The Annihilation of Bavaria by Atlantean Kodex

Release date: June 9, 2017
Label: Ván Records

On the sixth of November 2015 Atlantean Kodex played a live show at Kulturschloss Theuern. This was recorded and has now materialised as The Annihilation of Bavaria. A great live record full of epic sounding doom metal on the famous Ván Records label.

Rather noteworthy, this is the third live album by the German band, who have been sticking to the ‘The Annihilation of…’ titles, since their first one in 2009 in Koenigshofen. In 2010 followed Nürnberg, but now we’re 7 years further for the third one. The band has released less full lengths actually. The sound of Atlantean Kodex is quite particular, with an epic aspect, but no reach-for-the-moon-vocals though. There’s something much more organic to their sound, which makes it quite accessible. The moment of recording also celebrated the 10 year jubilee from the band.

Opener of the live set is ‘From Shores Forsaken’, originally on The Pnakotic Demos (the first EP from 2007). The vocal style of Markus Becker is not full of vocal flamboyance, but chanting and reverential in its own manner. The sound sort of follows in that manner. There’s not that much of the crowd audible throughout the recordings, so the live aspect is not very strongly present on the record. The music of ‘Pilgrim’ is a slow progression, professing a gracious veneration with heavy, solid guitars. Of course this is only the start…

From here on Atlantean Kodex brings their album ‘The White Goddess’ in full. A daring and grand album, that plays with the concept of a European White Goddess, as depicted in the book by Robert Graves from which the title is derived. The matter itself is a bit too complex to really go into now, but this is one hell of an album to play live. From the intro ‘Trumpets of Doggerland’, the sound seems to swell and the crowd awakens here. ‘Sol Invictus’ follows with a powerful bombarding rhythm and Becker sings over this as a doomsayer. The words evoke images of times long gone, from Attica to Albion, from Thule to Hagar Q‘im. The music is captivating and if you close your eyes, magnificent views are  projected by the songs of Atlantean Kodex.

We even get some eager crowd participation when we get to ‘Twelve Stars and an Azure Gown’. As the song starts of with the speech of Churchill, the crowd keenly jumps in for a bit of Iron Maiden-esque singing-along. The song takes us in various directions, with the vocal as guide and music as a canvas for the story-telling. Here it is that Atlantean Kodex excels. The whole live album is a joy to listen to. The band is great live and manages to stay on course, while leaving room for the crowd to jump in at parts later in the show. The feeling it gives you as listener is somewhere between yearning for that mysterious past and a sense of veneration for the delivery of the tunes. An album for people who love dreaming.

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