Review Summary: Sweet modern melodic death metal with nice touches of this and that.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
The modern Danish metal scene might be considered mediocre in most cases, but that is really unjust. A lot of underground Danish metal bands are fantastic examples of what the people in Denmark are capable of when it comes to metal. Bands like Submission are unfortunately left unnoticed and albums like Code of conspiracy are quickly forgotten. That’s a shame and I’m here to explain why.
Code of conspiracy is an example of modern melodic death metal done right. The songwriting is honestly excellent and all the songs are memorable. Borrowing the sound and riffs from bands like Soilwork mixed with really impetuous and well played drumming, Submission creates a nice groove and their own melo-death sound. To compare them with Soilwork is fair, but only for so long. You can obviously hear Gothenburg influences in Code of Conspiracy, but the overall sound is way more aggressive and technical than for example Soilwork which is in this case the best example. Submissions more atmospheric part lies within the clean vocals and pretty much all songs feature these kinds of vocals. This albums industrial sounds can't go unnoticed either. You can hear Fear Factory influences during many songs, but it’s not an overwhelming matter. As we might know Denmark pretty much stole the Meshuggah sound an implied it in bands like Mnemic and throughout Denmark's metal scene we have heard this particular industrial/technical sound. The sound on Code of Conspiracy is also very thrash metal like which is obvious since the Gothenburg sound is the most commonly heard in this album.
The guitar riffs are very tricky and just overall very cool. Has fast tremolo parts often during the verses and slows down to metallic sounding accord during the choruses. Guitar solos also occurs from time to time through the album and they are really nothing special, but sometimes really fast in songs like “A Terror Within”. The solos are not obsolete though, and is a nice touch to Code of Conspiracy, for what is a melodic death metal band without guitar solos? This is not a formula that this album follows strictly, but it’s the most common. The bass is good, but your attention is always drawn to the great riffs and it’s easy to just unintentionally ignore the bass. It’s not that shallow though and it has actually a really nice sound to it. Since it’s modern melodeth I didn't really expect to be overwhelmed by awesome bass so it’s not a major complaint at all. As I have stated the drumming is really good. A lot of tempo changed occur and the sound of the snare is sweet. Great drumrolls with a lot of variety through the album. The drummer in Code of Conspiracy is Morten Lowe Sorenson and he is currently members of bands like Amaranthe, The Arcane Order, Mercenary and Dragonland. He is undoubtedly a great death metal drummer and I personally enjoy him the most in The Arcane Order. The vocals are great, but is not in the forefront for why this album is fantastic. It’s your standard mid ranged scream and growl that occasionally goes deeper or higher and the vocals are also very well utilized with a lot of atmospheric adding effects. During most of the choruses the clean vocals enters and it’s good, but hardly anything to special. The vocals once again reminds me a bit of the once used in Soilwork. You might now think that if I don’t like Soilwork I won’t like this and that is honestly partially true, but this is on the other hand a excellent album no matter from where they have got their sound.
Songs with the length of almost seven minutes is not to common in the modern melodic death metal scene and that is another thing that Submissions does well. Non of these “longer” songs are ever boring or stretched. The production is crystal clear, but can feel a bit shallow at points. That is however not big enough for me to lower the rating. It is worth mentioning, but not to be analyzed further. Overall originality is a bit of a problem for Submissions even though they have formed a distinct sound in Code of Conspiracy. It lacks in personality at points and this problem could be fixed with a wider vocal range for me
As a conclusion:
All songs a worthwhile and the album as a overall experience is not boring or tame in anyway. The guitar riffs are awesome and so is the drumming. The bass and the production in general is a bit shallow, but these are the only complaints and as I mentioned before, very minor. The vocals are good and that’s pretty much it. This album deserves a 4 for sure anyway and it really is worth checking out.