(Van Records, 2013)
#FOR FANS OF: Classic Heavy Metal, Doom, Candlemass
Coming a full three years after their spirited-but-flawed debut, the second full-length from German Epic Heavy/Doom metallers Atlantean Kodex, 'The White Goddess (A Grammar of Poetic Myth)' is probably one of the years’ finest achievements and a sparkling example of a band firing on all cylinders of their chosen sound. Brimming with sprawling guitars firing off classic heavy metal riffs within a plodding, majestic pace that rivals the speed and urgency of doom metal at times, with ecstatic vocals and well-timed narration samples woven into the story, this is a record that ebbs and flows from up-tempo back to atmospheric touches and finally to mid-range with absolute conviction and intent which allows for a warmness and natural sound that isn’t heard very much. It isn’t full of bad tracks at all, as the five proper full-length tracks are utter stand-outs though most memorable would belong to "Heresiarch (Thousandfaced Moon)" for the way it manages to include so many weaving patterns throughout without losing an ounce of power through its sterling performances. As well, the closing duo of "Enthroned in Clouds and Fire (The Great Cleansing)" and "White Goddess Unveiled (Crown of the Sephiroth)" provide similar reactions from their sparkling guitar-work, dynamic drumming and memorable songwriting that manages to leave ten-minute plus works without any sense of plodding filler-moments or sense of boredom. This is mostly due to guitar tandem Michael Koch and Manuel Trummer who spit out a series of inviting, melodic leads throughout the course of the album that are quite dynamic and heavy while mixing in the melody where appropriate, though undoubtedly the true star of the record is vocalist Markus Becker who utterly shines with a series of sparkling vocal work-outs full of emotion, power, range and dynamics that call for a wide variety of different attributes and he comes through spectacularly, stealing the spotlight numerous times. While the effort may be overkill at times with it’s epic length for really only five true tracks out of eight that may be seen as it’s true downfall, there’s so much else to like elsewhere this will be near the top of many year-end Best-Of lists and is an essential listen.