“Codex Epicus”

By Dr. Abner Mality

If this release was any more epic, it would come in a marble case with pure gold trim. How you react to “Codex Epicus” will depend on your tolerance for huge choirs, acoustic flourishes and tales of ancient empires and dead kings. If you’re looking for anything “stripped down”, then move along, little doggie…

Been a while since I’ve heard this Greek band. They remain as dedicated to their pompous sound as ever. Imagine Omen’s “Battle Cry” crossed with the most bombastic Manilla Road and then pour tons of choirs on top and you have the Battleroar formula. Their dedication to the Manilla Road style is sincere…no less than Mark “The Shark” Shelton sings lead on “Sword of the Flame”, so you can’t get more Manilla Road than that. As overblown as this album is, there is something in it that grabs me deeply These guys really hate the modern age. Epic metal for them is a way to return to the past and they do it with relish.

The songs here are long and almost always begin with acoustic guitar and choir-like effects. Then the band cuts into huge mid-paced metal riffs laced with ripping guitar solos. The lead vocals are nasal and unique…something to adjust to, but once you’re there, they fit pretty well. Best songs here are the driving “Doom of the Medusa” which is a bit crunchier than the rest and “Palace of the Martyrs”. “Enchanted Threnody” is so over the top with epic ancient feeling that it becomes transcendental.

You should know by now if “Codex Epicus” is for you or not.