CODE — Under the Subgleam (review)

CODE — Under the Subgleam album cover EP · 2017 · Black Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
"Under the Subgleam" is an EP release by UK progressive/avant rock/metal act Code. The EP was released through Apocalyptic Witchcraft Recordings in November 2017. It´s the second EP released by Code in 2017 as the "Lost Signal" EP was released in January 2017. The material featured on "Lost Signal (2017)" was however not freshly composed original compositions, but instead re-arranged and re-recorded versions of tracks from the band´s four preceding studio albums. The four tracks featured on "Under the Subgleam" are all new original compositions and the first all new compositions from the band since the release of their fourth full-length studio album "Mut (2015)".

"Toll" opens the EP with a minimalistic droning approach, and honestly it´s not the most interesting song although it serves its purpose as a darkly atmospheric intro relatively well. When "Plot of Skinned Heavens" kicks in, Code immediately show their progressive black metal style though, and although it´s a pretty harsh progressive black metal track, the dark, experimental, and abstract nature of Code is on full display with both harsh black metal screaming and deranged clean vocals. Both "Pollution Vigil" and "Cave Soul" are shorter tracks (both are around 2 minutes long). "Pollution Vigil" is a pretty direct and structurally simple track featuring a driving almost punked attitude (including riot gang shouting vocals). Nothing experimental or progressive about that one, but it´s still a nice aggressive and harsh track. "Cave Soul" closes the EP and it´s a dark atmospheric and ambient track featuring some haunting melancholic clean vocals.

So all in all a pretty varied release from Code, which is both well performed, well produced, and well written. As always Code have a vision when they do things and there´s as much determination as there is quality behind the scenes. A nice little EP this one and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.
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