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Atlantean Kodex : The Golden Bough

The German band Atlantean Kodex managed to carve a solid stone of Epic Doom Metal.

Atlantean Kodex was a band so discrete that up till recently, up till the announcement of their new album starts to make some noise on the web, I knew nothing about it. I now know they are German, Have already released some eps, play Epic Doom Metal and I also know they are good at it.

They are good and they are ambitious. On 'The Golden Bough', they raised the bar very high and built a work matching their talent. Far from the beaten path of Metal, at a time of hackneyed formulas and worn-out strings, the Germans decide to write a concept album, complex, elaborate, richly detailed , to forge a living and vibrating sound and to create note after note a lively, abounding, unpredictable whole.

Sostice can be evoked together with While Heaven Wept, Forsaken, the epic and melancholic monuments that Bathory has written especially on the two-part 'Nordland'. You can find these tragic emphasis, these lyrical, powerful riffs and elegant solos and, above all, the breath of a heroic tragedy, the injured man, the nostalgia for a time lost, more simple, more exhilarating.

The band's music is clearly transcended by the subject that makes the substance of the album : ancient magical rites, prehistoric tales as roots of our christianity; Atlantean Kodex's daring Doom weaves a subtle web to illustrate the turmoil of the legend, multiplying the melodic surprises, releasing the grace of classic epic patterns: aerial leads, merrily cascading, rolling drums, powerful and destructive riffs, heavy voice with tragic accents, acoustic parts, flute, manly choir etc ... The album spreads wide its wings, the poem flies, winding, running from second one to the last dying note of the cd. The band shows great ease in the composition of songs that are long (up to 15í) and yet still fluid, light and full of dynamics. The purpose is to tell a story; each part that composes it bears a particular melodic pattern -heavy, dark, bright, melancholic, vivid or gloomy- which is superimposed on the others creating a album that is rich and very modulated, and never demonstrative or superficial.

A word about the production: I regret that sometimes the voice is mixed in the background, which curbs a little the singerís passionate accents, who is furthermore impeccable.

Atlantean Kodex has carved with 'The Golden Bough' a milestone in epic Doom, a key-link in the long chain of bands that make up the genre. Instrumentation, songwriting and overall harmony, voice, power that never denies emotion, all contribute to make this album a hymn to the glory of the genre it stands for, without, however, just using the old recipes: the bandís freedom of interpretation pushes it to the ranks of the greatest. 'The Golden Bough' is undoubtedly a great success, a Doom release that canít be missed, neither this year 2010, nor probably for years to come.

Reviewer's rating: 8/10


Tracklist :
1. Fountain of Nepenthe (Journey to the
Island of the Blessed)
2. Pilgrim (Through the Ruins of Europa)
3. The White Goddess (A Grammar of
Poetic Myth) 4. Temple of Katholic
Magick (Trinity of Steel)
5. Disciples of the Iron Crown (From the
Grey Twilight)
6. Vesperal Hymn (For a long-gone
7. The Atlantean Kodex (Commanding the
Iron Bataillons) ]
8. A Prophet in the Forest (Through
Years of Longing) 9. The Golden Bough (A
Study in Magic and Religion)

Duration : Approx. 65 minutes

Visit the Atlantean Kodex bandpage.

Reviewed on 26-10-2010 by Bertrand marchal
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