The Peace Paradox

Codex are a heavy metal band from the Netherlands formed in 2011 who released their debut album in 2015.    
Sounding like traditional European power metal, 'The Peace Paradox' opens with the rat-ta-ta-tat 'Heat Of War'. Chopping guitars and a rampant backline with a distinctive vocal style, Codex have arrived on the metal scene. The title song 'The Peace Paradox' is a mid tempo hard rock song that has a dark, almost moody feel to it as it strolls on by. That feel continues as 'Social Pressure' creeps in with a much heavier almost doom style vibe. Tempo changes occur frequently which change the sound of the song, bringing in a classic guitar chug, rampant rhythms and a wander through an almost spooky spoken word mid section. The lead singer does have a vocal style that occasionally matches (Wolfsbane) singer Blaze Bayley.    
With almost a complete change in sound the album takes a full on heavy metal feel as 'Hollow Meat' thunders into life to make the head bangers bang their heads and the foot stompers stomp their feet. Full of pace and thunderous drums, this is classic heavy metal, played with passion and desire. Heavy guitars heralds the start of 'Legacy', a song that soon slows down and takes on a grunge style, with a morbid, morose feel. The vocals are stretched to a different level, the guitars maintain a heavy rhythm and the backline acts as more than just support. 'Beginning (Made For It) opens like a ballad but soon changes into a heavy, plodding power metal song.    
With styles ranging from metal to rock, grunge to doom, the album is in danger of losing identity and direction, which may well confuse the listener as to just which genre Codex play within. One thing is for sure, 'Perfect Dancer' is heavy metal, all bombastic and full of pace, with a blistering guitar sound. 'The Arithmetic Mean' wanders off and delivers some cracking riffs, hooks and grooves but no vocals. Closing the album is 'Alienated', which I hope Codex haven't done to some of the huge metal army around the world that follow heavy metal as a way of life. 'Alienated' has an arrogant vibe with buzzraw riffs, a strained vocal delivery and is stuck somewhere between the metal and grunge genres. The entire album is varied and does sway from one genre to another. Call me old school or old fashioned but I like albums to have an identity and direction and to follow it, all the way.    
Overall, a confusing mix of metal and rock, that steps into the grunge, doom and power metal genres leaving the listener confused yet intrigued.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins