Code Orange - Forever (Cover Artwork)

Code Orange

Forever (2017)

roadrunner records

First and foremost, I want to come right out and say that Forever is not a hardcore record. For those of you wanting to hear straight up hardcore, or past Code Orange punk influences, I suggest you look elsewhere, or proceed with an open mind. On another note, Forever is one of the more interesting and creative musical offerings I have heard in quite awhile.

In the past I have joked about modern hardcore inching closer and closer to late 90’s nu-metal. I wouldn’t go as far as to say Forever is nu-metal, but at the same time, this release isn’t exactly disproving that theory either. Forever screams early to mid-90’s Roadrunner Records to me. I mean that in the best way possible. It is easy to pick out the early Machine Head, Sepultura, Vision of Disorder, and a pinch of Biohazard influences in the mix. This of course is realistically fitting, seeing as Roadrunner is the label releasing Forever. That being said Forever is not just your run of the mill metal album either. There are songs on the record that remind me of bands ranging from Nine Inch Nails to Disembodied, as well as some crooning alternative rock moments for good measure.

I am quite sure this record will be a love it, or leave it experience for many. Code Orange will most certainly polarize and divide some fans with this release, but that isn’t always a bad thing. I very much admire the innovation, creativity and above all, the risk taking. It takes guts for a band primarily housed in the hardcore community to put a dark, and well sung Alice In Chains-esque song like “Bleeding In The Blur” on an album.

There are electronic samples, and creepy sounding cuts throughout the record, which after repeated listens adds to the dark vibe of Forever. The band members really showcase their musical skills on this album. The instrumentation is very solid, and who knew such great singing skills hid behind the screams and howls. Of course, if Code Orange is good at anything, it is crushing breakdowns. Many of which are present throughout Forever.

I want to avoid breaking this record down into single tracks because the experience really is the best as a whole, and believe me when I say – I do not say that very often. Whether you love or hate Code Orange, they have smashed through the hardcore barrier and will undoubtedly continue to grow in the larger metal arena. I commend them on their effort, not very many hardcore bands successfully transition from their hardcore punk roots, into an active and progressive modern metal band.

Code Orange have done a great job with Forever, it is brutally heavy, dynamic, and engaging. At no point was I bored throughout the 34-minute listening experience. At the end of the day Code Orange may lose some of their original fan base, but I think the progression was worth it. Regardless of any hardcore punk purists naysaying, I am sure many a long hair will be upset about the kids spin kicking at future metal shows with Code Orange support.