Black metal turns prog. That’s the tagline for “mut” by the band Code. Code has been around a while but seems to always have a sense of adventure along with a desire to reinvent themselves. I did listen to clips of their last album to gain some perspective on this one. “Augur Nox” is a modern black metal / prog metal album which would be a major achievement for any band. One could completely understand if Code just released another album along the same lines. Code does not follow the rules.
“mut” is basically the evolution of Code. It is also an absolute, complete and utter masterpiece. This album is another reason I love being allowed to review albums for this site. Let’s start with the breath-taking vocals of Wacian, who is so powerful and packs such emotion into every single note he hits. And he can hit any note at any time. Listen to the track “Dialogue” for a showcase of his quiet, almost whispers which are paired perfectly with his glorious full voice. “mut” gives Wacian the chances to really sing versus the black metal vocals that were present on “Augur Nox.” It proves he can do anything. He does growl slightly on the song “Affliction” and because it’s used so sparingly, it adds extra weight when he does it.
I love how each instrument has its place in the mix. A guitar on each side, crystal clear drums, a bass you can actually hear and keyboards (like a mellotron) that fill the gaps. The songs are all a perfect length and never overstay their welcome. There is a perfect flow from track to track. Musically, the band can sound dark and cold one minute and then loud and powerful the next. “Contours” is a good example of how the band can provide the perfect backdrop for Wacian’s powerful, emotional vocals.
I can’t say enough great things about “mut,”
though I am certainly trying to do so. Fans of OLD King Crimson will enjoy this album, along with listeners who like when a band stretches out and explores new areas in their music. While “mut” is completely different from their previous albums, it still makes perfect sense and could only be done by this immensely talented lineup of Code. Band leader and guitarist Aort deserves a ton of credit for guiding Code to their next level of greatness. At just
under 36 minutes, it might seem like a short album but there isn’t a wasted second on this album. I don’t give perfect scores hardly ever, but anything less than a perfect score would be an insult to this work of art.