The Code of Life

After adding veteran metal vocalist Rob Rock (Impellitteri, Angelica, M.A.R.S.) to the fold, Warrior returns with its third full-length album The Code of Life. This is an album full of good riffs, strong melodies and stellar sonics. Compared to past Warrior records, this one has a darker, more ominous feel to it. This is at least partly due to the down-tuned approach of the guitars. Imagine a slightly more energetic version of Bruce Dickinson’s A Chemical Wedding.

The guitars are full and rich with a suffocating rhythm crunch and biting lead tones. He dual guitar harmonies in “Kill The Machine” are quite tasty. The bass is like an omnipresent growl that envelops your head and pounds into your brain as proven in the opening strains of “Standing.” The clarity and punch of the drums adds a drive and energy even to the albums cut time passages. Rock’s vocals are in your face and melodic. One good thing about him joining Warrior is it gives him a chance to be more aggressive while still maintaining his impeccable sense of melody. With very few exceptions, he sidesteps the vocal acrobatics and layering of his days in Impellitteri for a more gruff, intense approach reminiscent of his one album with M.A.R.S.

There are several highlights on The Code of Life, including the aforementioned “Kill The Machine” and “Standing,” and album closer “Retribution.” This tune has a driving, mid-tempo beat and strong riff. The vocals here are colored by a little compression, and the twin guitar lead is another grabber. Opening cut “Day of Reckoning” has a monster melodic guitar riff and showcases Rock’s strong melodic presence. The chorus here is good and catchy as well.

While at first the down tuned feel of the record almost gave it too much of a monotone feel, repeated listens reveal all the intricacies and nuances this gem has hidden in the songs. Overall this is very good, melodic, and somewhat updated heavy metal with weighty guitars and great vocals. All fans of melodic metal should seek this out.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Shawn Pelata
April 20th, 2001


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