We are always glad when interviews that we publish on the Epic Metal Blog stimulate discussion among our readers. The conversation that my colleagues Anna and Igor had with Manuel Trummer (Atlantean Kodex) provided a lot of food for thought, especially regarding the question of how important the topic of protest is in our genre.
It is well known that Atlantean Kodex is not an activist band that regularly expresses its ideas on political or social issues. Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that the band has worked out their world view very intelligently and poetically in their song lyrics. In this context, I would like to refer to “The Course of Empire (All Thrones in Earth and Heaven)“ – a track that is one of my all-time favourites – both musically and lyrically. The lyrics describe numerous negative developments that Europe is confronted with.
Our clarion harps fall silent – Twelve Stars are stained in blood; The graves of Mare Nostrum, Mother Europe trembling
The second verse moved me the most in 2019, already on the first listen, because it is very difficult not to see a reference here to the mass deaths in the Mediterranean. Europe betrays its humanistic or Christian values when people are left to die instead of rushing to their aid.
An old enemy stirs discord, dark rumours from the frontlines; False prophets spread his gospel, evoking Empire’s end
These verses, in my opinion, hint at right-wing and extreme right-wing political movements that have declared war on the idea of a supranational European Union. The old, nationalist enemy that was not finally defeated in the Second World War. When we remember that the AfD is currently the second strongest party in Germany in the polls, these lines are more relevant than ever.
Children of Europe, Daughters of Eden, defiant, unbroken and free; Raise proudly the torch of enlightenment’s triumph; The great wars are yet to come
This commitment to enlightenment fits into the picture in this respect: extremist forces declare war on universal human rights, civil rights, emancipation and education. Dedicated Europeans have a duty to defend these values.
All this does not make “The Course of Empire (All Thrones in Earth and Heaven)“ a protest song. However, it shows that Atlantean Kodex also have a lot to say about political and social issues – of course, this is not done as explicitly as by thrash metal or punk bands. But this track alone is completely enough for me to consider the band around Manuel Trummer as allies. There are basic values that must never be up for debate – and a united Europe, which is sung about so passionately in the band’s anthem “Twelve Stars and an Azure Gown“, is the best way to ensure freedom, prosperity and peace.
And when the night is darkest Prometheus’ torch will burn and the goddess on her white bull, though she never left, returns
Pic: André (Swordbrothers Festival 2023)