Vocals-Rhodan Ten Klue
Drums-Niek Ten Cate
1: Heat Of War
2: The Peace Paradox
3: Social Pressure
4: Hollow Meat
6: Beginning (Made for it)
7: Perfect Dancer
8: The Arithmetic Mean
Codex formed back in 2010 and four years later have produced their début full release titled: The Peace Paradox. Codex was initially a side project created by ex-Warchitecht members; Guitarist Ingmar Otter and bassist Arjen De Boer. They have teamed up with vocalist Rhodan Ten Kleu and drummer Niek Ten Cate to create nine tracks of fairly interesting and diverse content. Codex would have been looking for a dynamic way to be entering the fray and have set up The Peace Paradox to declare exactly what they are and announce their intent.
Codex start off the album with ‘Heat of War’ which stands as a good barometer for the style and feel for the album as a whole. It immediately provides a strong sense of character for Codex and introduces the core sound to the music that they have established. ‘Heat of War’ has several elements that gather and disperse throughout. It breaks from faster rhythms into vague melodies which refer back to the more up-tempo sections and then repeats this process. There’s not as much impact however there is much to appreciate. The same goes for the second track which is the title track of the album.
The Peace Paradox flows better than its predecesor and has some decent guitar work which carries on a similar introduction as Heat of War but it adds more drive behind their sound as the song progresses. Codex haven’t exhibited much force by this point although they do provide some very appreciable moments. However, there’s definitely something lacking or utilised incorrectly. Some of the vocal harmonies-a term used lightly-that crop up from time to time throughout this album don’t seem to bond as well as they are designed. This takes away from some of the instrumental pieces although these harmonies aren’t solely to blame for any loss of force.
The third song titled Social Pressure really serves as a stepping stone to Hollow Meat which serves up exactly what this album needed. Full of purposeful drive and enterprise, this is where Codex come to life. There is more of a thrash element throughout this song, acting as surrogate to the force and power that was lacking previously. So far the pillar that keeps the life-force of this album supported is Hollow Meat. There is a consistency to the general atmosphere throughout this album, as said previously, there is a definite theme binding these songs together, there was just not as much impact obtained until this point.
Codex don’t immediately follow on from Hollow Meat’s harder hitting structure with the fifth track Legacy but they do provide another example of the potent riffs that they can produce in Beginning (made for it). The song uses a combination of progressive melodies that break into this nice body of more thrash infused music. These moments are when Codex properly define themselves-albeit only for certain periods throughout the album-and the music seems to come together as a broader collective with all forces complementing each other.
The final third of this album follows the familiar trends that are incorporated throughout a lot of this record. The penultimate track is an instrumental piece titled The Arithmetic Means and serves as a strong representation of the band’s capabilities and showcases the progressive style to which they have worked towards. The final track brings a darker twist to the album as it opens with this blackened body of instruments. Atmospheric and hard hitting, Alienated provides an edge of brutality to Codex’s repertoire. Again the song doesn’t drift too far away from the core feel that is apparent throughout this album but it does add another dimension to the album and is more the shining black diamond that sparks further intrigue. At just under seven minutes it captures the senses and redeems some of the interest lost throughout some of the earlier tracks.
Codex have maintained a clearly identifiable core value to their style which touches upon a range of alternating structures, melodies and rhythms. There are elements that really are quite captivating and there are parts that really can inspire some movement but there seems to be a real lack of power behind their music. It may just be down to Codex trying to pull off something that isn’t in their genetic make up. They definitely have the capabilities of creating sound bodies of music but there seems to be no real potency. They come alive when they bring their heavier/thrashier edge to the foray but they have not exhibited enough of this. It will be interesting to see how they follow on from this release. Being a progressive band we can imagine that there will be certain shifts in the music that they will be creating but only time will tell if it will be something that can gather the reigns and truly grasp and announce what Codex are all about.