It should go without saying that “I Am King” by Code Orange (Code Orange Kids) is one of the biggest releases in hardcore for 2014 and is a throwback in the direction of hardcore that defined the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. The songs on “I Am King” take nods from the greats in hardcore and ‘metalcore’ such as Snapcase, Disembodied, Martyr AD, and most importantly Buried Alive (see song Unclean Spirit) and mending the influences with the macabre sounds of reverb, sound effects and anti-social singing. The band seemed to have entered God City Studios with the intent to redefine what it means to put out a hardcore album in this day and age. This can be seen in the title track of the album and in “Dreams In Inertia” which seem to deviate from the hardcore formula and fit more into the realms of something like Soundgarden or Alice In Chains. While each song is breakdown ridden and written with obvious mosh parts, it is definitely the bands prerogative on this album as it can even be seen in the shift in lyrical style. On their debut album, 2012’s “Love Is Love // Return To Dust” there was a different more naïve band playing a blend of dark hardcore and trying to develop into their own, while “I Am King” is the band embracing who and what they are. As the band is playing out the motif that the album marks a “new era” for them, I would fully agree as while “I Am King” is not a total recreation of their original sound, it takes what they were doing before and amplifies the best parts creating an album with little to no filler and non-stop onslaughts of songs.
Favorite Song: Unclean Spirit
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