Lyrics: Atlantean Kodex – “The Golden Bough“ (song)

Friday evening’s interview with Gordon Overkill from German epic heavy metal band Atom Smasher was, among other things, about the great emotions that epic metal can evoke in the listener. Last but not least, we talked about the magnificent lyrics of Atlantean Kodex, which are second to none in our scene. In this regard, I do not tolerate any dissenting opinion…

If I had to select one single lyric to illustrate the emotional force that this band can unleash, I would take the short title track of their first studio album The Golden Bough, released in 2010. I admit it frankly: This song has often affected me enormously, especially in dark times. I even believe that this will happen more often as I get older. A song full of longing, nostalgia and shattered dreams.

My longing heart
Is filled with lights
With lost bells
With silver spires and stars
And I will wander very far
Farther than those hills
Farther than the moon
To beg the Lord
“Grant me the Golden Bough”
To give back the soul I had
When I was a child
Ripened with legends
With a blossom crown
And a wooden sword
And a thousand dreams
Still to be dreamt

Who doesn’t sometimes long for one’s childhood, when the world was not yet disenchanted? A time when there was still so much to discover. When one believed in myths and legends. When one thought everything had a deeper meaning and one could even change the world – and in the end, good would triumph anyway.

No question: without hope, one is lost. No wonder that the lyrical I in this song text is ready to go to all kinds of trouble to win it back. There is probably no listener who cannot identify with these words. And I just can’t imagine that they leave anyone indifferent who opens one’s mind to them even a little bit. We are dealing here with art that is nourished by self-experienced pain. There is no doubt about that in my opinion. You can sense that in every single second of the song.

We also talked to Gordon Overkill about the subject of escapism in epic metal. Of course, that’s what Atlantean Kodex is often about. We can plunge into a distant, magical world that has absolutely nothing to do with our often all-too-mundane everyday lives. But there is also the second level of meaning mentioned in our interview, which makes epic metal truly interesting. If you read “The Golden Bough“ carefully, you might ask yourself what the hell caused you to lose faith in something greater in life? What made you a cynic or a nihilist? What turned you into what you used to detest? Why have you given up on yourself?

There may be answers to this that are highly political and socially critical. In this respect, everyone will make up one’s own mind what this mystical “Golden Bough” is all about, which gives you back your old soul. It is therefore up to each individual to decide whether one merely revels desperately in distant memories or whether one can pull oneself together one last time to attempt to give one’s life a deeper meaning. This text also reminds us that we should listen much more often to children, who sometimes understand more about the world than adults…

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