Atlantean Kodex – “The Course Of Empire” (Ván Records)
Battle Helm Rating
As if blessed by the gods, these champions of classic epic metal return once more with their 3rd offering – and mighty it is too! Revered in the underground, Atlantean Kodex have been acclaimed over the years from awards by Rock Hard in Germany to Metal Hammer Greece, as well as playing a slew of true metal festivals from Keep It True to Up The Hammers and Hammer Of Doom. Taking influence from Manilla Road, Solstice and early Manowar, Atlantean Kodex themselves have inspired a range of newer bands in Visigoth, Gatekeeper and Lethean, especially through their charting second release “The White Goddess”. After a long hiatus during which time long standing guitarist Michael Koch left, the band have now returned with a grand offering in “The Course Of Empire”! Formed in the forests of Bavaria in 2005, it’s pretty clear from the 10 tracks here that at the root of the band’s music are powerful atmospheres and emotions conveyed through varying mediums from ambience to fast and slow heavy numbers played across a range of tempos from 1 1/2 minute pieces to 10 minute feasts to savour the delights of any purist. From the deep and crunching guitars of Manuel Trummer and newbie Coralie Baier to the clean and soulful vocals of Markus Becker, songs like ‘People Of The Moon (Dawn Of Creation)’ elicit the stirring passion and heartfelt embrace of this classic sound as powerful warrior melodies, choral harmonies, siren wailing solos and battle thudding drums make the dream come true. Opening delicately, it doesn’t take long before the deep medieval melodies make their mark on ‘Lion Of Chaldea (The Heroes’ Journey)’ as Becker’s passionate vocals capture your soul ever so gently despite the obvious power surrounding them, including some intense neo classical scaling towards the end – brilliant! Bringing the classical bombast to the fore in ‘He Who Walks Behind The Years (The Place Of Sounding Drums)’ which, true to its title definitely features power drumming along with thick, rusty sword guitars making for a massive sound as Becker’s angelic highs glide over effortlessly on this 8 minute wonder. Resplendent with battle hymns throughout, prepare to be taken to lost worlds and ages past by the undeniable might of Atlantean Kodex!