The Code Is Red...Long Live The Code Enhanced
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The Code Is Red - Long Live the Code
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Vinyl, May 17, 2005
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'The Code Is Red- Long Live The Code' was recorded at Foel Studios with producer Russ Russell and features guest appearances by Jello Biafra (ex-Dead Kennedys), Jamey Jasta (Hatebreed) and Jeff Walker (ex-Carcass). Century Media. 2005.
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Top Customer Reviews
The departure of Jesse Pintado makes this the first album since "Harmony Corruption" to feature a different line up. Thankfully, ND have not let it slow them down one bit. Mitch Harris carries the guitar duties just fine without the aide of Jesse. Barney's vocals are as vicious as ever, with some of the best and most intelligent lyrics yet. Danny Herrera's drumming is terrific with plenty of variety but also plenty of blasting! The drums also sound much better than they did on "Order of the Leech". I'm not sure if they are triggered or not, and that's a good thing. the drums on OOTL were triggered to the point of sounding mechanical. On TCIR...LLTC the drums sound much more natural and blend well with the music. And what can be said for Shane Embury? He is a grindcore legend.
The songwriting on this album is much more varied than OOTL. As one previous reviewer said, we are seeing an integration here of the many styles of ND. This album has a greater variety of song lengths, with 3 songs clocking in over 4 minutes and 3 under 2 minutes. One of these actually speeds by in under a minute, a real treat for old school grind fans! There are a number of lightning fast grind songs but this time we also have a couple slow tracks ("Morale," "Our Pain is their Power") in a style that has not been heard since the diatribes era. A couple songs also feature guitar riffs that sound reminiscent of "Words from the Exit Wound's" more melodic style of playing. The guest vocals from Jamey Jasta (hatebreed), Jello Biafra, and Jeff Walker (ex-CARCASS, of course!) also add character to a few of the songs.
Also noteworthy are some of the background vocals. Mitch Harris adds some ear shattering highs to a few of the tracks which make a great contrast to Barney's gruff vocals. Some of the tracks (if I'm not mistaken) also feature barney's funny high screams that he first performed on "Leaders Not Followers: part 1". A nice addition.
All in all, this is one of the BEST napalm albums and an essential grind record. The music is brutal and the songwriting is top notch. Napalm Death are truly the kings of this genre and they have proven themsleves yet again.
There are a few surprises to be heard on this album. For one, whereas 2000's "Enemy of the Music Business" and 2002's "Order of the Leech," were more along the lines of being death metal albums, "The Code Is Red...Long Live The Code" features a much stronger and more pronounced grindcore influence. Next, quite a few of the songs possess fairly strong doomy undertones. And finally, several guest vocalists make an appearance over the course of these fifteen tracks, including The Dead Kennedy's Jello Biafra, Hatebreed's Jamey Jasta, and Carcass' Jeff Walker.
But all the usual Napalm Death hallmarks are still firmly in place here, including head-spinning speed, skull-crushing heaviness, and impeccable, airtight musicianship. Longtime axeman Mitch Harris unleashes one scalding riff and steamrolling lead after another; frontman Mark "Barney" Greenway's foaming-at-the mouth bellows have never sounded this visceral or ferocious; and Mitch Harris' drumming - an incessant stream of raw, chaotic, impossibly tight, and relentlessly jackhammering blast beats - is classic grindcore. When all of these things are combined, the result is a devastatingly brutal, 45-minute long onslaught which effortlessly crushes the listener like a tank as soon as he or she presses the PLAY button, and just keeps piling on the layers of sonic violence. Indeed, the pain and carnage induced by this record are positively pleasurable!
The ironically titled opener, "Silence is Deafening," is a complete trainwreck of blazing guitars, cracking drums, a doomy breakdown, and Barney's full-bodied roars accented by shrieking, Black Dahlia Murder-esque refrains which are downright catchy (who says you can't teach an old dog a new trick?!) Back on more familiar ground, "Right You Are" and "Pay for the Privilege of Breathing," are two vicious, blindsiding sneak-attacks which evoke Napalm Death circa 1987 (the "Scum" era) almost to the tee. And the assault never lets up - even when you're already lying on the ground in a bloody pulp, along comes a track like the pummeling "Diplomatic Immunity" to kick you in the head and elbow you in the ribs.
Tracks like the title cut and "Climate Controllers" are more mid-tempo and groove-oriented, and have undeniable punk edges in their arrangements (a trend Napalm Death started on "Enemy of the Music Business"). Elsewhere, see "Instruments of Persuasion" and "Sold Short" for some absolutely top-notch and rapid-fire trapkit battery ("Instruments of Persuasion" also highlighted by memorable, call-and-response hardcore vocals from Jamey Jasta); "All Hail the Grey Dawn" and "Vegetative State" boast killer, ginormous, scorched-earth riffs.
Lastly of note are the two terrifically ominous set closers, "Morale" and "Our Pain is their Power," which are straight-up doom metal with trippy vocals, gnawing guitars, and (in the case of the former) strong, grumbling bass lines. These are two very strange and out-of-place songs, but at least give them props for keeping things interesting and somewhat unpredictable.
It could be said that "The Code Is Red" is a fairly safe-sounding album, because it will sound familiar to anybody that has been exposed to ND's back catalogue. Nonetheless, it is still better than anything the band had released in recent memory (including all of their stuff from the 1990's), and also takes its place right alongside their all-time best works.