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Album Review: GODHUNTERCodex Narco

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Godhunter have been scene mainstays for years now. Though they've only flirted with widespread success, they seem much more comfortable crafting potent masterpieces that those of us who revel in the underground can enjoy. That being said – Codex Narco is an insane step forward for a band that lost a good chunk of its members after their last release. Musically though this seems to be for the better, with Godhunter taking on exciting new sonic highways, pushing into post metal, black metal and even touches of doom. I mean – the iteration of Godhunter that recorded Endsville would never have gotten away with a Tegan & Sara cover, for this version of the band it feels only natural. This is a release that pushes the musical scope of the band to brave new worlds and even from the first it is apparent that Codex Narco's devastating melodies and increasingly potent songwriting is going to leave you in complete awe. Godhunter are finally becoming the band I always hoped they could be.

There are a lot of really interesting twists and turns on Codex Narco, I think that the most notable is probably the bands penchant for interludes. Yet – as much as their interludes pay tribute to some of the genres tropes they also make sure to refine them in such a way that they serve to enhance the general vibe of the record and even feature a couple really cool ambient compositions. I think what makes this album such an addictive listen is the fact that it was really written to work as an album. One only need hear the transition from "Our Blood Is Poison" to "Cocaine Witches & Lysergic Dreams" to realize that the vision behind Codex Narco is a step ahead anything the band has done before. That being said – the group definitely has a few moments where they are clearly trying to figure out how this new lineup is going to work, but those hiccups are to be expected from a group who has been through so many major changes in the last few years.

The newfound focus on inner darkness and the demons that haunt our minds makes Codex Narco at times challenging, or at least a little too real. There is something comforting though in the sense of sublime sadness that the band communicates and the nihilistic ruminations the group dwells upon. You find yourself having to wrestle with thoughts nd philosophies that sometimes are best left unconsidered. Also to remember is that while this certainly is a step forward, the band hasn't forgotten their past and if you loved what you found on previous Godhunter records you will find more than a few parts that really fit into that mold. Getting lost in the grooves that define Codex Narco is pure auditory bliss and the way that the record evolves, even incorporating the Tegan & Sara cover into the overall vision is transcendent. If we get more of this fully fleshed out forward thinking magic from Godhunter in the future then the world is their oyster.

Score: 8/10

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