Released: 2007, Frontiers Records
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
The Codex is another project by guitarist Magnus Karlsson (Starbreaker, Allen/Lande) with the great singer Mark Boals. This is the first thing Mark Boals has done in three years and he let’s us know that he’s back in the game.
The bio says that The Codex is the heaviest and most aggressive thing Boals or Karlsson have ever done, but it’s really not THAT hard and heavy; it’s a melodic metal album with a lot of passion and vitality. The rhythm section is perfect, Boals sounds as great as ever and the guitar magician Karlsson once again takes my breath away. They really work perfectly together. My overall impression of the album is not aggressive, but heavy and melodic.
Karlsson wrote all of the material and if you’re familiar with his other work you’ll recognize Karlsson’s characteristic sound. But even though this is a brilliant album, I do have some concerns about the material. Many of the songs feel and sound like they’re leftovers from earlier works from Tribe or the Allen/Lande project. There’s also a heavy overdose of strings, keyboards and piano. Otherwise this is a stunning effort by Karlsson - who is one of the best guitarists in Europe - and the amazing Boals who never lets you down.
There are many stunning songs on the album, but the absolute killer tracks are “Beyond the Dark”, “Toxic Bliss”, “Bring Down the Moon”, “Running Out of Hate”, “Whole Again”, “Mistress of Death” and “Mystery”.