|Musical Style: Melodic Rock||Produced By: Jean Funes|
|Record Label: Independent||Country Of Origin: Honduras|
|Year Released: 2008||Artist Website:|
|Tracks: 10||Rating: 70%|
|Running Time: 47:46|
San Pedro Sula, Honduras based Codigo Eterno got its start as an instrumental side project of guitarist Jean Funes. Later adding a pair of female vocalists in Beatriz Aranda and Cesia Acosta after receiving an invitation to perform at an evangelical concert, the group rounded out its line up with the additions of keyboardist Diana Coto, drummer Hector Contreras and bassist Marco Coto prior to beginning work on its independently released self titled debut in 2008.
Codigo Eterno can best be described as a blend of melodic rock and hard rock but with modern overtones. The bands influences (listed on its MySpace profile) range from Stryper, HB, Harmony and Narnia to Red, Skillet, Pillar and Kutless. Yes, you will hear occasional elements of the latter here but not so much as to alienate fans of the former. If anything, the modern tendencies in question are a bit understated and by no means ruin or hold the project back (at least it did not for me).
If I were to invite a direct comparison it might be HB – the female vocal team of Beatriz and Cesia bring the same level of ability as HB front woman Johanna Aaltonen – but without many of the symphonic flavorings characteristic to the talented Finnish act. In other words, Codigo Eterno might not place the same level of emphasis on classical instrumentation but the quality remains the same.
Also similar to HB (at least its latest project Pikki Lihassa), Codigo Eterno features lyrics in the bands natural language (Spanish). Despite this, fans of not just HB but Lacuna Coil, Nightwish and Voice Of Glass should find a lot to like here.
What will also appeal to those into traditional metal and hard rock is that Andreas Passmark (Narnia) handles bass on all tracks while Markus Sigfridsson (Harmony, 7 Days, Darkwater) makes a guest appearance on lead guitar.
Musically, I find the material on Codigo Eterno to be well constructed and well executed but has too much of a “sameness” feel to it. All of the albums tracks, for example, are mid-paced while too many – five to be exact – fall within ballad territory. With half its tracks ballads, Codigo Eterno, for a lack of better words, can become somewhat of a redundant listen. It has always been by opinion that you do not want more than two or three ballads; any more than that and an album risks trending towards the predictable. And such is the case here.
The album gets off to a strong start with three rousing rockers in “Tocar El Cielo”, “En Medio De La Noche” and “Puera De Ti No Hay Nada”. Three ballads follow - “Llevame”, “Solo Tu” and “Misterio” – that hold up equally well but “Estar Junto A Ti” and “Romance”, the ensuing fourth and fifth ballads, cause my attention to waver. It is not that they are bad but, as already stated, an overabundance of ballads can prove to be trite. Fortunately, Codigo Eterno closes in a strong manner with a Goth-influenced number, “Promesa”, and the acoustic laced “Siempre”.
The album opens to “Tocar El Cielo”, a sweeping piece giving rise to accentuating keyboards and a sturdy mix of rhythm guitar. A pronounced melody adds to the refined scene as does the elegant vocal approach of Beatriz and Cesia.
“En Medio De La Noche” heads in the heavier direction. The song actually starts calmly to a gently played guitar only to pick up in pace as the rhythm guitar kicks in. Moving ahead at the more determined tempo, the song culminates as it obtains a catchy chorus reflecting highlighting touches of the commercial.
“Puera De Ti No Hay Nada” can best be described as classic melodic rock. Mid-tempo in capacity, the song features a pleasing ambience as it navigates its serene verses and memorable chorus- all the while putting in place the needed amount of edgy rhythm guitar. A joining of guitar harmony and lead guitar shores up a concise instrumental section.
“Llevame” takes a semi ballad approach. The song quietly navigates its first minute to a crisp acoustic guitar, sustaining the acoustic laced direction its remaining distance while gaining momentum for an enticing chorus in which a trace of rhythm guitar makes its presence felt.
“Solo Tu”, the second ballad in a row, majestically flows to a joining of piano and orchestration with the rhythm guitar occasionally rising above the mix. Initiative picks up – if only just slightly – for a luxurious chorus carried at the more decisive tempo. Markus Sigfriddson steps forward with the type of high quality soloing one would expect of him.
A piano quietly sustains “Misterio” its first minute and a half. Abruptly picking up in pace as the rhythm guitar steps forward, the song delivers the more steadfast sound the rest of its way in showcasing a regal chorus along with plenty of beautiful guitar harmonies during its instrumental moments.
Having “waded” through three ballads in a row, the album starts to turn into a repetitive listen at this point in that the two that follow “Estar Junto A Ti” and “Romance”, are also ballads. Some diversity – at least an up-tempo rocker or two – is desperately needed which, unfortunately, is not delivered.
“Promesa” features the low key male vocals of Luis Rios. A dark and swarthy piece, the song almost brings some Goth-like touches with its swirling low end and resonant ambience. A calmly played guitar carries the song from front to back while the rhythm guitar strategically steps in and out of the mix- with the outcome being an environment that almost brings to mind D.O.G.S. Of Pray.
Closing things out is “Siempre”, the albums longest (5:42) and slowest piece. Flowing its length acoustically, the song drifts ahead to enchanting female vocals in establishing quite the resounding melody. While I might have chosen to cut it by a minute or two, I would still rate this as quite the fine effort and strong way to wrap Codigo Eterno up.
The bottom line is that Codigo Eterno is too heavy in ballads. At most you want two or three; anything beyond that can be superfluous. Otherwise, when the group puts its best foot forward songwriting wise, it can deliver a fine composition. Vocals represent another strong point as is the refined production. All in all, if you are looking for a joining of melodic rock and hard rock with the occasional modern trending then this comes recommended.
Review by Andrew Rockwell
Track Listing: “Tocar El Cielo” (4:32), “En Medio De La Noche” (3:24), “Puera De Ti No Hay Nada” (4:38), “Llevame”, (4:54) “Solo Tu” (5:00), “Misterio” (4:40), “Estar Junto A Ti” (5:00), “Romance” (5:09), “Promesa” (4:46), “Siempre” (5:42)
Beatriz Aranda – Lead Vocals
Cesia Acosta – Lead Vocals
Jean funes - Guitars
Diana Cota – Keyboards
Hector Contreras – Drums
Luis Rios – Lead Vocals
Andreas Passmark – Bass
Markus Sigfridsson - Guitars