“The intensity of your desire governs the power with which the force is directed”- John McDonald
It is rare to find a band in this day of age that brings a certain amount of intensity to their music while retaining elegance and grace. This couldn’t be any further from the truth for the band, Codec. Not since the days of the incarnation of the band Tool has a band brought such intensity and dynamics as to how we listen and interpret music on an individual level. Codec is not simply a band that writes excellent music, but one that is able to channel their energy into the listener’s mind in which they are immersed in a plethora of sight, color, and sound. It is in, “Horizontime”, that the listener is not only exposed to groundbreaking material, but taken on a journey of introspection, revelation, and acceptance…
Horizontime launches with the song, “Bifurcate”, in which the listener is introduced Codec’s theatrical sound and presence. In this song, the band creates a perfect blend of well crafted, subsonic music accompanied with lyrics that gracefully leads the listener in a mesmerizing direction. In the same respects, the listener is truly introduced to Codec’s destructive beauty in the songs “Notch” and “Zeroth”. “Notch” presents the listener with a dynamic display of distorted Middle Eastern sounding guitar arrangements, and hypnotic vocals that make the listener feel like the are in a lucid dream. Furthermore, lead singer, Greg Allen Norris, hooks the listener with a unique chorus:
Some say in the here and now we’re growing weary
Some say let’s try for something worth living
Some say in the here and now we’re always looking the other way
So nothing gets in our way
“Zeroth”, the listener once again finds themselves in the midst of a musical collaboration that ventures into untraveled territory previously unheard in the previous tracks. Guitarists Dan Barnhart and Ryan Gudmundson open the track with a heavy, but catchy riff that characterizes the abilities of both guitarists. More so, Dan also solidifies his presence as a valuable member of Codec by providing beautiful synth arrangements that exalts and compliments Greg’s soaring vocal abilities.
A truly monumental track that should not be taken lightly is the song, “Vociferous”. The listener cannot but feel a spark of revelation while listening to this track as each individual contributes to the intensity felt in this one song. From the mammoth sounding guitars and the booming drumming patterns to the explosive sounding chorus and a predominating vocal performance, Codec will leave the listener in disarray and question if what they heard was really fabricated by the hands of man.
Finally, it is the song, “Daydreamer”, that bares the true essence of a band that possesses the eccentric ability to craft a musical masterpiece that cannot be duplicated by just anyone. The combination of fine tuned acoustics, a cadenced drumming pattern, and the echoing of lucid vocals engulfs the listener in a more than surreal experience. More so, the listener truly feels the compassion in Greg’s voice when he sings, “Giving up on you…don’t know where you are…when you hide”. Greg further capitalizes on this song with the lyrics:
Don’t wake me before it’s over
Stay in this dream with me
With me eternally
Don’t wake me up
The dream’s not over
Sleep endlessly with me eternally
Finally, the most impressive aspect of this song is graceful presence of small, but powerful acoustic guitar riffs that eventually lead to a dramatic build up in which the song then descends with the picking of a simple acoustic guitar and Greg’s haunting vocals.
For a debut album, Codec has released an album that is unparalleled to any other content that is found in the music scene of today. Codec’s music breathes new life into the musical machine that was once thought to have been dead and buried in a saturated scene of generic musicians. More so, “Horizontime”, embodies an energy and a presence that cannot easily be described nor replicated. In some ways, I have failed in my attempts to accurately and specifically describe what this band embodies, but to truly to understand, the listener must take that step into the unknown and leave behind all expectations when listening to Codec’s work. It is then that the listener will truly discover music that is not just for playing, but to experience.