Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Atlantean Kodex - The Golden Bough

Atlantean Kodex
The Golden Bough
Cruz del Sur

The Golden Bough, the latest record from Atlantean Kodex, is a concept album that uses a story of Atlantis to talk about the pagan/ Neolithic magic roots of European Christianity and how it all relates to peace, love, community and equality for all mankind. Got all that? Me neither. But the kind of epic metal the German quintet proffers here is more about the color and the pageantry than the storytelling, and the band certainly has that down. Huge, soaring melodies, arrangements so widescreen your local Imax theater couldn’t hold them, twin guitar harmonies painted on every surface, a clean-voiced singer who somehow avoids histrionics – these are the things that make The Golden Bough interesting. Disciples of the Iron Crown, The Atlantean Kodex (yes, the band named itself after one of its own songs) and Temple of Katholic Magick are meant to be enjoyed while holding one’s head high, swinging one’s arms about dramatically and lip-synching passionately, one foot on the nearest monitor (or ottoman, whichever) – any philosophical underpinnings will just have to sink in over time. Hell, if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re better off reading Sir James George Frazer’s original tome anyway – The Golden Bough is best served by epic headbanging, rather than furrow-browed contemplation.

- Michael Toland

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