Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Code for Silence - D.Ecaying M.Atter - O.Rganic N.Emesis (2009)

Finland's Code for Silence exercise a pretty average sound for the day: melodic death with additional atmospheric levels provided through a keyboard player. The band seems to be heavily influenced by electronica, you will often hear techno drum fills opening songs or transcending the bridges within them; unlike some artists, who shy off this, Code for Silence seems to embrace it. Although this is an instant write-off for many metal snobs, this particular snob holds no ill opinion if it's done right, and here it works where it does happen.

D.Ecaying M.Atter - O.Rganic N.Emesis
is a great sounding debut album, and during a few moments, it actually seems to shine. However, the album failed to seal the deal with me because of its pastiche of dull mosh grooves and insistent use of some pretty bad vocal trade offs. The band uses two vocalists, one delivering straightforward grunts and the other the melodic, clean Finnish vocals that Amorphis and a few other bands pioneered a decade ago. There are also your snarling trade offs which feel a lot like bad metalcore/melodeath crossover bands. "Deathmatch" is a perfect example of how these elements can ruin an otherwise good track. The riffs are rocking along, the keyboards providing great depth and an 'epic' quality, and the main vocal lines are fine, even the cleans are catchy, but there are some extremely dumb moshpit grooves and toughish vocal interjections which threw me off.

I'd almost compare Code of Silence to a Linkin Park of melodic death metal...only not nearly as bad. Most of the songs on this debut album have at least 1-2 really good parts, but these are always ruined. Take "The Day"'s big bouncy riffs where almost rap-like riffs come in to accent the brutal main vocals. Completely unecessary. "Worst Case Scenario" has some almost slowed grind segments and some killer, functional riffs, and Soilwork-like clean chorus, but a few lame Pantera-like vocal lines. The less the band descends into this, the better they get. "New Form of Therapy" rocks out with a thrashing/death explosion not unlike At the Gates or Darkane, with the lamer vocals kept largely to the background, almost inaudible save for the big keyboard bridge. "Havoc" has some very catchy lines with almost gothic/melodeath vocals, an exciting track.

The D.Ecaying M.Atter - O.Rganic N.Emesis title may have looked clever on paper, but it's kind of dumb. From a technical standpoint, the band excels in the mix. Guitars and synths are tweaked in the mix, the more guttural vocals sound great and the cleans cut in like crystal. I certainly didn't hate it. Without some of the cheaper universal pit chugs and Phil Anselmo tough grunts, the album would have risen above the banal impression I got from it.

Verdict: Indifference [5.5/10]


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