ATLANTEAN KODEX - The Golden Bough

Atlantean Kodex - The Golden Bough

9 songs
64:04 minutes
***** ****
Cruz Del Sur


Fortunately bands arise from time to time that really catch you by surprise. One of them is Atlantean Kodex from Bavaria who were founded in 2006 but only now release their first longplayer The Golden Bough which was preceded by two EPs, a split and two self recorded live records that went by rather unnoticed. Their situation might very well change now, as their debut offers epic doom metal that couldn’t sound any more Scandinavian.

The album starts with the sound of ocean waves, recalling memories of Bathory and early Manowar and setting you back twenty to thirty years into the past. The first two tracks are ten minute monsters that take their time to build up momentum but come with such suspense and atmosphere that overwhelm the listener. The songs consist of heavy, dark riffs, which works especially well on Temple Of Katholick Magick. Somewhat different sounds the four minute short Disciples Of The Iron Crown which approaches the power metal genre and reminds a little of Slough Feg, one of the band’s biggest influences. Vesperal Hymn is quieter and even has room for acoustic instruments. The album’s longest track is the quarter hour epic A Prophet In The Forest, already featured on the band’s earlier releases and a perfect way to show off their entire repertoire. Apart from the great build-up, I am amazed by Markus Becker’s voice which despite its high registers never sounds shrill. Parallels to Solitude Aeturnus are in order. The cover artwork, a reproduction of Arnold Böcklin’s Die Toteninsel, furthermore enhances the overall magnificent impression.

Atlantean Kodex have until now had a shadowy existence, but The Golden Bough has all it takes to catapult them to the very top. It is an enormously powerful album with such an amount of detail that it’s hard to count it all up. By all means it is proof that metal can nowadays still sound incredibly dynamic if the artists give it enough thought instead of just following some lame trends.

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