Atlantean Kodex - The Course Of Empire review




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Band: Atlantean Kodex
Album: The Course Of Empire
Release date: September 2019


01. The Alpha And The Occident (Rising From Atlantean Tombs)
02. People Of The Moon (Dawn Of Creation)
03. Lion Of Chaldea (The Heroes' Journey)
04. Chariots (Descending From Zagros)
05. The Innermost Light (Sensus Fidei)
06. A Secret Byzantium (Numbered As Sand And The Stars)
07. He Who Walks Behind The Years (The Place Of Sounding Drums)
08. Spell Of The Western Sea (Among Wolves And Thieves)
09. The Course Of Empire (All Thrones In Earth And Heaven)
10. Die Welt Von Gestern (Abendland)


We all tend to throw in our metal-related conversations the word "epic" way too often and sometimes without enough justification. If you could have a photo next to that word in the dictionary, it would be the cover art of The Course Of Empire.

And it's not just the breathtaking artistic oeuvre of the usual suspect Mariusz Lewandowski that is as epic as they come; the music and concept of Atlantean Kodex's third full-length album - inspired by the painting series, The Course Of Empire, by the American artist Thomas Cole - both provide the very definition of epicness. Coming six long years after The White Goddess, this latest opus by the Germans is - in one word - astounding.

It's not that Atlantean Kodex have invented something new. Their brand of metal was forged years ago and the band stands on the back of giants; Viking-era Bathory, Ross The Boss-era Manowar, Dio-era Rainbow, and beginning-of-the-millennium Manilla Road. The Course Of Empire is not even any spectacular progress compared to its predecessor in the way it sounds. But it is more cohesive, heavier and it has a fantastic flow, which is apparent from the very beginning with the way the introductory "The Alpha And The Occident" pours itself into "People Of The Moon". The latter's opening is the definition of a fists-in-the-air riff and there is quite an abundance of those throughout the album, mixed with some very grandiose choruses with the best example being the "Chariots". The catchier tune overall would probably be "He Who Walks Behind The Years" that stands in contrast to the darker and more doomy cuts, "Lion Of Chaldea" and "A Secret Byzantium". Additional components, such as the choir in a few of the songs, add extra layers of majesty. The title track fulfils the role of the grand highlight making everything come full circle, in an album that poses as Atlantean Kodex's most ambitious effort to date.

This is one of these records that you need to have a physical copy of and not just because of the artwork. If you are a sucker for storytelling just like I am, you will read lyrics combining history and fiction, narrating the rise and fall of cultures and empires. The music reflects these lyrics by building up, reaching a peak and then collapsing like a tower of cards. It transitions from energetic and vibrant to sombre and emotional, and calls for singing along every verse and every chorus so that I cannot but imagine you trying to mimic Markus Becker's heavenly and uplifting performance. Yes, uplifting, because despite the many melancholic and fatalistic themes that revolve around downfall and death, there is also so much strength and even maybe optimism to be found; after all, it is from the ashes that we always rise.

The Course Of Empire lasts slightly longer than an hour but feels like it's not nearly enough. Twenty years from now, we will look back at it and view it as a masterpiece of epic metal. But there is no need to wait until then to appreciate its artistic depiction of humanity's constant cycle of growth and destruction through history.

"Empires rise and empires fall
The moral of all human tales
Cities shall crumble and all towers will break
With the triumphant fist of time

"Yet from the ruins a flower shall spring
The laurel wreath of future kings
Titans march onward in perpetual strife
New kingdoms arise in their wake"


 



Written on 14.10.2019 by I was into this music when you were still in diapers.


Comments

Comments: 8   Visited by: 107 users
14.10.2019 - 23:56
Bad English
Masterchief
Great album, first review where you use 2 paragraps in the end, great fillos mou
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Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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15.10.2019 - 00:09
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Bad English on 14.10.2019 at 23:56

Great album, first review where you use 2 paragraps in the end, great fillos mou

I did it because I love the lyrics in this album.
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15.10.2019 - 00:22
Lanthros
My interest is very peaked. I'm going to have to give this band and especially this album a good listen.

Any specific track you think would give me a good idea of what this band is all about?
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15.10.2019 - 00:27
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Lanthros on 15.10.2019 at 00:22

My interest is very peaked. I'm going to have to give this band and especially this album a good listen.

Any specific track you think would give me a good idea of what this band is all about?

Tracks 1 & 2 together, "Chariots", and the title track probably. To be honest I listen to the whole thing nearly every day, I am kind of addicted to it and I think it is made to be listened in full.
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15.10.2019 - 02:47
tominator
At best deranged
Written by nikarg on 15.10.2019 at 00:27

I think it is made to be listened in full.


Yup, I feel the same way about this one.

I've been recommending this record to a bunch of people, yet it's sometimes difficult to explain what makes it so good. There is something about this record that just hooks me in and it's also one of those records that has such a distinct mood that it sticks with you even after you've finished listening to it.

I think this will easily get into my top 10 albums of this year tbh. Just a wonderful piece of work.

Great review btw!
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15.10.2019 - 05:52
Peasant
Yes, this review is spot on. At first i thought that they are just recycling traditional metal, but after a few listenings i realised how good is their song writing.
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13.11.2019 - 13:21
Belegûr
Arise In Might!
Get better with each release. Definitely now among my favourite bands.
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13.11.2019 - 13:29
nikarg
Old Nick
Written by Belegûr on 13.11.2019 at 13:21

Get better with each release. Definitely now among my favourite bands.

Yeah, same here. It has now become my most listened-to album this year.
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