Review | OLDCODEX “Core Fade”

OLDCODEX

Synths take center stage for OLDCODEX’s Core Fade and this results in yet another raw and powerful entry in their repertoire.

OLDCODEX Core Fade regular
Regular
Title: Core Fade 
Label: Lantis 
Release date: 22/04/2020 
Genre: Alternative Rock

Tracklist:

1 - Core Fade
2 - Blow Away
3 - UPDRAFT

Track by track analysis:

1 – Core Fade

OLDCODEX goes big on electronica for Core Fade. The song kicks off in a simplistic fashion, mixing simple synth melodies with fancy guitar riffs and a slow paced, marching tom beat.

The song builds up in a rather interesting way, with the pre-chorus going quieter than the rest of the verses, slowly building up to the explosive chorus.

The outro brings chill out string melodies and distant guitar riffs into the mix to create a haunting yet laidback vibe to this unique track. It is safe to say that Core Fade revisits some things the band has done before – the focus on electronica – but mixing it with their more mature and simplistic pop-rock edge that we have found in LADDERLESS, for example.

This is a song that does not require Ta_2 to go all out on screaming. He is singing in a raspy tone and mixing some rap parts in the middle. Together with the attention-grabbing instrumental we have one rare and cool track. 

2 – Blow Away

Blow Away has a haunting intro, with a melancholic piano melody setting the dramatic tone for this track. On top of it, washing synths cover the listener, taking you into this dreamy yet empty picture being painted by the pacing drums and urgent guitar riffs.

Synths blast in the chorus but these are kept at a tasteful minimum, enhancing the tone of the track and giving more depth to the track.

Guitar riffs are simple but powerful, going low for an impactful performance. Ta_2’s raspy and emotional vocals are at center stage, shining on top of that awesome piano intro and carrying over strong emotions throughout, peaking in the bridge.

3 – UPDRAFT

Dirty guitar riffs, pounding drums and a reverberating bass line set a dark tone to UPDRAFT. The song progresses in a rather unique way, with the first verse having two distinct sections, a louder, powerful one and a quieter that builds up tension to the chorus.

The chorus introduces electronica, with synths leading the way. While this is not the best chorus OLDCODEX have managed to create, it is still rather entertaining even if it lacks the tension that we found in the verses, leaving an anti-climactic taste.

Ta_2 goes into yet another mix of raspy singing, having only a couple of instances in which he pushes for his vocals to deliver more power, nearing his trademark screaming in these kinds of darker and louder rock songs. Solid track however the chorus does not carry over nor resolve the tension in the verses which, ultimately, makes this song feel like it is incomplete.


Final considerations

OLDCODEX continue on their successful and inspired streak of releases. Core Fade introduces a whole lot of electronica – basically, took over it – but did so in a tasteful way that previous attempts by the band hadn’t managed to pull off.

All in all, Core Fade is a banger with 2 insanely good songs and one that, although something was amiss, still packs a hell of a punch (and will be awesome on a live setting).

The title track, Core Fade, is pretty cool song. The whole haunting vibe to it is an attention-grabber, making the listener want to listen to more, trying to anticipate any changes in the progression or surprises in the vocal approach. From the simple, pounding verses to the uniquely explosive, yet with a quiet edge, chorus there was no shortage of awesome riffs, catchy beats and clever lyrics.

Blow Away paints such a sorrowful yet beautiful image that is hard to not notice and be affected by it. Pretty unique take on the ballad genre – has some touches of power ballad on it – but adding it an electronica edge that worked incredibly well. This was a tasteful mix that managed to hold my attention from start to finish.

UPDRAFT although noticeable louder, it lacks the power and consistency the previous tracks have. While there are interesting melodies and the bass work is off the charts, this track completely misses out on giving a satisfying conclusion to the listener by toning down tension in the chorus instead of releasing it. Even with awesome verses, the chorus was lackluster.

On the vocal end, Ta_2 delivered a set of clean – yet, still in his raspy fashion – performances, seldom resorting to screamo throughout. This is a nice touch in my opinion and I believe that, like myself, many OLDCODEX fans love it when Ta_2 taps into a more comfortable vocal register and absolutely kills it with clean emotion-packed performances. His clean vocals needed more opportunities to shine – after bringing us to tears (in several occasions) in previous releases.

Top marks as always for Ta_2’s performances.

While this is not a perfect release, OLDCODEX Core Fade is still a pretty cool and fresh single, it is certainly recommended to check out. It revisits the band’s previous experiences with electronica but, this time around, making those shine beyond what you could imagine.

Core Fade is available for purchase at CDJAPAN.

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