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Review: Atlantean Kodex - The White Goddess
Atlantean Kodex
www.atlanteankodex.de
The White Goddess

Label: 20 Bucks Spin
Year released: 2013
Duration: 57:57
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 5+/5

Review online: September 8, 2013
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
for:
The White Goddess

Rated 4.61/5 (92.28%) (57 Votes)
Review


When this band released the massive debut album The Golden Bough three years ago, I would not have believed you if you told me their follow-up would blow it completely out of the water, but it does. I would not have believed this band, or any band, could set such a high mark and then surpass it so handily. This is the album I have been waiting for the most eagerly all year (and most of last year), and after that kind of wait there was so little room to not only meet my heightened expectations, but blast right by them.

From the opening, this is so obviously the best album of the year it is hardly even worth mentioning. The atmospheric intro "Trumpets of Doggerland" finishes setting the stage, and then "Sol Invictus" thunders out and proceeds to absolutely flatten every other so-called epic metal song ever written for eleven fucking minutes. The song was released as a rough mix last year, and I have played it over and over since I got my hands on it, but this version (featuring different vocal arrangements and a new solo) is so far beyond it it's like hearing it for the first time. It is a completely untouchable beast of a song: ferociously heavy, complex, catchy and huge.

Really, they could have stopped there and still produced the best work of their careers, but they don't stop there. "Heresiarch" is a massive, doom-fueled riff-fest packed with enough arcane lyrical references to make John Arch envious. "Twelve Stars and an Azure Gown" is a gorgeous song with a standout performance by vocalist Markus Becker. Again I have to laud the production choices the band made, not layering on too many vocal tracks and letting the texture of Becker's voice shine through. The recording quality is the best this band has ever forged in their mysterious Boar Cult Studio, with much more depth and detail to the sound than on previous works.

The colossal one-two punch that closes the album consists of the monolithic "Enthroned in Clouds and Fire" and then the title track itself, which almost singlehandedly redefines 'epic' in sheer sound, scope, and ambition. The whole is a towering achievement in composition, musicianship, and hard work in the studio. When ambition outstrips ability it becomes pretension, when it does not, it becomes what we have here: mastery. For depth of composition, feeling, and meaning; for integrity and a devotion to real metal above all things, Atlantean Kodex stands completely alone.

Other related information on the site
Review: The Golden Bough (reviewed by MetalMike)
Review: The Golden Bough (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The Pnakotic Demos (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Review: The White Goddess (reviewed by MetalMike)
Interview with Manuel Trummer (Guitar) on September 12, 2010 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
Interview with Manuel Trummer (Guitars) on September 8, 2013 (Interviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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