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Code - 2007 The Enemy Within

ALBUM: The Enemy Within
LABEL: Escape Music
YEAR: 2007


LINEUP: Sherwood Ball - vocals, guitars * Anders Rydholm - bass, keyboards, guitars * Ola af Trampe - lead guitar * Gregg Bissonette - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 The Enemy Within * 02 Sign Up For Love * 03 Home Away From Home * 04 In The Shadows * 05 How Do We Stay In Love * 06 My Time * 07 Alive * 08 Uninvited Guest * 09 How Can I Change The World * 10 Flying High * 11 Sworn To Silence



Take equal musical doses of Los Angeles and Sweden, shake it in a bottle, and you might end up with something along the lines that this band Code have produced. Somehow, the end result is neither, which suggests to me the band got lost in the transporter beam en-route (beam me up Scotty!), or they were too ambitious in their quest for musical nirvana. As much as I loved Grand Illusion - the Swedish pompsters who are now no longer, the transition for Anders Rydholm into this band - and the search for something akin to that favored West Coast sound of his - unfortunately did not materialise. Sure, he picked up L.A singer Sherwood Ball along the way, and the intention was to deliver something lighter than Grand Illusion - but that was never gonna happen with a guitar monster like Ola af Trampe in the band. This guy can surely play, but Code end up sounding heavier as a result. Surely that was neither Rydholm nor Ball's intention?

The Songs
The album generates two tremendous tunes from the get-go. The title track 'The Enemy Within' chugs into view with impressive credentials, big guitars, conspicuous keyboards. The vocals of Sherwood Ball contain an infusion of all the best west coast vocalists around - with a slight rough edge. 'Sign Up For Love' is one of the better tracks here, the guitar/keyboard interplay is on the ball (no pun intended)! The first sign of Grand Illusion flashback comes in the shape of 'Home Away From Home' - particularly the thick vocal choruses, though the modern sounding arrangement offers something different. The aptly named 'In The Shadows' sounds similar to the title track only with a darker theme running through its veins. The first ballad 'How Do We Stay In Love' though good, pales in comparison to past Grand Illusion efforts. 'Alive' starts out with tribal sounding drums and works its way slowly up to a hard rock lather - the chorus though simple, sounds as if it has been heard a zillion times before on a whole host of 80's rock albums. 'Uninvited Guest' to my ears sounds like a Radioactive tune, not a bad thing admittedly, while another highlight is the melodic rocker 'Flyin High' - a fluid arrangement all round topped by a killer solo. 'Sworn To Silence' is a great power ballad finishing up the album - and Ball shines on this one.. but I'm sure if Peter Sundell was singing the result would have been spectacular!

In Summary
I understand the band had a heap of songs to choose from. If so, I feel short-changed if this is the pick of the bunch, because I feel there are a few fillers here. Just my opinion though. Also, I am not completely sold on Sherwood Ball's vocal in this genre. I would prefer him in the West Coast field, as his prior solo albums testify. For those of you wanting to listen to a 2007 version of Maxus or Airplay - you will need to wait or look elsewhere. Code will not deliver that promise. In saying that though, Code deliver a totally melodic rock album - in my view it's just a rebadged Grand Illusion - just with a different singer. The icing on the cake is the axework of Ola af Trampe - a supreme talent indeed.

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#1 | Jez on June 16 2008 21:54:53
Not the West Coast wimp out I was half expecting & pretty much in line with Anders Rydholm's previous Grand Illusion outfit although with less of the 'Pomp'. There is that definate Toto 'Kingdom Of Desire' sound on show in places & that is how I would approach this disc. Guitars are excellent throughout as are Sherwood Ball's vocals & for once this has a decent production to the whole thing compared to some of the 'AOR Disasters' of previous years. A couple of fillers aside, a very strong disc.
#2 | george_the_jack on November 29 2011 02:05:22
Got this sealed for just 3 pounds.Great deal isn't it? I love all Grand Illusion albums so,hopefuuly, this has to offer me more of the same feelings.
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