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Code Orange - The Above Album Review

Updated: Oct 8, 2023

Code Orange & Going Above And Beyond

Code Oranges album cover for The Above which depicts a blue eye under distress

Code Orange, the iconic hardcore punk and metal innovators, have returned with their latest sonic offering, 'The Above.' In what can only be described as a remarkable evolution, this album is a testament to their relentless commitment to pushing boundaries. Carry on reading for my Code Orange The Above Review. 'The Above' is not just their most experimental work to date; it's a testament to the band's ability to remain true to their hardcore roots while embarking on a journey into uncharted musical territory. With a hint of commercial appeal without sacrificing their signature intensity, Code Orange invites us to explore the realms of their interpolation of metal blending into hardcore, building upon the industrial and grinding landscapes they've previously explored in their discography

Code Orange - The Above Album Review

Our Welcome To The Above

The Above starts with Never Far Apart. This is a perfect opener for the journey the album takes us on. It starts out with a synth and that glitchy tweaking talking from frontman Jami Morgan that builds up noise before Reba Meyers starts singing” We will never be far apart, Do you have memories from the start? Before everything fell apart, It's getting blurrier lately”.

Never Far Apart breaks down into some absolute madness around the 2-minute mark. Showcasing that signature Code Orange switch up from taking this song being one thing to building up this explosive energy hearing “Do it, do it, do it, do it” over and over switching between vocals of spitting, screaming and guttural variations. Before the song switches right back into Reba's chorus and then switches back into the deranged “Do it, do it, do it, do it” Following this, we see the Code Orange come alive into this aggressive energy in a new verse “I'd push you out the window for a better view, Eat your stomach fat if I needed fuel”.

Theatre Of Cruelty (Code Orange The Above Review)

The second track on the album Theatre Of Cruelty opens with sliding synthetic horns and is subject to the switchback roaring out before heading back into the horns into something that takes influence from early metal music with “Pulling back the curtain to reveal, Nothing much at all”. These grungey vocals we hear from Jami are sick and I’m glad we’re getting more of that on this album.

The second half of this track is absolutely sick. Code Orange always keep us on our toes and they continue to do that with, the song divulges into complete chaos but then extends even further than what the song needs to be in a good way of the staggered vocals calling out “Laugh now, Die later, It's all, Good theatre, Laugh now, Die later, It's all, Good theatre. Laugh now Die later You're part of something greater”

Code Orange - Take Shape Featuring Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins (Code Orange The Above Review)

The third track on The Above by Code Orange and we see a Billy Corgan Feature. Take Shape was one of the singles released prior to the album and damn this song has grown on me over time. This song encapsulates Code Oranges' experimentation on the album. We get more grunge styled 80s drenched vocals with Jami singing Today I lost reality A severed head was in its place Today, the smoke screen faded away The desert of the real remained They all live by my design We exist and are confined Into a, into a world that has no why I think that it might finally be time.”

This song's chorus is presented quite well, and clearly, this song goes from this gunge rollercoaster drenched in their hardcore roots. The Corgan feature is short but adds to the song in a good way, coming in like a gothic vampire singing “Spread your wings Show us who you are, Spread your wings, You'll go far, Show us all, Show us who you are, Spread your wings”.

Digging even deeper into Code Orange - The Above

I’m absolutely in love with The Above, I tried to not get myself gassed for the release and now it’s on repeat and everything feels so fresh. I need to give track 4 a mention because it starts out with this intro riff that’s driven and sick but doesn’t go too far before heading into a crazy clean phaser with backing Morgans vocals before the chorus. The song ends… Or so we think, with synth swells bring back in the instrumentals and guitars with the anthemic lyrics following “I am not living, I'm asleep, I am not living, I'm asleep, I am not living, I'm asleep”

Code Orange - The Mirror (Code Orange The Above Review)

I love this track so much, it completely comes out of left field in the above and is a welcomed break from the calamity of the album as the song brings in a stripped-back set of instrumentals we see Reba taking centre stage singing ““I swear I saw it all, And I'm not sure, That I found anything I want, I saw it all, And I'm not sure, That I found anything but what I never saw”. The song questions happiness too with a slight demonic voice trailing off ⁣. Oh, well, are you happy now?⁣⁣Yeah, well (Will you ever be?)⁣⁣Oh, well, is it enough now?⁣⁣. Yeah, well (You know that you'll never be)⁣⁣

