Code Orange - Leeds O2 Academy
All unique and terrifically exciting in their own way, whomever decided to put Gojira, Code Orange and Car Bomb on the same bill deserves a chocolate selection box of the finest quality. Top marks.
Unfortunately, transportation around the north of the UK is less celebration-worthy (in this case the delights of traffic on the M1) meaning that we only caught the last couple of tracks from New York's progressive metalers/mind-fuckers Car Bomb [8/13], who chased onlookers into a nightmarish labyrinth of Meshuggah-inspired riffing and dizzying tempo changes. Consistently as heavy and uncomfortable as a massage from a cement-mixer, Car Bomb have a "blink and you'll miss it" approach to songwriting that sees them lock into a groove, only to disappear instantly in an altogether different direction. Whilst this is as thrilling as it can be undeniably challenging, by the time Secrets Within brings their set to a close, there's no doubt that Car Bomb have won over some new fans this evening.
With Forever, Code Orange [12/13] have already released what is certain to be one of the best heavy releases of 2017. Their blend of hardcore, metal, industrial and electronics is savagely executed and, at times, the aural equivalent of sticking your head in a jet engine. Fans of the album will then be delighted to know that Code Orange's live interpretation of these songs is nothing short of jaw-dropping.
Throughout the set, as well as being uncompromisingly heavy, there is a genuine sense of danger and drama courtesy of the live electronics delivered by Eric Balderose which occasionally builds to a crescendo of white noise and feedback, as well as the relentless energy of bassist Joe Goldman and drummer/vocalist Jami Morgan.
Opening with the title track from Forever, containing what must be a contender for riff of the decade, Code Orange simply batter the audience again and again across their 10 song set. Kill The Creator propels the pit into a spin and My World off 2014's I Am King sends bodies flying, before the remarkable Bleeding In The Blur introduces the melodic vocals of Reba Meyers into the mix to excellent effect. The bounce of The New Reality and Slowburn keep heads banging, and by the time the double-kick filled outro of The Mud has finished its pummeling, Code Orange leave the audience bruised, breathless and asking: "Wait, there's another band? Who the hell could possibly follow that?"