Rising from the Southwest, Codex Alimentarius formed in 2009 and within a short time had gained a loyal fan base. Codex have taken a hold of the local music scene and earned high regard from venues, labels and the media; nationally and internationally since hitting the live circuit in September 2010.
Codex last released an EP back in 2010 named ‘The Infinite Growth Paradigm Verses Finite Resources’. Since then they have added two new members. Elliott Alderman-Broom as a third guitarist and Frank Dennis on drums as well as playing alongside bands such as Demonic Ressurection and death metal legends Vader. This was a long awaited release and it does not disappoint.
Track one on the EP is ‘Apophis’. A short introduction track that really sets about setting the mood for this EP. Cinematic brass and strings add to the already haunting background sounds. This track flows straight into track 2, ‘Pt. 1: Trajectory’. Without notice we are thrown straight into a bone-crushing introduction with complimenting guitar and drums parts accompanying demonic screams from vocalist Ray Arrell. A verse section dragged from the bowels of hell follows the already enticing introduction. A mature combination of both vocals and instrumental parts brings this whole song together with great flow and projection. Vocally this track leaves me thinking of Johan Hegg, front man for Swedish band Amon Amarth. The combination of lows a highs work really well and stand out amongst quite a challenging instrumental mix. As an opening track for the EP this works extremely well. The track flows throughout and never has a dull moment. With constant progression throughout the track you can really sense the added creativity from having the additional guitarist and drummer on board.
Track 3 is ‘Pt. 2: Azimuth’. ‘Azimuth’ is a track not to be taken lightly. This fast paced, riff filled, head banger is a masterpiece. This track is full of light and shade with a well-balanced combination of both atmospheric sections and fast paced riff sections. This mature writing style is very apparent and shows the development the band has made since their previous release. Backing synth is much more apparent in this track in comparison to ‘Pt. 1: Trajectory’, but for this style of track it was definitely well used. I was really impressed with the production on this track. Everything is very well balanced and the different layers made by the three guitarists can be clearly distinguished. A problem that can be apparent with a lot of bands using 3 guitarists.
The final track on the EP is ‘Pt. 3: Impact’. This track takes me back to seeing Dimmu Borgir at Bloodstock 2014. A hair-raising track filled with frighteningly powerful vocals and riffs. This is my personal favorite from the EP. The track is on a whole new level and really takes full advantage of the bands potential. Using all of the guitars to bring a new dimension to each riff and allowing the vocals to soar throughout. The outro to the track really sums up the EP with a haunting combination of acoustic guitars and violins that leave the EP with a ‘to be continued’ kind of feeling.
In summary I see this EP as a massive success. Progressing from the last EP, it is clear that the band has grown closer and has matured within its writing style and production. It is great to see a local band progress in such a way and produce an EP that is on par with some of the best in the genre. If you haven’t heard it already then I would advise you to take a listen now. You will be hearing a lot more from these guys I’m sure.
The Hand of Apophis is available now as a free download via bandcamp
Review by Siôn Roe
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