The black metal collective known as CODE are finally back with the follow-up to their now cult and underground masterpiece Nouveau Gloaming, released on Spikefarm in 2005. Samoth from EMPEROR described it at the time as a great and unique modern black metal record that is very rare these days. It has taken four years of toil and tribulation to create an album that is a step far beyond the confines of their genre. Resplendent Grotesque is a more honed and refined musical odyssey, getting to the roots and core of the sound, yet progressive, intricate and intelligent in composition. Each part being developed and matured much further than before, the influences are beyond their genre and more difficult to define. Composer extraordinaire Aort, wordsmith/singer Kvohst and Norwegian gent and musical arch-magician Vicotnik are joined this time by Adrian Erlandsson from the legendary Swedish death metal group AT THE GATES on drums. Recorded at Fredman Studios, Sweden, the band were able to up the ante and give the new material the level of craftsmanship it required. This album is a brave step into uncharted territories in black metal offering listeners and their fans an album that is timeless and without compare.
For such a short album, I would have really liked its entirety to be every bit as brilliant as it unquestionably gets at its best, but that really is the only criticism I have. While a few of the tracks are only very good, as opposed to excellent, Resplendent Grotesque is an entirely respectable follow-up to the landmark that was Nouveau Gloaming, which is saying a lot. - Chronicles of Chaos5/5