Monday, June 3, 2013

Album Review: Coheed and Cambria "The Afterman: Descension"

This is an album long awaited by me. Seeing a trailer of the Afterman records was enough for Coheed and Cambria to become a part of my musical library.

At the time, it was disappointing that their double concept album would be released in two parts, and honestly, that is still disappointing. Between the releases of the Afterman, I've also picked up another of their records which clocks in at about the same length as their acclaimed, Apollo album.
I still find that Coheed and Cambria are a bit confusing. Very talented, but seemingly repetitive in terms of tone and vocals, it feels that they have finally broken out of their mold a bit with the Afterman set. Frontman, Claudio Sanchez, still tends to sing in his standard, but larger than life, register for much of this disc, but not for all of it. Though for the life of me, can someone explain to me what they are trying to musically?

Even though this is, basically, the second disc of their last album, it feels, more complete and more mature. Conceptually speaking that makes a great deal of sense because of the story arc. In the first disc, he goes up into space, and in the second disc, it's about him trying to return home after over a year.

There were more sound effects this go around as well. To this day, it's hard to tell what Coheed and Cambria are, and they're certainly not making it any easier, but if one is hardpressed, it would be hard to not to say they are gunning for Pink Floyd's old spot, and they'd very likely be deserving of it. Their stories, their music, and now their addition of sounds, all of these are definitely helping Coheed slide right into the niche that Pink Floyd has abandoned.

Like its predecessor, it is very easy to get engrossed in this album. The production quality is phenomenal. The guitars are tracked slightly off of center which give a hypnotic effect during the moments of interplay. Finally Claudio's vocals have been turned down a little bit in the mix. That has always been the issue that always bothered me just a touch.,  He was too high in the mix and covered up too much.

The music ranges from ethereal to pure Arena Rock from angry to hopeful from elated to depressed. The outpouring of emotion in the characters in this story is powerful and the music matches the output wonderfully. If you are already a fan of Coheed and Cambria, you should have already purchased this, but if you're not a fan, perhaps the Afterman might be able to convince you.

Genre: ??? (I don't know what they are and neither does iTunes. Each album is listed differently.)
Year: 2013


1) Pretelethal
2) Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant
3) The Hard Sell
4) Number City
5) Gravity's Union
6) Away We Go
7) Iron Fist
8) Darkside of Me
9) 2's My Favorite 1

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