ATLANTEAN KODEX (Eng.)
– First of all thank you for answering our interview. How is the band currently doing toward the release of your next album?
Markus: Hi Paco. I would say, we’re doing pretty good at the moment. We are very excited to see the first reactions to the album being quite positive and we are looking forward to its release date as well as to the upcoming shows all over Europe.
– This new record is entitled «The White Goddess». Could you please tell us a bit about its concept lyric and cover-wise? What does this new ATLANTEAN KODEX’s album deal with?
Manuel: The main theme on the album is death and rebirth, downfall and resurrection. We use themythological figure of the „White Goddess“ as an allegory for this topic. The threefold „White Goddess“ shows up in folklore, mythology and tales all over Europe in different shapes, e.g. Kybele, the virgin Mary or the three Norns of northern mythology. She always is symbolizing aspects like birth, life and death. Therefore we thought her to be a perfect symbol for an album which deals with aspects like the downfall and resurrection of civilizations, empires or individual lives.
– This new opus contains 8 songs, 3 of them are instrumentals are the other 5 oscillate from 8 to 12 minute length. Has been for you a risky work or did you have a clear idea of what you wanted to do with this record?
Markus: As with TGB, Manuel had an initial concept for the album in mind. But if you mean by “risky” that we did not really know where we were headed musically when we started working on the album, you are correct. It was a very long process (three years, on and off), but at its end we had exactly the tracks on the album that suited the concept on a lyrical, compository and emotional level. We even kicked two songs off the album that did not quite fit in due to their somewhat different vibes. Maybe we’ll use them at a later point. So yes, we are very pleased wit the outcome.
– And as final outcome; are you satisfied with how it did come up or do you think there’s something that exceeds or something lacking on it? How would you define the final result?
– I have had the chance of listening to the album and, honestly, I have liked it; when it comes to epica I dig those really long musical structures. And as I have the chance, I would like to pinpoint specially those tracks. Let’s start with «Sol Invictus»; tell us about how did that song born, with that battlefield atmosphere, those choirs and certain gallop riffs at the MAIDEN’s style.
Markus: First of all, thanks for the positive reaction to the album. I believe, Sol Invictus was the first song that Manuel wrote for TWG after he took some creative time off after The Golden Bough. I remember when he first played a demo of the song to us in the rehearsal room, and I was immediately convinced that this song was going to be pretty big. A bit more aggressive than the Golden Bough material, yet very melodic and typical AK stuff. Manuel considers this song the best he’s ever written. While I am not 100% sure about that, he certainly had one of his better days… : D
– Then we have «Heresiarch», a song that reminds me to those old good songs by MANOWAR as «Defender» or «Guyana». Tell us a littl bit the sotry. Did you take influence from this series on tracks I’ve mentioned?
Markus: Manowar? Never heard of them… : D Of course the songs you listed are some great slow tunes by the artists formerly known as the Kings of Metal. But the vibe of Heresiarch reminds me more of a song like “Bridge Of Death”. Anyway, yes, maybe the early Manowar influence on AtlanteanKodex can be heard best in this song.
– The next piece is «Twelve Stars and an Azure Gown», one of my personal favourites; it blends both acoustics as Heavy riffs, which in certain moments remind me to bnds as the early BLIND GUARDIAN end even JETHRO TULL.
Markus: While I don’t hear too much Blind Guardian there, I agree with you on JethroTull or other 70s rock bands like Uriah Heep. The acoustic parts have a very 70s inspired vibe, and we love that aspect of the song as well as some other parts on the album where these influences shine through.
– «Enthroned in Clouds and Fire» is pure Epic Doom at the BATHORY’s style during their epic period. While I was listening to the album I was thinking there should be a song with this characteristics, and there it was. Tell us a bit about this track and if you also thought about BATHORY when creating this song.
Markus: Of course this song has a Bathory written all over it. But it still has its own character, and that’s what I like about it. It’s not a rip off, it‘s our definitive hommage to Bathory.
– And, to finish, the album ends with «White Goddess Unveiled», which I think defines the whole album, and it’s also the lengthiest tune. Did you have clear that the closing song would have to be like this and to, somehow, sum up the whole record?
Markus: Actually, it was more like a coincidence that this song closes out the album. Initially, we wanted to put this track in the operer position, but with Sol Invictus being the perfect opener, we had to find another spot for the song. When we added the piano outro, it became clear that WGU had to be the final song, I closes out the album very intensly and with a typical AK riff that kind of closes the loop between The Golden Bough and The White Goddess.
– So already the album being defined, I would like to know how do you see the evolution between that «The Golden Bough», from 2009, and this new effort.
Markus: The Golden Bough was a bit rougher than the new album, you can hear the ambition but also the inexperience. The White Goddess is a bit more mature from a compository perspective. Also, it has a much darker aura and the flow of the album is perfect as far as we are concerned. We are also really happy with the overall sound this time, where we saw a lot of room for improvement on TGB.
– And on a view to the future; what will be the next step for the band? In case you already have something in mind.
Markus: We never really had a “career plan” (other than “I want to be driven to the gig in a stretch limo like Venom”) and I’m pretty sure we’ll have no such thing in the future. We’ll pretty much continue to “go with the flow”. If and when inspiration strikes again, we’ll put out new material someday, but do not expect that to be next year. Due to obligations in our parallel lives, our working speed will not increase much in the future. And honestly, with all that’s happening with the band right now, we’re pretty happy.
– And now talking about shows; how’s the touring situation? I know next 2014 you will come back to Keep it True. I had the chance of seeing you there some years ago and, of course, I will also see you this time. What does this festival mean to you?
Markus: KIT is definitely the ultimate Underground Metal Festival in the world, no doubt. I would go as far as to say that many current traditional Metal Bands (including AtlanteanKodex) would probably not even exist without this festival. KIT has been the center of the Underground Metal Movement for so many years now, and it is a great honor for our band to be able to play it for the second time next year. For me personally it will be the first time and I am very excited about it. As for other gigs in the coming 12 months or so, we have been booked for some other great festivals, e.g. the Open the Gates Festival in Bergen, Norway, the Dutch Doom Days (both in fall 2013) as well as the German Swordbrothers Festival or Hell Over Hammaburg in 2014. In October, we’ll have our official CD release party in Athens, which will be another great event, I am sure. There are a couple of other things planned for 2014, so stay tuned.
– About the set-list, after being released this album, where all tracks are conceptualized, have you thought about playing it on its entirity or, on the opposite, will you mix it with songs off your previous album?
Markus: For the upcoming shows we will definitely mix the new stuff with some older tunes, but the idea of playing The White Goddess in its entirety is definitely intriguing…we promise to do so latest at its 25thanniversary 😀
– That’s all from our side, our best wishes and hope to see you soon in Spain, or at the latest at KIT. Good luck and thanks for everything.
Markus: Thank you and if anyone out there wants to book us for Spain, the Kodex will be happy to annihilate you, too!