The Heroes’ Journey: Atlantean Kodex at the Storm Crusher Festival

Text: André, Pics & Video: Aidan and Alex

It was already clear beforehand that this Kodex gig would be a special one: The quintet had announced somewhat cryptically via Facebook that after the home show in the Upper Palatinate, a break would follow. Only Trummer, Kreuzer and Co. know how long this break will last.

But first to the festival itself: Alex, Aidan and I were at Storm Crusher in the Wurzer O`Schnitt-Halle for the first time – and we can already reveal at this point that we will definitely be back: The location is great, the organisation was top – and the billing was so varied that there was something for everyone. In short: an excellent underground festival that deserves every support. We were able to experience excellent performances by Seven Sisters, Yoth Iria, Mega Colossus, Ironflame, Smoulder and Fvneral Fvkk, among others – and for a very fair price!

But our highlight was of course, the other bands may forgive us, the home game of Atlantean Kodex. The bar was high: the band had already shone at the Swordbrothers Festival and the Iron Fest this year – would they be able to top these gigs again?

An idle question: The Kodex always manages it. At the Storm Crusher Festival, however, this was not least due to a passionate and loud audience that carried the band through the 80-minute set. A funny anecdote: A few hours before the gig, guitarist Coralie joined us – and I talked about surprises on the setlist that we would particularly appreciate. In doing so, I mentioned “Pilgrim“, one of my tour group’s favourites. I interpreted Coralie’s laugh as a “No, sorry, there’s no such thing”. Well, the guitarist can obviously put on a poker face… because “Pilgrim“, as you can guess from Aidan’s video, was going to be a highlight of the set, maybe even a highlight of my entire concert year 2023.

I’ve written it a few times on this blog: I am not capable of writing an objective live review of a Kodex performance. The band helped me through a very dark time with their music and lyrics, playing their way into my heart for all time. Their songs are part of my DNA. You can analyse Kodex lyrics on a scientific basis because they are some of the most intelligent and multi-layered lyrics ever released by a metal band. But you have to feel the Kodex to understand it. The melancholy, the unfulfilled longings, the love for people and places that have left their mark on you are the core of the universe that the legend from Vilseck has created.

Besides the already mentioned “Pilgrim“, I was also very happy about the closing track “Enthroned in Clouds and Fire“, which I hadn’t heard live for a few years. But there’s really no point in highlighting individual tracks, as from the very first second the Kodex set off on an epic triumphant march that’s hard to top. I’ve been to countless gigs in my life, but the atmosphere at Kodex concerts is unique – helped, of course, by the fact that you’ve known a lot of people in the front rows for years. Kodex gatherings are therefore also family reunions – and these will be enormously missed in the near future…

This report wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention the surprise visit of our Don’t Drop The Sword friends Korbi and Max, who travelled all the way to pay homage to Atlantean Kodex on Friday. It was very nice to be able to talk to them for a longer time – such experiences make a festival. The same goes for all other conversations with the Iron Battalions, who are simply some of the most pleasant people you can meet. Hopefully, the Heroes’ Journey will continue soon…

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