Review 2265 : Codex Mortis – Tales of Woe – English

Codex Mortis‘ rage is still irrigated.

Formed in 2017 in the Netherlands, the band didn’t unveil its debut album until 2021. Three years later, Dirk Willems (vocals), Mathieu Westerveld (bass), Arjan van Dune (guitar, ex-Bloodphemy) and Bart van Ginkel (guitar, ex-Izegrim) signed with Black Lion Records for the release of Tales of Woe.

The band called on Bram Hilhorst (Bodyfarm) for guitar leads and Michiel van der Plicht (Pestilence, ex-Apophys, ex-God Dethroned, ex-Prostitute Disfigurement…) for drums.

The album opens with the martial uncompromising approach of Forsaken, an initial raw composition with Old School overtones that gradually adopts other elements, such as more melodious leads, as well as some more ethereal parts. Capricious Disembodied Villain continues the duality, mixing massive blast and more dissonant riffs over a frenetic tempo, progressing between the different phases of violence before letting melancholy invade the first notes of Chosen, the following track, whose piano had absolutely not prepared us for such an outburst. The vocal parts’ rage perfectly completes the track, as does the final blaze that leads into the trenchant Trenched in Blood and its constant aggression, coupled with devastating Black/Death influences. The band continues with Fire, Screams and Death, which takes up much the same elements as the previous composition, adding melodious harmonics, but also an unusual, oppressive moment of quietude, before the eerie piano leads us into It Dies With Me, the final track that allows the musicians to unleash their full force with a jerky rhythm.

Codex Mortis has kept a relatively low profile between its two albums, but Tales of Woe will have everyone on their side with its searing riffs. Its only drawback is its length, less than thirty minutes, but violence has to be unbridled.


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