Atlantean Kodex has just issued their 3rd full-length, definitely one of the best offerings in 2019. They have already appeared on front pages of some German magazines and their latest offering The Course of Empire has already received some indeed great comments. Anyway, since the band presents the finest crafted traditional doom/heavy metal it was more than obvious that we wanted to present their latest effort on metal Sound pages…
The Course of Empire; is your latest album, the third one, so please could you present your latest offering to Metal Sound readers from your point of view?
We are very happy that – after almost two years of working on it – the new record will be released on September 13 the. For a long time, we were not sure if it would ever happen, because we wanted to create something that was on the same level as the previous records, and had sworn to ourselves that we would not release anything new that would not fulfill our own quality standards. But now it is here and we are very satisfied with it.
The Course of Empire is indeed interesting title. So, what did you want to express by this time?
The main lyrical theme of the album is the everlasting cycle of the rise and fall of human empires and cultures. It was inspired by a series of paintings by American painter Thomas Cole from the 1830’s, depicting the usual development of human civilizations from the savage and arcadian through the wealthy and prosperous state and finally to destruction and downfall.
Let’s stay for a little while on the lyrical side of the new effort. What’s the meaning of the lyrics this time, I mean I can sense a lot of occult topics and titles around…?
Well, I’m not sure about the label “occult”. Basically, Manuel and Florian have mixed historical cultures, periods, names etc. with fictional content, inspired for example by Ron E. Howard and others, in order to tell epic stories and paint musical pictures of hidden and long forgotten
realms and civilizations.
Moreover, the cover artwork is quite remarkable and definitely it has the meaning behind. Please, tell us little more about the cover artwork as well.
Markus: The painting we used for the front cover was done by contemporary artist Mariusz Lewandowski from Poland. It looks quite majestic and has a powerful aura to it, which makes it a perfect fit for the music and the lyrical theme. I should also mention the booklet of the Album, which again was done by our incredibly talented friend Ben Harff. It is essential to the total package of The Course of Empire, which is always of high importance to us.
Let’s focus now on musical side of the brand new offering. Could you compare your latest album with your debut and the second full-length. Did you find and add something new in your style this time that you would like to notice us?
Generally, we did not change our style, all the Kodex trademarks established since The Golden Bough are still dominant. Maybe, within the range between epic Bathory and early Manowar, we shifted focus a bit towards the latter, which we did not do on purpose, it was just the way the songs turned out. We did however implement a few new elements. I think, the song structures are a bit more complex and less obvious than on the White Goddess. Also, you might say that the songs as
well as the production are heavier than on the last album. There is still melancholy in the music butin total the record is the most “majestic” one we did thus for, and it has a great “flow”.
Well, I need to focus on the point that you needed almost six years to complete and release a brand new offering. Why there was such a long pause? Were there any change in the line up and in the band?
There were different reasons. The first two years after the White Goddess we promoted that album live. Then we basically took a creative break, just like we did after the first album, only that it lasted a bit longer than last time because a lot of things were happening in our private lives. When we finally started working on the new songs, we lost our practice room and band studio, and it took almost a year to find something new. And on top of that, we parted ways with our longtime lead
guitarist Michael Koch, because of his health issues, and had to replace him with Coralie Baier.
Well, I guess that already many people and your fans are wandering when and where will be the next show of the band. So, I guess it will be indeed welcome if you could unveil us if you have any plans for the live performances soon?
Markus: Following the first release show at the Deaf Forever Birthday Bash in Hamburg, tomorrow will be our official release party and second release show at the Stormcrusher Festival in our home region. Thereafter, we will play two more headliner shows in 2019, at Hammer Of Doom Festival as well as the Riddle Of Steel Festival in Marburg. In addition, we have already booked some shows for 2020, in Germany and throughout Europe: e.g. we will be headlining the warm-up for Up The Hammers in Athens, Greece, which we are really looking forward to.
In mean time you’ve released also one live album with DVD bonus material, The Annihilation of Bavaria, your home place so to say, so it will be welcome to add a word or two about this particular offering as well if you don’t mind.
In November 2015, we played two special shows at Castle Theuern in the Upper Palatinate, our home region. At these shows, we played the White Goddess Album in its entirety and we also added a few unique features for the fans, such as the appearance of some “Perchten” in their traditional costumes and masks. These shows were quite memorable and luckily, we recorded them and were able to release them as a live album and DVD.
How do you look so far concerning the biography of the band, I guess that you have to be indeed proud of the success that you have achieved thus far…
The reaction to the new album has been overwhelming so far, and of course that is a relief and makes us very proud, just like the fact that there is a continued interest in the band and a growing fan base. Looking back on how we started and how we have “managed” our career so far, by doing everything ourselves with the help of some great people like Sven at Van Records or Enrico and Cruz del Sur, it has been and continues to be an incredible ride, which we are proud of and thankful
for.Well, I would like to thank you for the interview and i wish you all the best. Hope to see you somewhere at your show!
You’re welcome, thank you for your support!
- Answers by Markus Becker
- Interview by Marko Miranovic