Code : Lost Signal

a3804022152_16It’s often interesting when a band decides to revisit some of it’s back catalogue then reimagines and reworks some of their tracks. Years pass, band members grow up and mature (well, sometimes) and technology marches on.

London’s Code are the latest band to take another look at some of the picks of their back catalogue and give them a second life. The six tracks on this E.P. span the band’s decade long history, from 2005’s Nouveau Gloaming right up to 2015’s Mut.

One thing that makes this release so interesting is the fact that, as fans already know, the band’s style has developed a lot over the past 10 years, growing from weaving fairly straight up Black Metal soundscapes into something much more expansive in scope. The PR blurb uses words like “subtle” and “introspective” and we can’t argue with that.

For me the reworking works best when it’s faithful to the original, but sufficiently different to show how the band have grown. This is typified by the stunning new version of The Rattle Of Black Teeth from 2009’s Resplendent Grotesque which sweeps along majestically and makes an already good track nothing short of great.

Another gem on here is album closer Black Dogs, which sees the Nouveau Gloaming track brought bang up to date, and given something of a Murder Ballads makeover which I love.

The other advantage of reworking older tracks is that although they were written at different times they are all recorded in the same time and place which means that everything hangs together extremely well as a modern album rather than a cabinet of curiosities. If you don’t know Code then there’s nothing here to make you suspect that the tracks span a decade of the bands history, it all hangs together and sounds like a “new” album, and a great jumping in point for anyone wanting to discover the band.

The album was produced by the band themselves, so it’s free of outside influence, instead you get Code in their present, purest 2017 sense complete with sweeping, progressive melodies and an underlying feeling of majestic intent.

Lost Signal is well worth half an hour of your time, if you’re already a fan then it’ll definitely be interesting to hear the re-imagining that some of the tracks have been given.

And if you’re not, you may well be after a couple of listens.