CODE BLACK – Penetration - Arctic Music 2004 reviewed by: 1evil1
1.Sound Is All That remains
4.Hell Of A World
8.Scream When You Burn
10.Escape Vision Pain
New England Metalcore group CODEBLACK have successfully created an uninspired journey into 45 minutes of boredom. If you like watered down rehashed Bay Area Thrash tossed together with a Hardcore vibe continue on otherwise take your hard earned money and valuable time to purchase a Forbidden CD.
With creativity being the most lacking item here I struggle to find something redeeming but it’s nearly impossible. Vocalist Rorri Quero has an approach similar to that of James Hetfeild but without emotion. Most lyrics are sung in an almost spoken style that is very bland and to the point of being distracting to the overall appeal of this release.
Opening track ‘Sound Is All That Remains’ leads you to expect good things but all you can expect is that the next ten songs will almost sound exactly the same in rhythm, sound, and structure. ‘Escape Vision Pain’ seems to sparkle as the exception being the only true song that seems capture what CODEBLACK are trying to do or at least should be doing. It’s slower and darker than the rest of the tracks presented here creating a separate mood than the rest. The other saving grace on the album would be ‘Black Mirror’ it’s almost completely different than anything else found here. It is the stand out track on this release and not by any means of it being good. It’s the only track to showcase the talents of Mark Wolzenburg and oddly enough this track is an instrumental. Mark does have some good speed and accuracy but is lacking somewhat in the lead department. Even if Mark was to showcase his talents in every song he would not be able to overcome the short comings of Rorri as a vocalist.
Production seems to be the best and most consistent thing you will find here which is handled by Jean-Francois Dagenais (Kataklysm, Malevolent Creation) and even it leaves a little to be desired.
While it seems CODEBLACK are trying to revitalize the Bay Area sound they rarely capture the essence of it. They need to concentrate on fixing their own sound and short comings, especially in a flooded market of bands that sound like one another. This band could be alot more riveting with a vocalist that could actually sing. Combine that with the creativity found in ‘Escape Vision Pain’ and the talent that Mark Wolzenburg displays on ‘Black Mirror’ and you have yourself a band in contention to distinguish itself from the rest.
Band site www.codeblack.net
Label site www.arcticmusicgroup.com