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Finally, it has arrived! As an LP! The long awaited new album from Atlantean Kodex. It may sound, well, a little ridiculous but I was a tiny bit afraid that the "White Goddess" might not wow me as her predecessor, "The golden Bough", did right after the first listen. But all worries immediately vanish into thin air, when I start to unpack the double LP. What a noble piece of a record! Heavy cardboard, twice 180 g of vinyl and a text insert that puts any other “booklet” to shame. It´s an art reproduction in LP size, heavy paper, with 24 pages in the style of the artistic medieval kodices, just like the ones the monks created with their own hands back then.
Eight tracks are on the record, three of them are short intros for the following longer pieces. The music has not really changed since the band´s 2010 masterpiece; maybe the sound is a bit denser and darker. The opening intro, "Trumpets of the Doggerland (There were Giants in those Days)", provides a little foretaste of the drama (in a positive sense) that is about to unfold, and just two minutes later, it manifests with "Sol Invictus (With Faith and Fire). Wonderful guitar leads, just the right measure of melancholic hope (... from Ashes comes Light, from Darkness a Fire to conquer the Cold...Great!) and epic moments leave you with goose pimples all over. A short intermezzo leads over to the sombre "Heresiarch (Thousandfaced Moon)" and no, Heresiarch is spelled correctly. However, the title suggests that the mood on "The white Goddess" is substantially more sombre than on the predecessor. The atmospheric density and the dramaturgy is so well-developed that fantasy worlds like the ones drawn, in the good old days, by bands like Manowar, Bathory or even Helloween, condense into very clear pictures. Throughout the last years, especially the former, only played with rudimentary pathos but not so Atlantean Kodex, who exert their full pathos power plus a full measure of ethos.
With "Twelve of Star and in Azure Gown (an Anthem for Europe)", the Bavarians concocted an epic Metal anthem with ballad moments. Really well-done, too. "Die Vernichtung der Stadt Passau" passes into "Enthroned in Clouds and Fire (The great Cleansing)", which, with its characteristic cymbal crashing and organ sounds, reminds you a lot of Bathory during their Hammerheart times - the most doomy song on this album! Arising from bell-ringing and church liturgy (presumably), the song, one more time, increases the overall dramatic atmosphere. And with “the White Goddess Unveiled (Crown of Sephiroth)", pathos, depth and heaviness all come together to spawn a tragedy-filled song, in which Manuel Trummer and co play to perfection.
An awesome record and for me a worthy contestant for the “album of the year” award. I don´t want to imagine how Atlantean Kodex would sound like with Eric Adams as their singer.