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The Codex - The Codex (CD)

The Codex
The Codex
by Grigoris Chronis at 13 November 2007, 10:39 AM

THE CODEX. Mark Boals is back and I feel more than anxious what this charismatic singer is up to these days. This 'kick-ass old-school haircut' frontman may have been worldwide known for his collaboration with 'I-am-the-one' Swedish guitar virtuoso Yngwie Malmsteen in the Trilogy (1986), Alchemy (1999) and War To End All Wars (2000) albums, but he has proven his charisma in singing majestic throughout - mainly- his RING OF FIRE and solo efforts from 1998 and onwards.
THE CODEX's debut album cover artwork is rather 'neoclassical' and I was curious enough to see if Mark would step deeply into this sub-genre or he'd lay mainly in the (so called) Melodic Rock field. Well, Mark has done both and (also) added enough of 'Dennis Ward-related' songwriting mode (to get the picture). So, don't be surprised to see resemblance to the likes of e.g. PINK CREAM 69 or JADED HEART, if you know what I mean.
This album's production is powerful and will not keep you rest with its amplitude and force. 00's guitar wizard/composer Magnus Carlsson (occupied with half the Frontiers releases, huh) has written (I guess he is the composer here) some really heavy tracks, while he is known for more sweet melodies. This is a surprise. OK, his contribution to STARBREAKER's and ALLEN/LANDE's songwriting is dynamic enough but I feel this time the Swedish ace has played it even louder! Toxic Kiss - among other songs - is the real proof.
The Scandinavian side of The Codex will bring to mind some of Malmsteen's moments but do not take it for granted, that Mark intended on sounding like himself years ago. The singer's throat is so developed that he can virtually combine three or four styles in one vocal line. Still, running throughout the album for the 3rd or 4th time I cannot clearly state who's the boss in The Codex. The average listener would assume it's a Mark Boals project with Magnus Carlsson on the background. The way I see it, this is a collaboration of two men never in business before, plus songs like Beyond The Dark, Bring Down The Moon or Mistress Of Death (not only these; the whole album bears this profile) has all elements each one is known for. Boals' voice is high enough on the mix and that's a good thing since he supplies the melody (along with some splendid keyboards around!) while the rest of the players (drummer Daniel Flores from MIND'S EYE/SECRET SPHERE/FARO is included) seem rather keen on the 'bombastic' side of The Codex.
Melodic Metal? Maybe. On the other hand, who needs these terms when you have Marc Boals on board? The Codex is an essential release for fans that instantly turn their head around if you call them names (sic)  like 'RING OF FIRE', 'Ignition', 'Malmsteen', 'neoclassical', 'melodic' and - of course - 'Frontiers'. Hope more fans will now have the chance to appreciate this voice.

4 Star Rating

Beyond The Dark
Raise Your Hands
Toxic Kiss
Bring Down The Moon
Running Out Of Hate
Dream Makers
Whole Again
Mistress Of Death
You Can Have It All
Garden Of Grief
Mark Boals - Vocals
Magnus Carlsson - Guitars & Keyboards
Linus Abrahamson - Bass
Daniel Flores - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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