Album Review: Code Orange – Underneath 4 (Hardcore/Nu Metal)

Written by Carcassbomb

  • Code Orange
  • Underneath
  • Metallic Hardcore
  • March 13, 2020
  • Via Roadrunner Records
  • 4/10

Before going into this album I’m in the headspace of someone who has followed the band since they were “Kids” and I wasn’t a fan of the first single from this album. The second was better. Either way I’m excited to hear the full thing because I want to know what happens between those singles and how those weird sounds fit into the overall context. The cinematic Slipknot opening and album art elevate the suspense, reluctantly. This is more than I can say when facing most albums regardless of how it shakes out.

I don’t care for the sound FX used on some of the tracks to add glass shattering and other irritating non musical sounds. I’m guess I’m just getting a bit too old to take this neo nu metal seriously. Hardcore rebirthed nu metal, I’ve been hearing it with heaps of new bands like Vein and Knocked Loose. Honestly the first impression of this album halfway through is that it’s not very good, objectively. I can see what they are going for but it’s just not my thing, which is a shame because the band has previously very much been my bag.

There’s more technique and noise than riffs on here that’s for sure. I feel that well may have dried up a bit as they moved away from the primal rhythmic sound. The melody on this album can be good, on “Sulfur Surrounding” there’s some clean guitar that is refreshing. The track does feel like it’s from a different album entirely though. The choruses are cringe to me and feels targeted more towards teens or Adults With Artifice (AwA).

Code Orange: Spotify / Facebook

Underneath sounds like it’s either random ruined tracks or immaculate single tracks which is a really weird way to structure an album. Seriously, a lot of these tracks sound like they could be on the soundtrack to a heap of early 00s movies like Blade or Queen Of The Damned or some shit. I can enjoy them for what they are on some level but I can’t overlook how fractured this album sounds surrounding those tracks and how sorely they stick out because of it.

When they do return to the older styles with tracks like “Erasure Scan” then it’s actually refreshing, it’s what I wanted a bit more of. It’s a strong hype af stompy kind of metal and hardcore jig. That’s what they have always done well. It’s very short lived and even still, it sounds a lot like Slipknot with each new album.

The album is just way too self indulgent. I didn’t think there’d be a day where I’d give my lowest ever score to Code Orange.


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