It’s been a while since I last caught up with Code, though this was not through lack of a good impression made by their 2005 debut ‘Nouveau Gloaming’ – far from it in fact as it was a truly great album. ‘Augur Nox’ sees the band return with an almost entirely new line up for this, their third album and after a few spins (it’s not an instant album, by any means), it’s began to open up to be a veritable feast of progressive/black/avant metal. I prefer to call it ‘whateveryouwanttocallityou’llnevernailit’ metal. Rolls off the tongue, and is incredibly easy to read when drunk.
There is a lot of depth in Codes repertoire of sounds, at time triumphant and epic and others scathing and harsh, pulling in the sounds of a whole list of bands while managing to sound like its own monolithic standalone entity with great ease. Latter day Enslaved’s proggy blackness is present often, early Primordial’s blackened edge (particularly in the stellar clean vocals which are occasionally used to great effect) pops up from time to time, faint signs of Arcturus pop up minus the circus fanfares and there is even some blissed out rock which harks of Tool. Throw all these ideas into the blackened churning maelstrom and it soon creates something which just works perfectly. It enthrals the listener with an overload of well written metal songs which unfurl further with each listen, unleashing more and more catchy barbs with every play.
‘Augur Nox’ is powerfully atmospheric; bringing many vivid images to the mind’s eye when listening on headphones in a darkened room (I quickly learned that this isn’t a standard ‘stick on in the background for a quick burst’ sort of album, it’s very much an album that demands your full attention for its entirety). There is a mysterious vibe that saturates the album, replete with a volcanic grandeur which pulses from each and every moment of music.
I can’t recommend this album enough for any fans of the aforementioned bands, or even for fans of Vintersorg and Borknagar at a push. If Code were a person they’d be a faceless, mist-enshrouded figure in a darkened doorway, beckoning you in from the cold to an uncertain future, unnerving, cold and enigmatic, yet somehow sparking curiosity and intrigue. Step this way folks, a queue is sure to start to form…
(8.5/10 Lars Christiansen)