When it comes to metal, there is a certain kind of syncopated ugliness that is endlessly fascinating, and beautiful in its own very human way. Avant Garde black metal outfit, Code, certainly embodies this sentiment, namely, that its wonderful to be ugly, funky, and gorgeous all at the same time. Code, hailing from the U.K., were nominated for Norwegian music award Spellemanprisen (and has featured members from Dodheimsgard, Ulver, At The Gates and Ved Buens Ende. ). Under the Subgleam thus comes to us with a certain touch of notoriety and an expectation of quality. That’s what we’re looking at today.
The E.P. Under the Subgleam has four tracks, one of which is a short opener. Upon listening the intro track lulls the listener into a sense of safety before Code unleashes a sudden, stark jump into a screechy composition full of feedback. Then we hit Pollution Vigil and it sparks to mind the barely-contained disposition ICS Vortex is known for, especially with his work with Arcturus. The theme riff (reminiscent of both Arcturus and maybe a bit of Borknagar) is an amazingly catchy hook, and Wacian’s vocal’s match the sensation of being just barely held together, with yells and black metal screeches. Code seems like they just don’t care about anyone else. They are writing from a sensory perspective. Under the Subgleam is an album you sit back and feel, with every sense.
We also get a taste of what Wacian is capable of with some of his loosely-hinged clean vocals. A classic, sweetened tenor, he again hits some of the pitchy freneticism of ICS Vortex, but it works and works well. The outro track features Wacian’s clean vocals alone and is a subtle movement into silence.
Overall, there is a sense of alertness and energy that is at times frenetic and other times completely put together through the flow of Under the Subgleam. As an E.P. it is just a taste of something bigger to come from Code.
Released Nov. 3rd. 2017 Mayfair Studios,
2. Plot of Skinned Heavens
3. Pollution Vigil
4. Cave Soul
3rd November 2017
Apocalyptic Witchcraft Records