June 1st sees the re-release of The Infinite Growth Paradigm vs Finite Resources, the debut EP from British metallers Codex Alimentarius. Going a big way, alongside their imposingly potent live presence, in earning them an immediately loyal fan base, the band’s introduction has been “re-fired and re-forged” in such a way that it not only commands but simply demands fresh attention. Like a great many we are sure, Codex Alimentarius evaded our radar first time around and indeed with its successor The Hand Of Apophis. Listening to the MK II version of The Infinite Growth Paradigm vs Finite Resources though, it feels more like destiny than annoyance that the Exeter outfit has taken to now to grab ears and an immediate appetite for their melodic death metal nurtured roar, the EP a searing wake-up call to the world of one fiercely exiting proposition.
Formed in 2009 by the quartet of vocalist Stephen Bending, guitarists Stan Kemble and Tim Wright, and bassist Andrew Dicker, Codex Alimentarius were soon making a strong imprint on the local live scene in their first year before expanding the line-up with the addition of third guitarist Elliott Alderman-Broom and drummer Frank Dennis in 2011. The Infinite Growth Paradigm Vs Finite Resources in 2010 only added to their growing reputation and appeal, its release followed by the band going on to tour with the likes of Vader, Krisiun, and Furyborn as well as share stages with bands such as Sonic Syndicate, Malefice, Evile, Revolker, Ted Maul, Demonic Ressurection and many more over the next handful of years. The well-received release of The Hand Of Apophis in 2014 followed the recruitment of Ray Arrell as the band’s new vocalist and the From Hell To Oblivion UK Tour with Enemy Reign the previous year. Despite all that, Codex Alimentarius was still a passing name for many but it is hard to see that remaining the situation as the revamped The Infinite Growth Paradigm vs Finite Resources resets and re-energises the inevitable emergence of the sextet to the fore of the European metal scene.
Mixed and mastered by Alderman-Broom and wrapped in the artwork of Dicker. Mk II opens up with Baptised and swiftly gets down to catching the imagination with nagging riffs and suggestive melodies within an electronic mist. It is an enticing start which does not force attention but teases and seduces it, coaxing intrigue into the venomously lined tones of Arrell and richly toned grooves just waiting to make their impact. Becoming bolder and in many ways even more toxically attractive, the song blossoms in presence and adventure with Arrell the source of animosity and rhythms the seed of imposing trespass; all bound in the simultaneously seductive and predatory adventure of the guitars.
It is a potent and quickly enjoyable start but one soon eclipsed by the mighty proposal of Collapse. It too harries the senses with riffs and flying beats, their rapacious intent matched by the brooding antipathy of bass. Yet there is a swing and hunger to it all driven by almost rabid grooves and gutturally celebratory vocals which simply enslave ears and imagination. With tinges of thrash and folk metal in its dynamic assault, the track is glorious; only growing to greater heights with reserved passages of melodic endeavour and craft woven into a web of senses entangling temptation.
Good Slaves swaps the boisterousness of its predecessor with a more controlled state but still with a heady drama of energy and portentous suggestion. Sweeping melodies add to its dark edge and cinematic climate, grooves and riffs colluding to provide a heart as rousing as it is invasive as the song ignites body and thoughts with ease before passing its success over to the infectious almost envenomed charm of No Return. It feels calmer and physically kinder than those before it yet makes up for it with a tonal animus which infests vocals, melody, and imagination alike. If missing the extra spark of the previous pair of songs, it is a compelling journey through impressing craft and aural discontent; a merger of light and dark, melody and antagonism which heightens an already keen appetite for band and sound.
There is a bait of real catchiness within the quickly persuasive Symbiosis which follows, a devilish grooving which has swift control of body and attitude as the track grows in virulent contagion and emotional jaundice. It is a beast of a tension strapped, malignant stomp providing another major moment within Mk II, a peak matched by the closing mystique cloaked Arise. With Middle Eastern hues flirting with ears and thoughts from within its feudal proposal, the song breeds and widens its tapestry of creative and physical dexterity; guitars weaving a net of emotional and expressive suggestion around plundering rhythms and vocal causticity. It is a gripping affair which though a slow burner compared to earlier tracks leaves the listener provoked in thought and greed to hear and explore more.
With hindsight now available, Codex Alimentarius have not only given their first EP a new lease of life but released and developed its true character as indeed that of their keenly adventurous and eventful sound. Infinite Growth Paradigm vs Finite Resources (Mk II) feels like the moment that the band will truly step out from the shadows or certainly stoke a fire of awareness and attention; the former most likely such the striking presence and also potential found within the release.
Infinite Growth Paradigm vs Finite Resources (Mk II) is released June 1st.
Pete RingMaster 23/05/2017
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