Album Review: Code Orange – The Above (Blue Grape Music)

Hardcore/metalcore heavyweights Code Orange will release their brand-new album ‘The Above’ on September 29th, 2023, via Blue Grape Music.

Love ‘em or loathe ‘em, everyone pays attention when Code Orange release something new. They are a band that are simply impossible to ignore and with each new offering, their stock only continues to grow. Which brings us to The Above, an album that is arguably Code Orange’s most accessible and experimental release to date. Two things that shouldn’t work together, but that’s Code Orange for you.

The Above has its anthemic moments, challenging parts, clever twists and turns, and undeniable depth. Where stomping hardcore beats meet metalcore energy and melodic lulls, the blend proving to excitable and erratic across the entirety of the album.

It’s not all about experimentation though, as there are plenty of tracks that fit the familiar Code Orange blueprint and those are going to be sure fire hits. Tracks like Theatre of Cruelty, The Mask of Sanity Slips, A Drone Opting Out of the Hive, The Game, and Grooming My Replacement are just some of the songs that have bristling blasts of power, blended with contagious melodies and passionate groove.

When they up for it, Code Orange are still more than capable of kicking ten shades of crap out of the listener.

Yet, as fun as all of that is, there is a strong argument that it’s their experimentation that stands out more. Even if sometimes, it doesn’t always hit. A good example of that is Mirror, a track that features guest vocals from Reba Meyers, and a track that has a really chilled tone, but never quite reaches a higher gear. Creative as hell, but not particularly motivating. Whereas something like Never Fall Apart has a really catchy chorus, Take Shape uses the talents of Billy Corgan to make something quite dreamy, and the title track is a fascinating example of dramatics and effects.

It’s an album that gets better and better, the more times you listen to it. Code Orange aren’t sitting still, and that progression is both admirable and exciting. The Above is classy, with a variety of creative ideas, and most of them work well. Even those that don’t necessarily hit as hard, are interesting. Expect the unexpected with Code Orange as they continue to make great strides forward in proving there are few bands quite like them out there.

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Code Orange – The Above Track Listing:

1. Never Far Apart
2. Theatre of Cruelty
3. Take Shape (feat. Billy Corgan)
4. The Mask of Sanity Slips
5. Mirror
6. A Drone Opting Out of the Hive
7. I Fly
8. Splinter the Soul
9. The Game
10. Grooming My Replacement
11. Snapshot
12. Circle Through
13. But A Dream…
14. The Above


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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Code Orange - The Above (Blue Grape Music)
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