Code Orange – Underneath (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 47:26 minutes | 656 MB | Genre: Rock
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Roadrunner Records
Code Orange have been on the brink of a breakthrough since they were teenagers. A dozen years ago, the Pittsburgh kids rose from the local ranks to the taste-making Deathwish imprint before making their major-label debut with 2017’s Forever. Abrasive and volatile yet accessible, Forever became a consensus critical favorite, topping year-end lists at Rolling Stone and Revolver and prompting praise from The New York Times when it was nominated for a Grammy. They were a hit away, it seemed, from crossing over into whatever’s left of mainstream rock.
Code Orange was always destined to break beyond the inherently niche boundaries of hardcore punk. Back when they released their 2012 debut as teenagers under the name Code Orange Kids, the Pittsburgh band’s violent finesse rivaled every Converge-indebted group who’d come before them. Two years later on I Am King they dropped the “Kids” and got even heavier; on 2017’s Forever, they injected industrial and alt-metal elements into their black-blooded metalcore, earning them a Grammy nomination. Whatever they did next was either going to label them a fluke or justify their spot in heavy music’s upper echelon, and Underneath is a wind-knocking gut-punch to anyone who ever doubted that they were up for the task.
The record is a total reimagining of what a metal album can and should sound like. Sure, there are blistering guitar leads, thunderous drums, and enough bone-snapping breakdowns to flatten a football team. But the way that all of those traditional metal elements are stitched seamlessly together with haunting electronic passages—ranging from horror score noise and industrial hip-hop beats, to Oneohtrix Point Never-esque ambience—is what truly sets them apart from any other band in their world, past or present. And on top of all of those mechanical instrumentals, the band’s three screamers offer half-a-dozen different vocal deliveries: guttural bellows, piercing shrieks, grungy cleans, and everything in between. Thematically, Underneath has a two-part concept: it’s a terrifying sci-fi narrative about the blurry lines between our corporeal and digital realities, and it’s a meta-commentary on the band’s place in the heavy music ecosystem.
It’s a lot to take in on nearly every level and that’s its strongest quality—a hefty reminder that metal is supposed to be epically overstimulating. Under Code Orange’s watch, anything less than groundbreaking is a crime. – Eli Enis
01. Code Orange – (deeperthanbefore)
02. Code Orange – Swallowing the Rabbit Whole
03. Code Orange – In Fear
04. Code Orange – You and You Alone
05. Code Orange – Who I Am
06. Code Orange – Cold.Metal.Place
07. Code Orange – Sulfur Surrounding
08. Code Orange – The Easy Way
09. Code Orange – Erasure Scan
10. Code Orange – Last Ones Left
11. Code Orange – Autumn and Carbine
12. Code Orange – Back Inside the Glass
13. Code Orange – A Sliver
14. Code Orange – Underneath