Code Orange's I Am King is strange, devastatingly heavy and cohesive all at once. Being the band's sophomore album release, Code Orange has certainly stepped up its game in every way possible. You can think of the previous album (Love is Love//Return to Dust) as an energetic, pissed-off kid. However, I Am King is that same kid, now a few years older with a full suit of body armor and weaponry. Taking influences from bands such as Turmoil, Disembodied, Earth Crisis and Vision of Disorder, I Am King is truly a powerhouse to be reckoned with. Clocking in at about 32 minutes, the half hour of music is a total onslaught leaving very little room for recovery.
The title track, “I Am King,” will give you a sense of uneasiness – only to be completely decimated by the ending of the song. “Slowburn” is another song that creates total destruction. “Dreams in Inertia” is Code Orange dragging you into a haunting hypnosis, but you will soon be woken up by the full blown assault that is “Unclean Spirit.” The ending of this song is my favourite part of the entire album. Listen and find out why.
“Alone in a Room” and “My World” are two of the best songs, in which I think the members of Code Orange showcase the best of everything they have to offer. “Starve” is the only song where you are able to catch your breath, for, when it ends, “Your Body Is Ready...” is a full-on battery. “Thinners of the Herd” and “Bind You” are also two solid songs, but “Mercy” is where your life ends. It's an amazing song, and the ending is unspeakably devastating and obliterating.
Love it or hate it, this is Code Orange. “Out with the old. In with the new. No Mercy.” Taking elements from all across the spectrum of heavy music, I Am King is THE hardcore record of the year. Unafraid of criticism and naysayers, Code Orange has shaped themselves into a band that will not go unnoticed. The shattering guitar riffs, the unforgiving drumming, Goldman’s crazy bass riffs and the outstanding vocals of Jami, Reba and Eric create an album that is truly all that Code Orange wanted it to be.