Album Review: Forever by Code Orange

I have been in a constant state of anticipation for the latest Code Orange album. Ever since they released the titular track, Forever, last October I have been on the edge of my seat, waiting. Just waiting for the next single, the next glimpse of this album. Let’s just say the wait was worth it.

Forever kills it on several levels. First is the sheer brute force in the opening three tracks. Code Orange waste no time showing you that this album is going to be heavy. Shatteringly heavy. The titular track just comes out of nowhere with this awesome chugging riff spliced with intermittent pick sweeping. There are heavy Converge-esque sections were the all out throttle is just pushed to the max. Kill The Creator goes from zero to sixty instantly. It is no holds bar from the very beginning. Riffs use simple hardcore and metalcore techniques as a foundation not as bricks to build with. The New Reality and No One Is Untouchable hammer home that Code Orange haven’t created by the numbers riffs. Instead they have built riffs that have meaty amounts of ferocity and a back bone that comes from a place of passion and not a guide book.

Then you get hit with Bleeding In The Blur a dark grunge like song. It shows Code Orange can do more than just make rowdy hardcore driven songs. They ain’t all about the breakdowns. There is a heavy sense of unease flowing through the album, giving the listener more to work with than just mosh, mosh and more moshing. The droning vocals of Reba Meyers in Bleeding In The Blur sets a great contrast to the rest of the albums heavy use of harsh shouts and deathcore belly bellows. The creepy atmosphere really kicks in after this song. You may over look it in the first three songs on your initial play through, but after that it lingers. It becomes more and more noticeable as off sounds, samples and glitch like elements jolt in and out of the songs. This is no more apparent than in the final songs of the album Hurt Goes On and dream2 which really show this off to its full potential. It isn’t wholly clean, it is harsh and raw. Even slightly off putting but not in a bad way.

Oh and did I mention the breakdowns are absolutely filthy! Spy ends with a crushing slow breakdown that reeks of serious beatdown. I can see why Code Orange are so against touring with ‘bargain bin deathcore bands’ now. The whole guilty by association would be in full swing as breakdowns have become a means to an end for so many bands that they sometimes lack impact. Not here though.

Code Orange weren’t content with simply letting you drifting into 2017 full of peace and grace. Forever stampedes its way onto the scene. Kicking and screaming its way into the limelight. Forever earns a 9/10. I had a blast with this album and although I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, those people who can handle the heavy riffage, sense of unease and chaotic outbursts will find an excellent album that’s worth listening to.

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