Returning with the follow-up to 2014 breakthrough album, I Am King, Code Orange’s intriguing and unpredictable brand of hardcore has helped them to smash their way to the forefront of the scene for almost a decade.
Released on Roadrunner Records, Forever opens with its title track, instantly smashing all expectations out of the park. Serving much the same purpose as I Am King’s title track, it’s a bold, brash, in-your-face hardcore anthem, with moments of calamity merging with perfect instrumentals to form wonderfully controlled chaos. Speaking ahead of the album’s release, drummer and co-vocalist Jami Morgan stated “Fuck you, we’re here. We’re gonna do whatever the fuck we wanna do and there are no rules.”Although a bold statement, the sentiment is echoed in each delightfully discordant note, as moments of controlled aggression suddenly spiral into fits of rage.
‘Kill the Creator’ and ‘Real’ take everything the band are capable of and push it to new levels – hardcore in its most beautifully jarring form. Forever doesn’t only break the boundaries of genres, it smashes them further into the ether with each off-beat drum note.
While the relentless aggressive energy is still a major part of their appeal, the album also shows Code Orange venturing into unexplored territories. ‘Bleeding in the Blur’ is a stroke of creative genius, a gritty alt-rock styled track that spotlights the talents of guitarist Reba Meyers and showcases their versatility. Playing it safe is something that Code Orange have never seemed interested in, with everything they create pushing the limits of their capabilities. This release shows the quartet are out to prove their importance, and with every track an overwhelming sense of confidence rings out.
Forever is a series of risky decisions from beginning to end, but if anyone could pull off the seemingly impossible with style, it’s Code Orange.
Words by Maddy Howell