation of our creative ambition. This is the first time in the history of the band that we have created music with no reference points and as a result, this is our most stark, intimate and emotional album”.

mut was recorded in the famed Brighton Electric Studios (The Cure, Foals, Nick Cave, Royal Blood) with engineer and producer Paul ‘Win’ Winstanley. Cover artwork and layout have been created by the Austrian designer Thomas Neulinger.

Band’s fourth album, the follow-up to 2013 effort Augur Nox, will be available in slipcase CD, limited grey vinyl, hand-numbered transparent vinyl and digital formats. Pre-orders are available here

Code have released a taster of their new direction with lead off track, the progressive Dialogue

 

 

Steve Tovey