From this track, I get vibes of Adventures, another band that features Code Orange members which is great as it’s letting them explore their darkness in a new setting. There is also a tasty video which joins this which shows highly stylised cartoonish imagery mixed in with grittiness.⁣⁣

Code Orange - A Drone Opting Out Of The Hive (Code Orange The Above Review)

This is one of my favourite and heaviest tracks on the album in my opinion, it showcases Code Orange’s dynamism on the album so well. The intro is heavy pushing rolling drum line that’s just glitching. I can’t do this song any favours trying to explain it’s build up and that’s all and the nervous anxiety and how on edge this track makes me feel before exploding into “‘Cause I am the drone Opting out of the, hive”

This track has such a sick production value there is an effect on the vocals that’s happening at the end of every line which is a demonic growl that’s like it’s taking you with it.

Please Listen to Code Orange - The Above

If there is one heavy album you listen to this year, then it should be Code Orange - The Aobe. It’ll proactively open you up to so many new sounds you didn’t know, from tracks I’ve talked to and the likes of I Fly,The Game,Grooming My Replacement.

One of my favourite tracks from the album is an anthem and Code Orange have blown it out the park with Snapshot, if they aren’t in the next Cyberpunk game after showing this aggression, and this synth work I truly believe they could make anything they wanted from a movie soundtrack or a game OST Code Orange are just too damned layered to put into a box.

Showcasing the more Grunge side of Code Oranges The Above we see Circle Through which is a pure 80s rock song, it’s catchy and driven. Closing off the album we see But A Dream… and The Above. But A Dream… is a nervous song that questions one's usefulness “You can give it all but it's never enough, You can count it up but it's never what you want, And we need them, more then they need us Do they need us?” and begins to questions free will and sanity "YeahThey say, Nothing but a dream Free will ain't nothing but a dream."

Closing off Code Orange Takes Us Into The Above

The last song on the album is the title track The Above and it’s a cathartic release to end the madness of what Code Orange has given us with this offering. It’s a pretty clean track that’s opens with synths beating like a fast heartbeat with whispered vocals layered which turns into repeating the second half of the track with Morgan singing” I'll accept my fate with grace

Fade into the above, Into the above, Into the above, Into the above, Into the above”

Jami and Reba then do a call-and-response on these lyrics and it’s just a prefect way to close off the album.”Acceptance is a faraway place But I'll keep beating it in, If I'm still breathing”

To close off my Code Orange The Above review. Overall this album is very much worth your time. Any fear you may have had about Code Orange not sticking to their roots then throw them out the window because this is a class example of their superiority in this space.

Compared to Code Oranges' previous albums

Beginning with 'Love Is Love/Return to Dust,' their debut as Code Orange Kids in 2012, they burst onto the scene with raw hardcore energy. 'I Am King' in 2014 marked a transition into a more metallic hardcore sound, showing hints of their inclination to push boundaries. 'Forever' in 2017 was pivotal, showcasing their fusion of aggression and melody, while 'Underneath' in 2020 ventured into experimental territory with industrial and electronic influences. Now, with 'The Above,' Code Orange delivers their most experimental work yet, maintaining its hardcore roots while boldly embracing new elements of grunge and new metal. It's an album that not only reflects their evolution but also builds upon the diverse sonic landscapes they've explored throughout their discography, making it a noteworthy addition to their impressive body of work

Code Orange - The Above Lyrics

We talk a lot about the lyrics in our review of Code Orange - The Above. So we've added them below track by track to go through. Enjoy.

Code Orange Never Far Apart Lyrics

Code Orange Theatre Of Cruelty Lyrics

Code Orange Take Shape Featuring Billy Corgan Lyrics

Code Orange The Mask Of Sanity Lyrics

Code Orange Mirror Lyrics

Code Orange A Drone Opting Out Of The Hive Lyrics

Code Orange I Fly Lyrics

Code Orange Splinter The Soul Lyrics

Code Orange The Game Lyrics

Code Orange Grooming My Replacement Lyrics

Code Orange Snapshot Lyrics

Code Orange Circle Through Lyrics

Code Orange But A Dream... Lyrics

Code Orange The Above Lyrics


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