Christian music provided an extensive variety of metal acts in the 90s; however, techno was severely lacking, especially after Mad At The World left the genre. Code of Ethics was a techno-dance-alternative rock band that formed with Barry Blaze (who has worked with Kevin Max and Ian Eskelin) and Eric Switzer in 1991. Visual Paradox was first released that year under the R.E.X. Music label before CoE gained some popularity, and it was re-released in 1993 on Forefront Records.
Barry carries the perfect emotional vocals needed for this type of music. Science fiction themes and sound effects from the 1950s are used often on this album. "One Way" begins with a narrator who informs the listener to not touch the screen and "we will control the transmission and all that you see and hear." The song carries the type of music that anyone could envision hearing in a club with a hint of rock added in. I could quote parts of the song, but the title is pretty self-explanatory as the song focuses on God being the only way. "Through Your Eyes" is a Pet Shop Boys flavored song and a mellower track that picks up during its chorus. "I Need Your Love" provides a lot of variety throughout the sequence as it begins with one instrument at a time, progressing with some jazz, rock, and even influences from Depeche Mode. The song stresses love that is truly needed from God, "Gonna wash my hands of this world and ascend/ I opened my heart and you walked in/ I need Your Love (When I walk through the shadow of darkness)/ I need Your Love."
"Greater Love" is easily the most memorable song on the album because it's that perfect song that everyone will want to play repeatedly. It actually begins with sounds that are familiar at night, such as frogs and crickets, before it ventures into a great ballad. "Break Down" is a great little track that will remind the listener of DC Talk's Free At Last days, while "Taking You Down" provides an introduction that is an obvious Depeche Mode influence. There is nothing wrong with some repitition in a song, however, this one uses the phrase "Taking You Down" to excess. The title track is very interesting, providing a nice continuous flow with Blaze providing his signature vocals. The last song on the album, "Being with You" represents a perfect example of the great music found in the early 90s with a splash of electronic drums.
Visual Paradox is the first album among CoE's five studio projects that were released throughout the decade. There is no difference, musically, between the R.E.X. and Forefront versions of this album, with the exception of slightly different alterations in the album artwork. CoE's style is very reminiscent of a popular band in the late 80s, Information Society. Like CoE, Information Society used Sci-Fi sound effects and jazz to capture a unique atmosphere in techno music. This album is certainly not the best work from CoE; however, this is a very respectable project because no band in the Christian domain was providing music like this at the time. This album will be appreciated by fans of Information Society, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, or techno music in general.- Review date: 6/10/07, written by Wayne Myatt for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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