Atlantean Kodex - The White Goddess
Van Records
Epic Doom
8 songs (57' 57")
Release year: 2013
Atlantean Kodex, Van Records
Reviewed by Andy
Album of the month

Atlantean Kodex was one of those bands that I couldn't get enough of the first time I heard them, and now they're back with a sophomore release of their epic doom sound. There are some changes this time around, but even with the first listen, it's easy to see that if one liked their last album, this one won't disappoint. The band has doubled down on their signature doom-drenched heavy metal and mythical subject matter, and the result shows that it was a good move on their part, because this album is superb.

The aforementioned subject matter is all over the place. There is a vague narrative, but like their last, it is a messy, delicious stew of European myth and legendry, Christian theology, and 19th-century spiritualism. Even though this is an eight-track album and three of those tracks are short instrumentals, the remaining ones are dense and long. Sol Invictus starts fast, with reverberating drums, echoing guitars, and the high, clean vocals of Markus Becker; it's is a bit more melodic than the last album's first songs and gets the listener into the album more quickly. It's good that they made it a bit more melodic, too, because also gone from The White Goddess are some of the shorter, less epic songs in the vein of Disciples of the Iron Crown. I didn't think they could turn up the "epic" part any higher than they did in their last album, but they still managed a little anyway.

It feels like they put more light and dark into this album, too. The Lovecraftian Heresiarch keeps things quiet for a minute or two during the first part of the verse, and then the whole band cuts loose with a mammoth, crushing wall of pure doom riffs...then it goes back to quiet again for a little guitar solo, and then back to massively slow and heavy. Honestly, I'd probably pick up the album just for this one, and one's delight is only increased when, towards the end as it seems they're about to trail off (as they did before a few times on The Golden Bough), they flare up again, with a completely different melody in a sort of mini-song tacked onto the end for the final minutes. The heaviness stays for Twelve Stars and an Azure Gown, and it is a measure of their skill as composers and musicians that they make as un-metal and boring a topic as the European Union into a vast saga of a song that smites the listener's ears, especially on the chorus. Enthroned in Clouds and Fire is darker and heavier in both topic and tone, still sung in as heraldic and triumphant-sounding a tone as others, but even with that, it's still dwarfed in scope by White Goddess Unveiled (the White Goddess we heard about in the first album, one presumes), a soaring hymn reminding me a little of some of Manowar's most high-flown constructions, that finishes the album forcefully as the last blasted chords and lead guitar fade away in favor of some quiet piano.

Atlantean Kodex gave themselves a high bar to reach, but they have produced another true masterpiece with this album. The White Goddess can really be thought of as a continuation of The Golden Bough with a small amount of minor improvements made, and though it's got a lot of complex depth to it, it's easy to casually listen to as well, making it one of my favorite albums for this year.

Killing Songs :
All of them, though Heresiarch really blew me away
Andy quoted 96 / 100
Other albums by Atlantean Kodex that we have reviewed:
Atlantean Kodex - The Golden Bough reviewed by Thomas and quoted 95 / 100
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