This is the question that many of you, and even us at Cruz del Sur Music, are keeping on asking. From the land of Bavaria, best known to the world for its tasty beers and commercial Oktoberfests, ATLANTEAN KODEX hails and kill, keeping it in an epic, Manowar-esque fashion.
Some of the early press responses have been just overwhelming :
“There is no metal truer than this. The Golden Bough thunders and shimmers like a storm of everything True Metal is supposed to be. The riffs are worthy of Quorthon at his best, the melodies are beyond haunting, and the production is heavy as a fucking iron warhammer.(…) Not only the best metal music of the year, but one of the most significant and deep albums ever made”
“Get ready for one of the most chilling, hair raising and just plain brilliant metal releases of the year!!!! I’m honestly not over exaggerating either, if you have not gotten your full dose of melodic, epic, and ultimately heavy quite yet then prepare to be flattened to being almost transparent by the Atlantean Kodex!!!!(…) This thing actually gives me goosebumps, I mean honest tingling and a “deer in the headlights” expression on my face as my epidermis puckers in places. The whole album is so astounding and completely intense, this will humble many for sure.”
We decided to ask a few questions to guitarist Manuel Trummer, trying to understand which is the secret behind the bands’ formula of success:
“The Golden Bough” is not yet released, and the critical acclaim has already been overwhelming… what do you think about this? Is Atlantean Kodex ready to take the metal world by storm?
MT- Honestly, we don’t know what to make of all these amazing reviews. When journalists are writing that it’s one of the best metal albums from Germany ever or that it’s a coming classic, it feels totally unreal to us. You know, we are fully convinced that we managed to record a great album, and it’s really rewarding to read that people with a lot of knowledge about metal rate it that high, but we still can’t quite believe it. We’re just a small underground band from Bavaria who love their old 80s albums, you know. But it seems we hit a nerve, it almost feels like people were waiting for an album like “The Golden Bough”. What I can say as a fact is that everyone who liked “The Pnakotic Demos” will also love “The Golden Bough”. As a matter of fact, the album was recorded for these people, who supported us right from the start. If they are happy with the album, we are happy as well. That’s the important part. But if the album manages to reach a wider audience, that’s a cool feeling as well, of course.
Can you tell us something behind the album’s artwork choice?
MT- Sure. What you can see in the artwork is the fourth version of the painting “Die Toteninsel” (“The island of the dead”) by Swiss symbolist artist Arnold Böcklin (1827-1901). It has been one of my favourite paintings for a long time. When you stand in front of the original painting in the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin you feel humbled. There’s such a strong aura of melancholy, but also majesty, radiating from the painting, it’s unreal. It shows exactly what the listener will experience on the album – loss, woe, melancholy, nostalgia, but also strength, triumph and katharsis. Our lives as a pilgrimage between the worlds. On another level also Böcklin’s idea behind the painting relates to the themes of our album. Böcklin was an admirer of antique Greek culture and the ancient traditions of Europe originating in these early democracies, their philosophy and art. Böcklin saw the shining European ideals of civilization threatened by the progressing industrialization and modernization of Europe in the late 19th century. The figure on the boat leaving this earth for the island of the dead is symbolizing the European ideals of civilization, which were forged in ancient Greece, rediscovered in the Renaissance, sophisticated by Humanism and spread in the age of Enlightenment, vanishing from our world against the rising tide of a shallow, brutal modern world. Although the main theme on “The Golden Bough” is the relationship between magic and religion in Europe, on a meta-level we also deal with issues of traditions and identity in Europe. Therefore choosing “Die Toteninsel” as the artwork for our album felt just perfect.
Any touring plans to support “the Golden Bough”?
MT- No, we’re not a touring band and never will be. Just a few select shows at festivals like “The Annihilation of Lisboa” on October 3rd or “Hammer of Doom IV”, next year in April
What do you expect with the release of “the golden Bough” on Cruz del Sur Music?
MT- No big expectations. More people will know us, I guess, because Cruz del Sur is doing a simply awesome job promoting and producing the album. It’s been nothing but a pleasure working with Enrico and Marco so far. Other than that, my hope is that with the success of “The Golden Bough” we can influence younger bands to play that kind of epic sound we are playing. After Quorthon’s death and Manowar’s downfall the void still hasn’t been filled. We need more albums in the vein of “Into Glory Ride”, “Twilight of the Gods”, “Crystal Logic”, “And the cannons of destruction have
begun…”. I would love to hear young bands playing that style, instead of trying to copy maiden for the x-thousandst time or all this devil-worshipping, which is en vogue right now. If we could contribute to some sort of “Epic Metal Revival” with “The Golden Bough”, we’d be more than happy.
You can read more about ATLANTEAN KODEX and “The Golden Bough” on the interview published by Metal Sound magazine