Code
Resplendent Grotesque


3.5
great

Review

by Micheal Scarn USER (5 Reviews)
August 31st, 2010 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Stellar songwriting, strong performance. Nothing less, nothing more.

Code, generally speaking, never really made a big mark on the black metal scene. The lead singer Kvhost had just finished recording an album for Dødheimsgard which had gone over mildly well. He then embarked on his new project which he called Code. Their first product was Nouveau Gloaming. It was avant-garde, but missing the factor that separated it from bands like Dødheimsgard and Van Buens Ende. So what is the solution? Easy, Resplendent Grotesque. It was overlooked on its release, more so than their debut which is really a shame because it is a splendid album.
If there is one thing that stands out on this album, it is most defiantly the vocals. You immediately notice them, and you begin to realize this is something new and different. Kvhost has an eerily powerful voice. His range is not remarkable; in fact it is quite monotonous but, his voice is so unique it makes up for it. For those who have never heard Resplendent’s vocals, it can be compared to the old days of The Smiths and The Cure. These vocals were no where to be seen on the first album. Kvhost also has many forms of screaming on the album, from whispering, to growls, and shrieks. He never quite captures that essential black metal sound with his vocals, but he substitutes enough for it not to matter.
If the vocals don’t catch you, the lyrics may. Kvhost has extremely good song writing skills. His lyrics are deep and often spread to other topics not conventional to black metal. Topics like politics and anti-conformity are addressed on this album, as well as depression and sadness. A good example of his stellar song writing skills is on the song “I Hold Your Light.” Here is and excerpt: “Drag me through the wives, lawns, and suburbs. You the great destroyer of my childhood.” Also note most of the lyrics are extremely catchy. It’s very accessible, even if you are not a black metal fan. Black metal overall has very good lyrical writing but this album’s lyrics are very strong nevertheless.
Though Resplendent is good, it is not a perfect album. It has many slight weaknesses that separate it from a higher rating rating. First, the album does not vary much at all. The same song structure is used throughout. 3-5 minute songs, 5 verses, 2 choruses in almost every song. The instrumentation does not change much throughout. Each song starts softer and the guitar becomes heavier, and double bass becomes more prevalent as the song elapses. The other fact is that people may listen to this album looking for a black metal album. The album is trying to be extremely avant-garde and it doesn’t quite make the cut, simply because it’s not unique as it could have been. While it has that black metal sound, it may not be liked by all black metal songs. The only song that is actually sounds like a black metal song is “Possession Is the Medicine” which is the weakest song on the album. Its chorus is bulky and somewhat generic, and doesn’t fit into the smoothness this album presents.
If you are looking for an accessible, and catchy black metal album this is for you. If you are looking for something fresh and new, this is for you too. Overall, Resplendent Grotesque is a fun, well written album that could sure keep you busy for a while. Songs that stand out are “Smothering the Crones” “Jesus Fever” and “I Hold Your Light.”


user ratings (30)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
BeyondSanity
August 31st 2010


130 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is awesssssomeeee.
LETS GET SKELETOR!

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2010


6110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Van Buens Ende

Ved Buens Ende

For one thing, try to separate the paragraphs, because your review was difficult to read.

Controversy 01:
First, the album does not vary much at all. The same song structure is used throughout

And in the summary you write about stellar songwriting...

Controversy 02:
The album is trying to be extremely avant-garde and it doesn’t quite make the cut, simply because it’s not unique as it could have been.

And in the summary you write about strong performance...

Controversy 03:
Your summary altogether.

Controversy 04:
Your rating agrees with the second phrase of your summary, but completely disagrees with the first one.


Your review reads like you listened to the album once or twice and decided to write about it immediately afterwards...

Kvhost's vocals are superb!!

And the song structures are diverse, within their own right.

I won't neg, but you don't speak the truth about the record in your review. Period.

Digging: Disasterhate - Sacrifice To Eclipse

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2010


6110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

this record doesn't reveal its real quality to the listener from the beginning.

During the first listens, i found myself omitting some songs, but from a point further, i listened from track 01 to track 08 without being annoyed in the least.


PS01: Jesus Fever is AWESOME!

PS02: I was planning to review this sometime, but now i can move on, thanks :-D

BallsToTheWall
August 31st 2010


44400 Comments


One song I heard was good the other was terrible.

Digging: Carissa's Wierd - Songs About Leaving

Hawks
August 31st 2010


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is awesome. Kvhost sounds a lot better on this than he did Supervillain Outcast.

Digging: Engraved - Before The Tales

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
August 31st 2010


6110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If the controversy in your review persists, i will review it.



PS: I hope this didn't sound like a threat

lol :-P

scissorlocked
August 31st 2010


3510 Comments


nouveau gloaming is better in my opinion and desperately needs a review

go,go Voivod!!!

Burn2Burn
August 31st 2010


2378 Comments


album's kind of boring.

scissorlocked
August 31st 2010


3510 Comments


Nouveau Gloaming needs its time

I think you'll find it preety interesting

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
September 1st 2010


6110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

most avant-garde black metal these days

This is an oxymoron.

really, there aren't much bands like Code and Ved Buens Ende out there.


@ scissorlocked

thanks for the vote of confidence, man lol

I can't find Nouveau Gloaming anywhere at the moment.

TheSpirit
September 1st 2010


17849 Comments


Avante-garde black metal is quite often really bad though.

Digging: Wreodan Heahl - Laecig

BallsToTheWall
September 1st 2010


44400 Comments


Arcturus, Manes and Sigh are good but yeah pretty much.

Sabottheory
September 2nd 2010


355 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

People really should stop calling the genre 'avant-garde black metal'. I haven't heard a really bad album from that genre yet, though.

FenixZero
March 15th 2011


385 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is great, this band is great. Really digging the vocals, they're the strongest part of the album to me.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2011


6110 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah the vocals here are the shit.

Hawks
March 15th 2011


35824 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah this rules.



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