Dealing with lineup changes is something almost every long running band runs into sooner or later. Priorities shift or people want to pursue a different direction. UK-based avant-garde/black metal outfit Code is no stranger to that. With guitarist/ main composer Aort being the sole original member the band got the chance to rethink their musical approaches and “Augur Nox” is the fruit of their collective labor. Let’s take a closer look.
“Augur Nox” does lend towards the more avant-garde and experimental side of the band’s musical spectrum, although certain black metal aesthetics are still clearly looming in the background. Comparisons to the later albums by Enslaved, Borknagar and specifically Arcturus can be drawn. However, Code doesn’t share the playful Vaudevillian tendencies of the latter.
Where Code really excels at is the way how they combine dynamics with the dark atmosphere of their music. Tracks like ‘Black Rumination’, ‘Becoming Host’ and ‘The Lazarus Chord’ are great examples of that. The whole book of magic musical tricks is used on the album, but they’re merely there to cement the overall structure of “Augur Nox” and not for the sheer sake of having outlandish elements in their music.
A special mention should go to singer Wacian, whose screams, clean vocals and demonic whispers really add a whole new dimension to the band’s overall sound. He reminds me of ICS Vortex at times, but that’s only meant as a complement to the man’s considerable vocal talent.
If you want something different and a little experimental, then pick up this hidden little musical gem. “Augur Nox” by Code is one of those criminally overlooked records of last year. Don’t let it fade, because it’s worth your consideration and attention. Great album!