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on January 4, 2008
The Codex is the alliance of guitarist Magnus Carlson ("Starbreaker", "Allen/Lande") and singer Mark Boals ("Malmsteen's Rising Force", "Ring of Fire").
According to interviews, the Codex album was composed solely by Carlson while Mark entered the picture later on as the lead vocalist; so it comes as no surprise that this release leans more towards hard rock rather than the prog- classical sound of Mark's previous works. Definitely the end result is very impressive: Great riffs, intelligent solos, with drummer Daniel Flores exceeding expectations while Boals sounds relaxed and emotional for a change.
Nevertheless, the album has a great disadvantage over its opening track "Beyond the Dark" which is extremely powerful, causing the rest of the songs to fall short in comparison (although very good). Very cohesive project, looking forward to a follow up.

"Rockhard" Greek magazine (issue 27) marks this album with 8/10 commenting: "Better than `Allen/Lande- The revenge'".

"Metal Hammer" Greek magazine (issue 277) comments: "Unbelievable performance by Mark Boals"
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on March 4, 2010
As per my heading tag this album is very much an affair of Magnus Karlsson writing the album and Mr Boals adding his quality vocals to the affair. Which surprised me a bit as when I first picked it up I figured that Boals must have done a chunk of the songwriting just due to his presence. But nope. Then again Karlsson is a fine songsmith all by himself and here he has crafted a very good album chock full of lovely melodic hard rock. The tone throughout the album stays pretty comfortably within this broad genre but having said that there is degree of variety herein. Some of the tunes have a strident nature - pretty much any of the first three numbers are examples of the rockin' side of proceedings here while there are also a number of ballad style numbers to lighten the load.

The musicianship is quality stuff and many melodic metal fans already know the fine work Mark Boals has in his past. The band here is fleshed out by Daniel Flores on drums and Linus Abrahamson on bass. Both acquit themselves well but really this is an album that lives and dies on its vocal hooks and guitar/keyboard textures. And they are pretty tasty.

A somewhat beguiling cover, lyrivs to the whole shebang and pleasant modern production by Karlsson with the mixing & mastering by Dennis Ward round out the package and it would be nice to think that this was a band rather than a project but given the two main players backgrounds the latter is perhaps the most likely scenario.

For fans of any of a myriad of other Frontiers artists.
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on April 21, 2010
This band is amazing if you like power, melodic, and progressive metal. Magnus Karlsson (lead guitarist) is back and man he still slays! Some other popular bands he has been in are Stargazer, Primal Fear, Allen/Lande, and my personal favorite... Last Tribe (good luck finding CDs or MP3s of Last Tribe though). This album has tons of tasty riffs, amazing melodic solos and grooves, and pristine vocals and lyrics. This album should be in any power metal collection and I can not wait for their next album!
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on February 2, 2008
This is a very good release featuring the ever-impressive musical skills of Magnus Karlsson and the vocal talents of Mark Boals. Karlsson is one of the best guitarists and rock composers in the world and has had great success with this style of music. He has written a very high quality album here filled with many great guitar solos and strong production values. Mark Boals is usually known for his neo-classical vocal acrobatics but here he eases into a slightly more relaxed vocal style that definitely serves him well. I highly recommend this album to fans of these artists and also to those who are looking for a good quality heavy rock album - 4.5 stars!
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I had my doubts going in to this album, the self-titled debut from the Codex, a collaboration between guitarist Magnus Karlsson (Starbreaker, Primal Fear) and vocalist Mark Boals (Royal Hunt, ex-Yngwie Malmsteen). I'm a huge fan of Karlsson's work, especially collaborations like Starbreakerand Allen/Lande, where he works with established vocalists. On the other hand, I'm not a fan of Mark Boals' high-pitched vocals. I avoided the Codex for a while, but when I saw it on sale I gave in to my curiosity.

I shouldn't have waited. Karlsson is in fine form here, both in terms of his guitar work as well as his songwriting. If you're familiar with his previous work, you know he sticks pretty close to a melodic hard rock formula with sweeping melodies and huge choruses. It's a formula that works though, even if the songs he wrote for the Codex could have worked just as well on a Last Tribe or Allen/Lande album. The big surprise, for me, at least, was how much Mark Boals' vocals have changed. Gone was the high-pitched wail I remembered from Ignition. Instead, Boals brought a warm, powerful performance that was very reminiscent of Last Tribe's Rickard Bengtsson. His voice suits Karlsson's songs perfectly, and made the Codex just as memorable an album as any of Karlsson's previous works. It doesn't hurt that between his production and Dennis Ward's (Pink Cream 69) mixing and mastering, the album benefits from the best studio team in melodic rock.

I suppose the lack of originality should be counted against Karlsson at this point, but I still enjoy the albums and songs he comes up with. The man found a formula that works, and I'm enjoying the ride. I just hope he and DC Cooper - one of Boals' predecessors in Royal Hunt - can hook up at some point. Those two are meant to work together. If you enjoyed Last Tribe, Allen/Lande, Planet Alliance, Starbreaker, and/or Boals' work with Royal Hunt, you should absolutely check out the Codex.
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on February 9, 2008
If you are familiar with Magnus Karlsson (the battle, the revenge, starbreaker, tony o'hora, planet alliance, last tribe) just buy it. This CD is awesome. No fillers. Just great melodic rock with catchy hooks and great solos. Long live Magnus Karlsson!
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on April 9, 2008
I am not very familiar with the very impressive musical skills of Magnus Karlsson. I do, however have everything available for Mark Boals; and this is without a doubt his most musically diverse album that I own. It gets better with every listen, and to read that Magnus produced the whole album and wrote most all of the songs solely, adds to the fact that this is one of the best albums I have purchased this year. It's great to hear mark kind move in a different direction than the neo-classical form he is associated with. His voice weaves around these songs as if they were written specifically for him in mind. My favorite "I'm Running Out Of Hate" is a melodic titan of a song. I have had several people ask me who that is when they here it, and they all want it. Great to see Mark back and be introduced to Magnus.
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on March 19, 2014
This is the best album with Mark Boals that I have heard so far.
The whole album is good, start to finish.
If you like the singing style of Mark Boals, you will be happy with this album!
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