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Code Is Red-Long Live the Code
Napalm Death
Code Is Red-Long Live the Code
Genres: Alternative Rock, Metal
 
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1


      
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All Artists: Napalm Death
Title: Code Is Red-Long Live the Code
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Release Date: 6/7/2005
Genres: Alternative Rock, Metal
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Death Metal
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1

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CD Reviews

"Long Live..." Napalm Death!
A. Stutheit | Denver, CO USA | 10/08/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"There could be many reasons why Barney and the gang chose to make their eleventh full-length release, 2005's "The Code Is Red...Long Live The Code," the heaviest of their twenty-plus-year career. It could be they did it simply just because, well, they could. Or, it could be that since this was their first studio effort in three years, the band was hungry to mount a comeback that would take the world by storm. But the most likely reason is that this is Napalm friggin' Death (darn it!), and they've never been known to take the easy way out by going soft or opting for an even remotely accessible sound.

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."