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Division of Labor

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Album Review

Division of Labor is the follow-up to Codeseven's 1998 full-length album, A Sense of Coalition, and to say the risk in making this album was great is being polite. In many hardcore fans' minds, Coalition was the epitome of perfect emocore. How does one follow up such an album? Codeseven chose to go the quick way and release a small collection of new material packaged as a mini-LP. Containing six tracks of unrelenting frustration and beauty, Division of Labor marks a departure from the punk stylings found on a number of tracks on the Coalition album and takes more of a step into full-on hardcore and emo. In tradition, Codeseven begins this album with the intensity of a trapped badger — mean, heavy, and foaming at the mouth — yet by the time the last track finishes, this wild beast has been calmed and tamed to a certain level of safety. Unfortunately what this album fails to do is fully display all of Codeseven's many talents. While the album does outdo itself musically, emotionally, and vocally, Jeff Jenkins' melodic voice is drowned out by the overbearing thunderhouse provided by the three Tuttle brothers and Eric Weyer. David Owen has gotten his scream stabilized, with less cracking and screeching, yet something seems missing. The best way to explain this is by listening to the piano that wraps up "Leaches of Karma." Although at first sounding beautiful and light, one eventually hears mistakes and hesitations, knocking the otherwise exquisite piano playing down to moderate yet flawed expertise. Perhaps the album just takes time to grow on the listener; it took several listens to Coalition before many discovered its treasure chest of emotion, but if Codeseven wants to remain in the game they need to release an album that is consistent and has fewer weak spots. The average emocore fan will enjoy this, but it may not win over the next-door neighbor who is into whatever is played on MTV. This music is more art than anything; if it was a painting, it would be one of Monet's lesser-known ones — beautiful, but overshadowed by previous offerings. ~ Jason D. Taylor, Rovi


Formed: 1995 in Winston-Salem, NC

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

First formed as a death metal act, Codeseven's first and major influences comprised bands such as Napalm Death and Fear Factory. However, the Winston-Salem crew rapidly decided to solidly evolve into a pure new-metal-style group. Constituted in the mid-'90s by brothers James (guitar), John (bass), and Matt (drums), in addition to Eric (guitar), Codeseven counts on the work of two vocalists, Big Dave Owen and Jeff Jenkins. Providing them with the substantive differences in terms of style, both Owen...
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Division of Labor, Codeseven
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