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The White Goddess
Released: 2013, 20 Buck Spin
With apologies to Gamma Ray, majestic is a word that isn’t used very often in heavy metal circles; and with good reason – few bands possess the gravitas and riff quality to earn that accolade. So it was surprising then, that a relatively unknown band from Germany called Atlantean Kodex could so easily encapsulate what majestic music truly is on their 2010 debut album THE GOLDEN BOUGH. That album’s epic (another word that the Kodex brings real meaning to) sound and style struck a real chord with me and many others, making THE GOLDEN BOUGH an instant classic on many levels. The three year wait, then, for a follow-up was torture, but relief is finally upon us with THE WHITE GODDESS.
For any who wondered if Atlantean Kodex could possibly match the immense quality of their debut, rest easy, for THE WHITE GODDESS is equal in every way and in some cases even better. Minus intros and instrumentals, the album contains a mere five songs, but each one is absolutely unforgettable AND crushing. Make no mistake; there is A LOT of music here, as the shortest song is almost nine minutes long. From the gloriously crushing epic that is “Sol Invictus” fully through the devastating finale of “White Goddess Unveiled”, I am hugely confident in saying you will not hear a better hour of heavy metal anywhere in this, or any other year. Big claim? Maybe, but such is the grandeur of Atlantean Kodex.
Everything about this album is perfectly placed; beginning with the elegant cover art, to the thunderous riffs and rhythms, to the captivating lyrics and atmosphere, and even Markus Becker’s impassioned vocals, the whole package is stunning. It is rare to behold a band that puts so much attention into every detail of their presentation and music. Although each song is spectacular, special mention must be made for “Twelve Stars and an Azure Gown”, which is easily the most engaging, enthralling song of the year. Few bands can match pure storytelling flair with powerful heavy metal like this.
In short, THE WHITE GODDESS is the album of the year.
1. Trumpets of Doggerland (There Were Giants in the Earth in Those Days)
2. Sol Invictus (With Faith and Fire)
3. Bilwis (Sorcery and Witchcraft in Eastern Bavaria)
4. Heresiarch (Thousandfaced Moon)
5. Twelve Stars and an Azure Gown (An Anthem for Europa)
6. Der Untergang der Stadt Passau (Flaming Sword of the Watchers)
7. Enthroned in Clouds and Fire (The Great Cleansing)
8. White Goddess Unveiled (Crown of the Sephiroth)
Markus Becker: Vocals
Manuel Trummer: Guitar, Hammond Organ
Michael Koch: Guitar (lead)
Florian Kreuzer: Bass
Mario Weiss: Drums, Piano