Atlantean Kodex - The Golden Bough
Cruz Del Sur Music
True/Epic Doom/Heavy Metal
9 songs (65:25)
Release year: 2010
Atlantean Kodex, Cruz Del Sur Music
Reviewed by Thomas
Album of the month

The buzz and expectations surrounding this band grew louder and louder as the release date for their d├ębut full-length, The Golden Bough approached with heavy steps. They created a bunch of noise with their EP The Pnakotic Demos and stirred a powerful uproar in the underground when it was released back in 2007. However, the only releases they managed to squeeze out the following years was another EP and a live album. Then, earlier this year, news got out that the Germans had settled a deal with Italian monster label Cruz Del Sur, who are known to release high quality stuff on a fairly regular basis. A joyous day for many in other words, including yours truly who have been following them for quite the while. Anyway, earlier this fall, their first full-length was announced and epic/doom metal fans' mouths watered with raw lust for the album that would overthrow modern, false and tiring, downright incorrect metal as we know it. Now it's finally here, but is The Golden Bough our deliverance from untrue metal, as the elitists would have it? Does it save us from the rotten stench of the Triviums and Bullet For My Valentines of the scene?

The extreme elitists will most certainly rejoice after half a spin, and the mortals among us will most definitely be overwhelmed. Because this contains power to bring down mountains, shatter the earth and expose the deep fiery pits of hell with the several strokes of brilliance this record contains. There's something for everyone here, but this mostly appeals to the ballsy men with long hair, beard, leather jackets, Candlemass t-shirts and Bathory tattoos (I have none of the above). The Golden Bough is epic as fuck, and draws a lot of inspiration from Tolkien when it comes to lyrics and later era Bathory considering musical influences. It touches upon folk, but mostly melts together a fantastic blend of heavy and epic doom metal. The riffs are heavier than most, and the production is warm and adds to the earthshaking, overwhelming presence of each song. As for the drums, they're not anywhere near as overproduced as they could be and the bassing is thundering, shimmering and bright as it lays down the foundation for this rough diamond. Even though most of the songs here are long epics, I have never found myself wondering when any of them will be over. There's nothing even remotely close to weak about this, as each song will put you under its own spell, enthralling you with fury and opening the gates to a a magical world of ancient rituals and mysterious arts.

Fountain of Nepenthe starts things of beautifully and slow, with a slightly apocalyptic feel to it. There's tons of melody, and the fantastic vocal work of Marcus Becker is both stunning and magical. He hits the spot with every note he strikes, and fits the music better than anyone I've heard in a very long time. On Pilgrims everything gets even better as the seconds floats unnoticably by. After a short interlude, personal highlight, Temple of Katholic Magick drives by in excellent fashion, with churning, slow and crushing riffs backed by thundering thumping drums. The power and might of the band is staggering at this point, and you'll be left trembling when this particular song is over, begging for more like a heroin addict. Following is the surprisingly speedy Disciples of the Iron Crown, which may actually be a bit of a relief after all the decomposition the previous songs have caused. It's one of the shorter songs, but manages to deal a certain amount of damage in shape of galloping rhythms and edgy leads. After the slower ballad-like Vesperal Hymn follows the band's namesake which continues at some speed delivering the ususal goods before handing the baton to the enormous finisher The Prophet in the Forest which is an absolute fantastic song you'll never want to end. It delivers climax after climax and sums up, for some, the metal experience of the year.

This is a fantastic album from start to end, and the enormous effort put into this resulted in an enormous record. Album of the motherfucking month, if not the whole year. Great stuff.

Killing Songs :
All, but my favourites are Temple of Katholic Magick and The Prophet in the Forest
Thomas quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Atlantean Kodex that we have reviewed:
Atlantean Kodex - The Course of Empire reviewed by Andy and quoted 92 / 100
Atlantean Kodex - The White Goddess reviewed by Andy and quoted 96 / 100
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