Alternative, Hardcore, Industrial Metal

Code Orange – Underneath (Review)

Artist: Code Orange
Album: Underneath
Genre: Hardcore / Alternative / Industrial
Country: USA
Release Date: 13th of March, 2020
Released via Roadrunner Records
Cover Artwork © Roadrunner Records, 2020

As some of you fellow readers might have noticed, I‘m slightly interested in art. Art can be a wonderful and mindblowing thing at times, but sometimes it just leaves you wondering. One of those examples can be Joseph Beuys. He is famous for putting things in a place and let them rot (to put it very short and leaving out a lot of other works he has done). Just put him in a search engine of your choice and find out for yourself.

The thing that makes this sort of art special, is its evolving nature. Evolving is something that, more than any other associations, comes to my mind, when I think about Code Orange. The first EP Cycles and their Deathwish Inc. debut Love is Love / Return to Dust were chaotic hardcore at its finest, you never knew, what hit you next. I am King traded the chaotic precision for blunt force and some more atmospheric elements (and the „kids“ in their name was ditched). Forever saw Code Orange taking on even more styles: industrial, alternative rock but still with a hardcore twist to most of the songs. The question that always appeared at the end of all albums was: „What comes next?“

The title track and „Swallow the Rabbit whole“ gave a little insight of what that album could be: more melody, more band members (singer / drummer Jami Morgan was behind a mic and not behind his drums) and even more electronic elements. „Sulfur surrounding“ sounds like a companion to „Bleeding in the Blur“ with a more melancholic twist.

Now that the album is out, one can confirm: Code Orange changed their direction again. More alternative rock songs („Sulfur surrounding“, „A Sliver“, „Autumn and Carbine“), more industrial tinged songs („Swallowing the Rabbit whole“, „Underneath“ or „Back inside the Glass“) and more glitches. Those glitches add to the constant feeling of imperfection and not knowing what curveball Code Orange will throw at you.

Code Orange‘s „meta(rt)morphosis“ is far from completion. Although not all of their experiments succeed („Who I am“ or „Autumn and Carbine“ just don‘t get me), the dominant industrial style (with some extra programming by Chris Vrenna (Ex-NIN, Ex- Marilyn Manson) combined with the constantly present chaos makes them even more unpredictable. This record marks another step in the ever evolving band that is Code Orange.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

8 / 10

Favorite tracks;
“The Easy Way”
“Underneath”

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