LIVE: Code Orange @ The Haunt, Brighton

By Glen Bushell

It takes roughly tens seconds into Code Orange’s set for The Haunt in Brighton to be transformed into a veritable warzone. Hardly surprising given how aggressive they sound tonight, and their dedicated following give them everything at this one-off show. Having been around the world playing huge shows with System Of Down, Deftones, Gojira, and countless other metal titans, club shows are where Code Orange are most at home. This is well and truly their element.

As the cacophonous riffs of the title track from their album of the year contender, ‘Forever’, rain down from the stage, their sound is huge. Now a five piece, the triple guitar onslaught and addition of layered electronics give them a thick, uncompromising presence. The dissonant, stop/start onslaught of ‘Kill The Creator’ is simply punishing, and despite being situated behind a drum kit, vocalist Jami Morgan still has the power to command the crowd.

Far from your average macho hardcore band, and still a world away from the clean cut metal bands that grace energy drink sponsored festival stages, the accomplished, nuanced playing of Code Orange puts them leagues above anyone else. Few bands who rely on caustic intensity could drop an indie-rock driven track like ‘Bleeding In The Blur’ – where guitarist Reba Myers’ voice really gets a chance to soar – next to the stacked breakdowns of ‘My World’ and get away with it. Yet for the Pittsburgh band it seems a natural fit to their dark and desolate vibe, and the manifesto of owning your own world with no boundaries.

Morgan takes the time to address that the band have “been doing a whole lot of other shit,” insisting that they are, rightfully, always going to do that, but thanks the hardcore kids that have stuck with them. Code Orange will clearly never forget where they came from. This leads into ‘The New Reality’, which sends The Haunt to seven shades of bat shit. The tracks aired from their 2014 masterpiece, ‘I Am King’, are greatly appreciated, but in a rare turn of events, it is the newer tracks that seem to connect more with the audience. It doesn’t stop the aforementioned record’s title track from bringing the set to a brutal close.

Code Orange have generated more hype around them in the past few years than any other aggressive band, yet every inch of it is justified. Transcending the hardcore scene without compromising their sound, and becoming a true example of what you can achieve when you believe in yourself and your art. Code Orange is forever.