Coheed & Cambria will forever and always be pure bliss, in my honest opinion.
The band will be permanently linked to consistency and greatness without much argument. Most would agree that they have never disappointed. While they have often stretched the limits of what they can do (which, by the way, is anything), the progression has never been seen as complete devastation of something good and true (which has been known to happen when bands “grow”). That being said, I personally miss In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3 and the first Good Apollo, but everything that has come since has been phenomenal compared to most anything in the “general music world.” General music world, you may be offended by this statement, but I think after three to four listens of the new Coheed record, you may just quit what you think you are doing – harsh, I know.
Since the beginning, Claudio Sanchez, lead singer and guitarist, has opened our eyes to the conceptual phenomenon known as The Amory Wars. Rather than go too far deep into the history and nerdiness of all of this, just know that everything recorded under the Coheed & Cambria name has been conceptualized and drawn out by its mastermind.
So, 17 years later, it is 2012. The end of the world is near and Sanchez has decided to add yet another audio-book to his collection (also, the follow-up, The Afterman: Descension is set to release in February, 2013 – if we make it).
The Afterman: Ascension is Coheed & Cambria’s sixth official studio album. Among the bits of research I have done on the current release, it sounded as though it was clear that the band has taken a step back from the much darker and more technical Year of the Black Rainbow. Allow me to disprove this “so far” universal notion (or so it may seem): in all honesty, Ascension reminds me of a perfect combination of In Keeping Secrets and Black Rainbow. My reasoning: the record is clearly experimental and progressive. At the same time, there is a vivid reminiscence lingering with each track. It flows nicely, and the technicality of the music doesn’t take over the way it did with Black Rainbow. It is very much present, though. Sanchez and crew didn’t completely abandon the post-Josh Eppard (on drums) sound, now that he so valiantly made his return. Crunchy nerds, do not fear.
Let me just say, for the record, although there has been much nerd-talk (should I put that in quotes?), I have personally been a true believer/follower since 2002. I remember those days quite clearly, and when “A Favor House Atlantic” first popped up on my Yahoo Videos (yes, Yahoo Videos), it was on repeat for weeks – poor mom. My point is, don’t hate – I am one too, this I promise you.
My theory on the record, without digging into the bits and pieces (aka, the nitty gritty), is quite simple: it contains the distinct yet natural storytelling ability and combines it with the detail-oriented experimentation that has always been apparent with a Coheed record. What I think is unique here, is that although they have diversified their sound yet again, they have combined elements of others in their past to develop this concept of past/super-past. The effect is the present. Pretty neat, right?
Here is the deal, guys and gals. Going through each track would be ludicrous. I highly urge you to listen, on repeat if at all possible. Going back to my intro, you may just find yourself in astonishment as to what you have been missing out on all your life. For those die-hards, I do not have to tell you twice. I am 100% sure you have already memorized every inch of the new collection of tracks by Coheed and are wondering why this review hasn’t posted yet – yep.