There aren’t many albums that take the seasoned listener by surprise anymore, but this one does provoke a double-take.
<code> have long been a very different band from the English/Norwegian progressive BM project (featuring members of Dødheimsgard and Ulver, no less) they started out as.
Even so, 2013’s Augur Nox was still more or less recognisable – yes it featured new vocalist Wacian and his distinct signing voice, but it also had aggressive vocals and moments of aural brutality. Not so here – in fact Mut is even advertised as ‘progressive post-rock’ and the spacey new compositions prompt enough Pink Floyd/Porcupine Tree/Radiohead comparisons to justify the ‘progressive’ part of that tag. Wacian’s now primarily clean vocals are likely to be divisive, the eccentricities often bordering on the irritating. There are still moments of darkness, such as Affliction, but the sense of detachment in the band’s writing style is less effective in a non-metal context and the softer moments lack the emotional pull to really succeed.