Atlantean Kodex - The White Goddess

Atlantean Kodex - The White Goddess

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(CD, Cruz Del Sur Music, 2013)

I have to admit that I was unfair to ATLANTEAN KODEX when I watched their performance at ‘Keep It True’ festival several years ago; the band had released the “The Pnakotic Demos” and had gained quite a following in the underground circles hence the participation on the ‘KIT’ billing. Back then, I rushed to rate them with a low grade but now I realize that this was due to the nature of the music. I mean, you have to be aware of their music to enjoy live and their brand new LP “The White Goddess (A Grammar Of Poetic Myth)” works exactly this way. So, before watching the Germans live, check their music and I guarantee you will enjoy every minute of it.

First of all, do not be fooled by the small number of tracks in the tracklist (in fact, there are five, since three of them are instrumentals and work like intros or interludes) because “The White Goddess (A Grammar Of Poetic Myth) clocks almost one hour. Before fast forwarding to characterize this album as hard to digest or too long to enjoy, let me tell you that it flows like spring water from a mountain, starting from the fast and guitar driven “Sol Invictus (With Faith And Fire)”. Yes, the double riff action and the galloping rhythm will raise the True Heavy Metal flag but thankfully there is more than this, like the awesome RUNNING WILD-esque rhythm guitars, the genuinely epic melodies and the killer vocals that put the icing on the cake. By the way, the mix in the lead and the backing vocals is absolutely fantastic and gives more depth in ATLANTEAN KODEX while it welcomes the listener to start humming the melodies during the first encounter with the album. The down-tuned clean guitar, the cracking fire and the sound of winter wind (I have no idea why this wind sounds like its winter) carry a killer BATHORY atmosphere that blossoms during the eleven minutes of the opus “Heresiarch (Thousandfaced Moon)” via the mid-tempo and ton-heavy rhythm section. Then the music backs up a little bit leaving the stage for the vocals, the drums (amazing hit hat sound) and the bass guitar to fill your heart with pride and a pinch of melancholy being the BATHORY (again) definition of epic-ness. Things get heavier as the guitar distortion steps forward, but still, the mid-tempo and the vocals rule the song’s atmosphere. Even if the Hammond melodies are minimal, they have a huge effect here, so keep in mind to use headphones at least for some of the first album spins.

I tried to count my words used for this album presentation by leaving outside my commenting the story-telling “Twelve Stars And An Azure Gown (An Anthem For Europa)” and focus a little on another BATHORY-praising track “Enthroned In Clouds And Fire (The Great Cleansing)”. The samples on the background, the percussion and the “One Road To Asa Bay” magnificent groove are just the first flavors you’ll get in the beginning of the ten minutes long song. Don’t think of this album as a BATHORY-wannabe (despite the times I used this moniker) simply because the most-melodic vocal lines separate ATLANTEAN KODEX from Quorthon’s music. In other words, the Germans have a personal character and the confidence to deliver it during the long in time duration songs. The album drops the curtain after the eleven minutes of “White Goddess Unveiled (Crown Of The Sephiroth)” where you can freely use the term Power Metal but in the way MANOWAR used to play back in the day. The guitars are looking towards traditional Heavy Metal while in the awesome break (during the guitar solo) the Doom Metal references will sneak up on you, leading the song to a climax and then welcome the end with some piano melodies - perfect!

I usually do not use pompous words but ATLANTEAN KODEX convinced me to make an exception, so here it goes: “The White Goddess (A Grammar Of Poetic Myth)” is a masterpiece and clearly the best music the Germans have released. There are many different colors in the band’s palette and perfectly mixed to paint pictures of battlefields, stormy seas, mist-covered forests or whatever makes your epic detector go off the charts.

The album is out also on vinyl (the best format to enjoy Caspar David Friedrich’s painting on the cover), so I know what I have to do after having reserved a spot for my end-of-the-year 'best albums' list.

9/10 


Links:

www.AtlanteanKodex.De
www.FaceBook.Com/pages/Atlantean-Kodex


Tracklist:

01. Trumpets Of Doggerland (There Were Giants In The Earth In Those Days)
02. Sol Invictus (With Faith And Fire)
03. Bilwis (Sorcery And Witchcraft In Eastern Bavaria)
04. Heresiarch (Thousandfaced Moon)
05. Twelve Stars And An Azure Gown (An Anthem For Europa)
06. Der Untergang Der Stadt Passau (Flaming Sword Of The Watchers)
07. Enthroned In Clouds And Fire (The Great Cleansing)
08. White Goddess Unveiled (Crown Of The Sephiroth)


Lineup:

Markus Becker - Vocals
Michael Koch - Guitars
Manuel Trummer - Guitars
Florian Kreuzer - Bass
Mario Weiss - Drums