OLDCODEX – A Silent, within the roar (Review)

olc

After a two year wait for a new album, OLDCODEX fans can rejoice, now that the band has released their 3rd album titled ” A Silent, Within the roar“. This album counts with some already known tracks for the fans like “Rage on”, “WALK” and “The Misfit Go”, the majority of them featured as opening songs in several known anime, for example “Free!” , “Kuroko no Basket 2nd season” or “Arata Kangatari”.

A Silent, Within the roar is available in two editions: regular and limited (CD+DVD). More details regarding the single:

Regular edition

Album:  A Silent, within the roar
Label: Lantis
Release date: 02/04/2014
Genre: J-Rock / Punk-Rock
Tracklist
1
reflection
2
Seek your turn
3
Frame in Flame
4
Rage on
5
WALK
6
Landscape
7
wire choir
8
optimistic negative thing
9
Backed out
10
The Misfit Go
11
How Affection

Track by track analysis:

1 – reflection

A small intro giving us what could be the everyday OLDCODEX in studio. Tatsuhisa narrates throughout this incredibly short intro, meanwhile painter YORKE. (in charge of the art and the lyrics) is getting ready to paint shaking his graffiti can and then writing something. Let’s get ready for the rest of the album.

2 – Seek your turn

Kicking off with a strong bassline and guitar, “Seek your turn” comes off as a really energetic, punk-rock track with an amped up chorus and strong, aggressive guitar work. It might come as a pretty noisy track for some until you reach the chorus but it all comes together with the extremely noticeable bass that leads the rest of the instrumental throughout the whole song. The only upside down is that Tatsuhisa’s voice would mix better with the instrumental if he sang it in a more rough/deep tone as he usually does.  4.5/5

3-    Frame in Flame

An unusual track in OLDCODEX’s repertoire. For those used to the more aggressive guitar riffs, unstoppable drums, amped up, hyped choruses that make OLDCODEX’s signature “moves”, this track goes towards a more peculiar path. The guitar is the owner of that peculiar sound and impresses from start to finish. The main focus throughout the song is put on the guitar and the bass, leading the way along Tatsuhisa’s piercing vocals. A nice song overall. 5/5

4 – Rage on

“Rage on” was the opening theme of the popular swimming anime “Free!”, this amped up, aggressive and punk-rockish track is probably one the best in this album. Both guitar and drums deserve props because they simply blew it out of the part, making this track one of the most technical and entertaining tracks in the album, with a chorus so powerful that it quickly makes you scream along throughout the whole chorus.  5/5

5 – WALK

Upbeat song with ranging guitars, speedy drums and an amphed chorus, “Walk”, the already well known song for the fans since it is the ending theme for Kuroko’s Basketball anime since October, is a song full of energy and a natural punk rock theme. The chorus just begs us to join in and scream our lungs out. The instrumental piece is addictive and an interesting change of pace in comparison with the singles the band has released so far this year. With “Walk” we can say that OLDCODEX are back to their high speed punk rock from their early releases. (previously reviewed HERE4/5

6-    Landscape

A punk-rock track through and through. Another track a adding new elements to OLDCODEX’s usual style, especially the guitar parts in the beginning sound a little more technical in the beginning of the song, a bit reminding us of the early 00’s with the american punk-rock band Blink 182 kind of guitar playing, The chorus is strong and demands us to sing along. On the guitar side we need to commend the impressive guitar playing that moves everything around it, turning the whole song into a solid good track, the only thing that probably is missing in this song is the usual loud bass, but aside from that the instrumental is incredibly good. 4.5/5

7 – wire choir

wire choir” is another strong track, with some synth pads in the beginning but quickly the synths are put in the background giving their spot in the spotlight to the guitar. The more melodic guitar parts are a delight to listen in an album dominated by the most aggressive, loud guitar riffs, and this kind of playing comes off as a good change of pace. What we missed in “Landscape” this song has it, the strong bassline that make all bass lovers go crazy. The whole instrumental behind the song, especially the guitar and bass are probably the reason why this is the best song in this album. The strongest track in the album. 5/5

8 – optimistic negative thing

Starting incredibly aggressive and loud, “optimistic negative thing” might fool us if we are expecting a full throttle track. All of a sudden the so-called rock-oriented track goes through a different path and the track gives way to the electronic elements to take over the instrumental track until the last second. The guitar and the drums are still there but the spotlight is completely taken away from them and put on the danceable instrumental in a track that almost has no vocal track. But still the parts that have a vocal part show us Tatsuhisa’s voice manipulated and surprisingly enough we still have a guitar solo after all that electronic instrumental piece, still the solo wasn’t satisfactory enough due to its shortness. 4/5

9 – Backed out

Backed out” is another heavy registry in OLDCODEX’s repertoire. Resorting to the raging guitar delivering us one of the weirdest guitar parts OLDCODEX has presented us to date, the guitar parts in this track gives us a kind of diabolical, ghoulish feeling, easily matched by Tatsuhisa’s piercing vocals. A fast paced track that shows yet another side to ODC’s music. This track wins the award for creepiest track in the album. 5/5

10 – The Misfit Go

Great guitar intro leading to soft yet amazing vocals by Ta_2. The song slowly builds up  momentum with the drums marking the pace to deliver a very strong chorus with an almost mesmerizing bassline and the rough vocals matching the guitar melody making the perfect setting/harmony in this song, turning this song into one of the best I’ve heard from the band. In the outro Tatsuhisa’s voice doesn’t fail in the high notes, proving that he has got a good vocal control. (As featured in HERE) 5/5

11 – How Affection

While dropping the curtains in the album we are presented with a last hour surprise. OLDCODEX doesn’t have a record regarding ballads but this time they show that they are as able to write a balad as they are to write those aggressive, amped up tracks that for several years have been the band’s signature “moves”. This slower and more melodic song was an amazing choice to close this album. It’s a perfect opportunity to showcase Tatsuhisa’s vocal potential, showing us that he is not only skilled for those rough, punk-rock vocals but also for those melodic ones. The instruments, one by one, make their appearance in the track, a track lead by the acoustic guitar leading the way to Tatsuhisa’s melodic vocals.A track without big changes in the tempo but still able to deliver a strong, beautiful chorus. The curtain falls in the best way possible in this album. 5/5

Final rating: 4.5/5

A strong, solid album with only a down side presented us with”optimistic negative thing”, the black sheep in this album clearly dominated by fast-paced drums, aggressive guitar riffs, amped up choruses that makes”optimistic negative thing” pale in comparison. For some people the track probably just doesn’t mix well with the rest of the album that is more punk-rock oriented. Aside from that it was noticeable in several tracks that the band is trying to improve themselves slowly bringing to the table uncommon elements, not because they’re weird, but because they haven’t been used as much by the band or are only being used by the band in this album. The acoustic guitars, synths or even the heavy electronica are starting to make their spot in OLDCODEX’s sound and that is not necessarily a bad thing.  Two good examples of this “so-called” innovation are: “wire choir” that resorts more to the usage of synths as the other tracks and comes off as a victor in this album, or even “How Affection” that is a ballad impressing with OLDCODEX’s tender side. Ballads aren’t OLDCODEX’s forte but they still pulled it of which is commendable to say the least. Overall this is good, entertaining album with strong and heavy songs that’ll make the fans expect more and even better from the band in the future.

A Silent, within the roar” is available for purchase on CDJAPAN for all overseas fans.

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Author: Nadine Silva

Reviewer and News editor at The Hand That Feeds HQ since 2012. Based in Portugal. Translation graduate. Hobbyist piano player.