Atlantean Kodex

Perun

Dominus et deus
Staff member
About time I opened a thread for this band. If I read their recent Facebook statement correctly, they will finally be releasing their third studio album in September. They posted the following snippet on their YouTube channel:


Kodex is by now probably my second favourite band after Maiden. Their two albums, The Golden Bough (2010) and The White Goddess (2013) are among the best metal albums ever recorded. This band is not for everyone though, and a lot of people complain about the slow pacing, gradual development and long meandering of their tracks. This is Epic Doom Metal at its finest, combining the very best influences of Bathory, early Manowar and others and bringing it to a sort of perfection that hardly any other artist ever manages to. However, be warned: progressive metal this is not, and if you are easily bored with music or need frequent time or rhythm changes in your music, you should look elsewhere.

To all others, join the Iron Battalion and heed to the Atlantean Kodex!

 
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Niall Kielt

Pulled Her At The Bottle Top
Maybe Doom is a genre I don't understand (certainly one I don't intentionally seek out) but this isn't Doom to me at all, epic or no. Great music, much better without the singer, for me.
I get ye RE rhythm changes. I tried The Golden Bough and indeed I got bored. Maybe a album for another day but the song you shared above is class.
 

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
I, too, love the band. Which is not surprising since @Perun and I are basically the same person. I hope there's a decently extensive tour, should this album finally arise.
 

Donner

Ancient Mariner
I love this band as well, have ever since I got their The Pnakotic Demos back in 07. Their first two full lenghts are incredible and I fully expect anything new to be amazing as well. Awesome band.
 

Perun

Dominus et deus
Staff member
By the way, the new album will be released on 13. September. There will be a release event on 7. September in Hamburg, and guess who's going:

 

Perun

Dominus et deus
Staff member
New song.


There is no way this will not be the album of the year. Even if the rest consisted of 60 minutes of children rapping over scratching on tinfoil, it could not suck so hard that it wouldn't be absorbed by the majestic awesomeness of this. From this point on, all new music will be irrelevant.
 

LooseCannon

Yorktown-class aircraft carrier
Staff member
They've definitely evolved their sound, moving a little way away from doom-inspired riffs and integrating something a bit more power, which is a good thing, but still keeping their own sound. This is...really fucking good. I'm really excited for the album now.
 

Perun

Dominus et deus
Staff member
So, just a few notes on the gig I saw. It was a week ago, but I only now really have time to post about it.

The event was a mini-festival organised by the staff of my go-to metal magazine, and had Chapel of Disease, Metal Inquisitor, Sulphur Aeon and Satan on the bill, but Kodex were the headliner, taking the stage at 23:30. There were fewer than 500 people in the crowd, but the atmosphere was amazing, in a way I otherwise only know from Maiden gigs. Kodex really is the sort of band that attracts die-hard fans who know every word and every note, and the reception they got was simply mind-blowing. This was especially the case with the three tracks they played from White Goddess, Sol Invictus, Twelve Stars and Enthroned in Clouds and Fire, where throughout the songs the audience was almost louder than the band; however, even the new songs that hardly anyone knew yet were met with euphoria.
I later had a beer with the singer, who is a really nice, approachable bloke who gave me the feeling that he just assumes we're friends on the basis that we were both at the same gig. Really cool guy.
I would recommend anyone who likes the music to go check them out live, but they are not a "touring" band, so their gigs are rare and far between.

Although I got the album there, I haven't been able to listen to it before today. I'm currently only on my third listen, so I'm not going to comment on it yet.
 

Perun

Dominus et deus
Staff member
So after five listens, I think I can share some preliminary thoughts.

Some very basic observations: It sounds very much like Kodex, but it has some unexpected elements. It is a lot more fast-paced and upbeat than a lot of their earlier releases and it has has some very melodic vocal lines that wouldn't be out of place on some of the earlier Blind Guardian albums. There are a few keyboards and some quite surprising choir and vocal harmony parts. There is also more old Manowar in this album than the previous ones, too, which according to interviews is deliberate. Personally, I find the songs quite accessible and straightforward, although I've heard and read opinions that stated the exact opposite!

It's hard to pick a highlight because each song is very much its own symphony with more going on than you could possibly figure out in the first couple of listens. People of the Moon is a very powerful opener that gains some of its impact with the intro. The tribal drums are still chilling. Lion of Chaldaea has the first of the unusual choruses, although it also has the typical Kodex riffs. Chariots - well, this is probably the breakout track of the album. The way it conveys its imagery in lyrics and music is truly powerful. The Innermost Light is a hauntingly beautiful piece that got stuck in my head for its almost shanty-esque vocals in combination with the very Kodex-esque instrumentation; but it also manages to chill with its choirs. So much grandeur in just three and a half minutes! A Secret Byzantium is as epic as it gets, but also the most conventional as far as Kodex goes (there is more than just a hint of Enthroned in Clouds and Fire in here), while He Who Walks Behind the Years probably has the most melodic and interesting vocals and the best guitar solo I have heard in a long, long time. This is a general point with the album: It leaves so much room for both the singer and the guitarists to truly shine. Maybe this comes at the cost of songwriting complexity, but if so, it's a good deal. The Course of Empire is the obligatory heaviness tour-de-force, taking many cues from earlier Kodex tracks (including some from this very album), but rather surprisingly combining them with a catchy sing-along chorus.

I'm probably going to change some of my opinions as the album continues to sink in, but I guess the bottom line for now is: The album has the signature Kodex sounds in its riffs and some stop-and-go elements in the songs, but it is less complex in its writing, which it makes up for with great guitar solos, chilling vocal melodies and the best metal singer of our day.
 
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