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Atlantean Kodex The Golden Bough Award winner

Atlantean Kodex
The Golden Bough
by Grigoris Chronis at 04 October 2010, 8:10 PM

When BATHORY emerged with a completely new profile (not out of nowhere, since in the “Blood Fire Death” album there was excerpts prefiguring such a transit) in year 1990 sharp, few would imagine this
unique Metal persona would once more inculcate a whole new genre – the way he did with the shaping of ‘true’ Black Metal in his preceding discography. Since then, the term ‘epic’ started appearing in various music styles, not anymore characterizing some kind of sound and only but mainly a whole atmosphere and relevant lyrics/artworks concepts. Many Black/Death Metal outfits in the last years can count as straightforward offspring of Quorthon’s matchless procedure, but the area of ‘true’ Heavy Metal was still used to wring the RAINBOW, IRON MAIDEN and MANOWAR legacy preserving the classic Metal standards in terms of volume, distortion and singing style/clearness.

ATLANTEAN KODEX – a name many may giggle to the hearing of – is one of the few bands that can be crowned as direct holdovers of BATHORY’s epic/Viking period. Raised in the European Metal underground, soon to become a familiar name among epic Metal fans, these prolific Germans did build a good name promoting their demo stuff everywhere, not also escaping playing live in every place hey could travel to. The split 12” with VESTAL CLARET (split up) was just the beginning. The whole Europe (along with fests like 'Keep It True' or 'Up The Hammers') welcomed the band, too, and now, after a period of EPs and live recordings, it’s time for ATLANTEAN KODEX’s first full-length offering, artistically named as “The Golden Bough”.

The fabulously fitting cover artwork comes from an Arnold Böcklin (Swiss symbolist artist, 1827-1901) painting called “Isle Of The Dead” (“Die Toteninsel”) and is the perfect companion to introduce you to the bewitching world of ATLANTEAN KODEX. The band, needless to say for those who’ve followed them since their early days, has further developed their style and sound creating by far their best effort to date (which is rather a funny saying, since all their previous releases summed correspond to one more normal album). Something more than one hour of music certainly is a motive for thinking if you’ll feel tired listening to the album at once. No, no chance here. “The Golden Bough” flows so easily, it has the best possible tracklist order and its production is as natural and proper as we have forgotten to imagine: physical, the romantic kaleidoscope to landscapes and mountains, an ode to nature and simple life in past times. Nuff said…

There’s a concept behind this album. Hmmm…no, not a usual concept; the Press release is clear-cut here: “…a journey through 12,000 years of European mythology. Based on Sir James George Frazer‘s (1854-1941) homonymous scholarly epic, “The Golden Bough” deals with his thought-provoking thesis that all forms of religion in Europe (including Christianity) originate from magical cults and fertility rites, which date back to the Stone age”. Imagine the lyrical historic scenery and add the musical info below:

Steady, crawling or up-tempo epic Metal music with a specific reference to the "MKII" period of BATHORY, the mighty hymns of MANOWAR, the doom-ish odes of WHILE HEAVEN WEPT , the solemness of SOLSTICE and the laments of DOOMSWORD. Creating images of warriors, misty mountain tops, forests and moonlit shores is not out of the question while listening to songs like…the whole album. It’s just its structure that shall entrap you if you dig such ‘pagan’ atmosphere. The vocals include many choir parts and are quite clear and manlike while the melodic guitar leads upgrade the whole majesty of the songs. It may sound repetitive but the overall feeling is so epic (not warlike, though) you’ll probably have a tough time return to the modern era after listening to “The Golden Bough” for 2-3 times in a row.

When this new ATLANTEAN KODEX album is out – hope a vinyl release will hit the stores too – be sure the big cover, lyrics inner and unique sound shall reveal the best face this band has shown to date. “The Golden Bough” is not only recommended if you consider yourself to be a fan of European slow tempo (not ‘funeral’) epic Metal; it’s one of the most ‘must’ albums I can think of since the inception of this term. The band has developed what was necessary to be worked without losing an inch of their neat style. We sincerely hope all the best for these shining battlers from Germany; we need such defenders, maybe like never before!

4 Star Rating

  1. Fountain Of Nepenthe
  2. Pilgrim
  3. The White Goddess
  4. Temple Of Katholic Magick
  5. Disciples Of The Iron Crown
  6. Vesperal Hymn
  7. The Atlantean Kodex
  8. A Prophet In The Forest
  9. The Golden Bough
Markus Becker - Vocals
Michael Koch - Lead Guitars
Florian Kreuzer - Bass
Manuel Trummer - Rhythm Guitars
Mario Weiss - Drums
Record Label: Cruz Del Sur Music


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Edited 31 January 2023

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