Atlantean Kodex – The Course of Empire
When checking up the, for me, new acquaintance Atlantean Kodex they are described as ”Epic Heavy/Doom Metal”, a description that instantly gives a Doom Metal lover like me a cold feet, knowing that a band with this description most of the time has little to none in common with “real” Doom.
My earlier experience with this type of band description seem to be proven right as soon as the pointless, albeit quite heavy, intro is over and Atlantean Kodex explodes into very much Epic, but not at all “doomy” Heavy Metal. Sure, at times they slow down the pace, but playing slow isn’t necessary equivalent to playing Doom. I don’t know about their earlier discography but on ”The Course of Empire” the only tune resembling to Doom is the, actually really good song, ”A Secret Byzantium”.
Now, the absence of Doom doesn’t necessary mean that Atlantean Kodex isn’t a good band, or that ”The Course of Empire” should be a bad record. I don’t mind my Metal to be Epic at all and when it comes to Heavy Metal I would go as far, stating I crave the music to be Epic to really like it, and one thing’s for sure, ”The Course of Empire” is epic as hell!
What’s my problem then, besides the obvious lack of the promised Doom? In my opinion there is something, well, a bit to ”pleasant” with the, although technical skilled, singer Markus Becker’s vocal melodies. They often remind me of something an eighties Hair Metal-band as Europe, Rainbow featuring Graham Bonnet or maybe, the lightest side of ”Black Sabbath” around ”Seventh Star” would put on tape. Another annoying thing is that they often use some sort of chorus effect on the solo guitar actually making the guitar harmonies sound slightly out of tune.
Of course everything isn’t all bad, Atlantean Kodex knows how to write catchy epic songs, comes up with some nice riffs and explodes in one or another breathtaking guitar solo and aside the sometimes a bit to ”jolly humming” and strange guitar effects it’s actually a decent album and although it doesn’t really rock my boat, if you’re into Epic Metal, not minding it to be slightly on the ”happy” side I’m sure you will enjoy ”The Course of Empire”.
Artist: Atlantean Kodex
Title: The Course of Empire
Label: Ván Records
Date of release: 2/9-19
Playing time: 1:02:34
Stand out track: A Secret Byzantium (Numbered as Sand and the Stars)