How could they ever follow up the high standards that they had set for themselves with the aforementioned albums ? Somehow, the band might have actually managed to pull it off with 2005’s ‘The Code Is Red…Long Live The Code’ record, which if I was being hyperbolic I would simply call one of the best albums by anyone ever. This is certainly an album which can evoke strong positive opinions upon listening to it, even if you may be forced to tone down the praise later in the name of objectivity.
Standout material includes ‘Morale’ as well as the explosive, awkward and very catchy ‘Climate Controls’ and ‘The Great And The Good’ which features guest vocals from Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedy’s fame. The album features two more guest stars in the from of Carcass’s Jeff Walker and Hatebreed’s Jamie Jasta both of whom perform well and add a nice extra little touch to an already rock solid album.
Musically; The album is very technical compared to most of their work, although settles into the usual Napalm Death groove with furious blastbeats and intense high speeds throughout but occasional doomy slow tempos for variety. The guitars and bass deliver the band’s trademark post millennial sound that mixes classic death metal, grindcore and hardcore punk.
Of course, there will always be people who just want the gimmick of Scum, especially ‘You Suffer,’ and may be disappointed by this album which sounds very different to what they will be expecting. However if this was your first test of Napalm Death and you were interesting in buying into something exciting and relevant rather than just a nostalgia act, you will most certainly not be disappointed. The production job is perfect, there are memorable songs, the drums are the most impressive they’ve ever been (checkout the fills in ‘Losers’ and the title track) and Barney’s voice has never sounded better.
To summarize; The Code Is Red’ is a brilliant album from Napalm Death, a must-have for fans of the band and something interesting to try for fans of modern extreme music.