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A towering tidal wave of heavy metal brilliance - 95%

Andromeda_Unchained, October 2nd, 2013

So I’ve had this one for a little while now, and to be honest I’d have liked to have took a month or two before actually coming to review The White Goddess, largely due to its scope and depth, although I guess it wouldn’t be fair to you guys to keep you waiting so long would it?

Atlantean Kodex had been this enigmatic, coveted underground band for quite some time, although their debut full-length The Golden Bough (which dropped late 2010) certainly shed some light on the Germans. The aforementioned album was a gargantuan slab of epic, towering heavy metal which, for many, was one of the finest albums to hit the unsuspecting in quite some time, although I know others voiced a disdain for their plodding style. I was definitely pitching my tent in the former camp, although I will say that I felt the album did have its ever-so-slight flaws.

Any minor caveat I had with The Golden Bough has been dashed against cliffs of my personal taste like a monstrous tidal wave with the advent of The White Goddess. I hate to kick the hype machine so hard into overdrive, but this album is seriously, seriously good. Immediately coming across as more propulsive, heavy, and intelligent; everything spectacular about The Golden Bough has been fed through a strainer and simmered into a majestic tour-de-force of heavy metal wonder, boasting incredible lyrics that will appeal equally as much to the history buff as that of the “Sword & Sorcery” aficionado.

After a relatively brief intro in “I. Trumpets of Doggerland (There were Giants in the Earth in those Days)” Atlantean Kodex comes crashing through the speakers like the aforesaid tidal wave with “II. Sol Invictus (With Faith and Fire)”, which boasts a rumbling riff set striking the ears as divine. Markus Becker’s vocals immediately sound superior to those he laid down on the previous album, reminding me of a reigned-in John Arch in places, although admittedly I do find it hard to put a finger on exactly why I am reminded as such.

“IV. Heresiarch (Thousandfaced Moon)” manages to top “Pilgrim” from The Golden Bough as my favourite Atlantean Kodex number. A massive, triumphant affair housing an endearing chorus that I guarantee will have you singing along in no time! I can feel myself wanting to veer off into track-by-track territory now, so I’m going to leave it there. Let me tell you though, each track – including the interludes – are deserving of mention and their place in the album. Boldly marching through ace dynamic shifts and housing wonderful hooks as well as ample a pummelling riff, all of the proper songs here stand as towers of proud and powerful heavy metal.

Grounding myself now, I will say that those who extract the majority of their musical enjoyment from pristine modern acts, from glossy power metal to clinical death metal, might find the sounds of Atlantean Kodex lost on themselves. If you do fall into this category, then you can probably skip this, although it’s worth giving at least a cursory listen, who knows when/if you might convert? On the other hand, those who love dusty, archaic heavy metal, and of course “true metal”; I proudly present you your album of the year.

Blending the sounds of acts as diverse as Solstice, Bathory, Fates Warning, While Heaven Wept, and Manilla Road, Atlantean Kodex provide a slab of heavy metal delight which comes off as altogether more refined, and, I dare say, better than their superlative debut. Sure to be topping end of year lists, and certainly sure to have its place in my own; The White Goddess is an album many metal fans should check out, and I’m sure will come to adore. An excellent addition to any serious metal fans record collection!

Originally written for http://blackwindmetal.com