Review Summary: The Star Wars of Rock conclude their epic saga with possibly their weakest effort yet when held up to the pantheon of the three albums that preceded it.
The release of No World For Tommorow has marked the official conclusion to the Amory Wars saga; an epic story of sci-fi proportions penned by frontman and vocalist Claudio Sanchez. Die-hard fans will probably be eating up the story as they listen to these tunes but, for the rest of us, this is another record from a band that seems to change genres with every record. Rather than beating around the bush, I'll just come out and say it: This is, undoubtedly a Coheed record, and stands as a good Coheed record. Unfortunately, this also means nothing more and nothing else.
Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV Volume 2: No World For Tommorow(five times fast), opens up with the beautiful intro called The Reaping. Sanchez sets a moody acoustic tune, a decidedly darker opening atmosphere from Volume I, and then the record swings straight into a metal battle anthem of the title track. Its a power house, its got vocal range, and its a powerful starter for what's to come. Going further into the record, we have interesting tracks like The Hound(Of Blood and Rank), and then straight throwbacks to classic rock...ahem...Feathers. Early on this record, you'll see that the band is really working to increase the technical range of the guitar parts even though they were nothing to scoff at to begin with. In fact, it's safe to say that you'll find solos in at least half of the tracks on this record. Five tracks in, we're treated to the Running Free, the first single of the record and one of the more interesting songs on the album. It starts of with a moody synth atmosphere, interposed with some metal riffing from Sanchez. Its one of the tracks that actually sounds wholly original to the band as opposed to the basic blueprint that the rest of the record follows. And, on that, note we have one of the main reasons why this album is just not as as powerful as the bar this band has set before. For newcomers to this band, some may be turned off by the fact that Coheed borrows heavily from 80's rock on this record and to some, some of the tracks may sound like pale imitations of stronger songs. One example of this weakness is the song Justice in Murder. It's a track that is simply to poppy for its own good, with half baked vocal melodies and a very unnecessary guitar solo. Another example is The End Complete II: Radio Bye Bye(another mouthful of proginess). It just doesn't seem fully fleshed out and chooses to follow the trends of pop rather than work on the strengths that I'm positive this band has. However, sometimes the nature of some of the songwriting pays off in tracks such as Gravemakers and Gunslingers, a powerful metal anthem and easily one of the best tracks on the record.
No World a five part, 25 minute suite with two seven minute pluses for good measure, called the End Complete. I mentioned Radio Bye Bye above, but the first track is actually a segue called The Fall of House Atlantic. Its got some crazy acoustic riffing, a dark choir chant, and a Dungeons & Dragons like feel that you're either going to think is brilliant or unendingly cheesy. I'd say it falls somewhere in the middle. The third part is simply called the End Complete and this is definitely the best song on the record, although it will take some growing used to. Its a seven plus epic that actually manages to hark back to their emo days with a few of the vocal melodies. Moving on, The Road and Damned is another one of those throwaway tracks and some people may even give up at the opening. And then we finally reach the end of No World For Tommorow, The End Complete V: On The Brink. The final song actually sounds like a culmination of all of Coheed's influences on this album with an intro that could have been written by Pink Floyd and a very prog-rock atmosphere. Ok, I don't want to sound like this is a record of influences, because even with its flaws, No World For Tommorow is a great Coheed record and a joy to listen to you. You'll definitely be listening to these songs over and over again because they are great and they do grow on you. For newcomers, any new Coheed record could act as your introduction to the band because they seem to change skins with every new incarnation of their music. For returning fans, don't expect a masterpiece, rather expect a great listen.
Stand out tracks: The Reaping, No World For Tommorow, Gravemakers & Gunslingers, The End Complete.