on 24 February 2016
Atlantean Kodex have produced an absolute masterpiece of magisterial doom; a truly momentous and powerful release.
‘The White Goddess’ soars on clean vocals, rises on epic, long lead guitar lines, and drives forward on thundering slow percussion and stampeding, galloping fills. It stands, in my view, with Bathory, early Candlemass and While Heaven Wept, eclipsing the template set by Black Sabbath and breaking out from the contrived narrow bullishness of Manowar to reach truly epic heights.
From the opening horns of ‘Trumpets of Doggerland’ it’s clear a great deal of thought has gone in to both the structure of the album and its themes. This is an album of depth and intelligence; powerful in musical and literary heritage. ‘…Doggerland’ leads in to ‘Sol Invictus’, a fast paced paean to the Winter Solstice shot through with startling imagery. It’s a monstrous statement of intent. ‘Bilwis’ follows. A delicate and foreboding break, it’s a relaxing palate cleanser before the chug and Sturm und Drang of ‘Heresiarch’ a slower, a more intense song, full of pounding drums, leaden riffs and soaring chorus. It stops, starts, veers off and is always dramatic and engaging to the last fade.
Fifth track ‘Twelve Stars and Azure Gown’ is centre piece and cornerstone to the album. Opening with Winston Churchill’s prophetic 1946 speech at the University of Zurich on European unity, ‘Twelve Stars…’ is a sparkling legend tale of Goddess Europa founding a New Jerusalem. It is epic Metal genius. Repeating sinuous guitar lines and a powerful chorus brood with grandiose despair and forlorn desire. The epic coda ‘Der Untergang Der Stadt Passau’ reprises the main theme against a desolate bloodied landscape of galloping riders and echoing bells and leads into the utterly dystopian ‘Enthroned in Clouds and Fire’. This is Europe destroyed; the world on its knees: Götterdämmerung. A roiling, rolling hymnal of repetitive thundering riffs with melodic mournful leads riding over the chaos.
Final track ‘White Goddess Unveiled’ brings things beautifully to a close. A multi-part song of bluster and redemption that tails off with a gentle piano riff, like a purifying rain falling over the battlefield.
There are few moments in life when art engages to such a degree that it enhances the mortal experience to make the soul feel genuine, tangible, and to leave a person humbled and ecstatic to have been given, from wherever, the ability to revel in the pure adoration of creation; the rapturous joy of existing: To be alive and to hear music like this that puts everything in perspective.
So happy I am and so grateful to be in a world where this slice of magisterial doom even exists.
on 12 January 2014
A true, cult epic masterpiece, even better than their debut album. Bathory, with glimpses of 80s American epic metal. No one can bit them. They are alone in this field of the truest of doomy, slow paced, epic sound.
on 30 September 2014
M8 this album is incred. Takes a bit of time to grow, but once it does, it's like crack but without eventually turning into an actual crack addict. It will however prevent you from listening to anything else for quite some time.
Beginning to end a total killer record and one quite unlike anything else out there right now.