Note: I know there have been three reviews of this in the past week, but I’d like to add a few of my own touches to the mix. Trust me, I also know that too many chefs spoil the broth. Just let me do my thing here:
Here we are, back again with Coheed & Cambria's new album Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV: Volume One, From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness.
This band are probably one of the most unique bands out there in the music biz now. For some of those that don’t know, this band is based on a story that the lead singer (Claudio) is currently writing. The original title for the story and the band was “Shabutie” (as mentioned in SSTB’s “Devil In Jersey City”). The story is really something to look into, it’s based on Greek Mythology which is really sweet. For a story analysis, visit cobaltandcalcium.com. It’s a fan site with lots of cool info about the band. Now let’s move onto the album”
is what I’m going to call it throughout the review considering the title is a mouthful. Anyway, this album is far different and yet some of the same after the short break following In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3
. For example, much of the songs on the previous album were pop/punk, with some being extremely heavy. On Good Apollo
, most of the songs are heavy and only a few are genuine pop/punk. The mood has changed since Second Stage Turbine Blade
. On SSTB
, the songs were all either pop/punk or acoustic. So as you can see the band has evolved in many ways during their short history together. The band has seemed to move away from the slight “happy” feeling on SSTB. Then it got a little sadder on IKSSE:3. But now on Good Apollo, it’s violent.
Violent it is, with lyrics like “Please make up your mind girl, before I hope you DIE” or even “I’m still waiting here my dear, to kill all of you”. Not to mention , the album cover (the cd case inside the outer paper) is a guillotine with two angels next to it, their wings pointed towards the sky.
Not only does the band now feel more epic, but they seem angry in their songs now more than ever. The style is different, and so is the story. Not to mention heavier riffs, so I present to you, the long awaited...
Coheed & Cambria: Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV: Volume One, From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness
Keeping The Blade
is the opening track and it’s pretty much the same thing as we’ve heard in the previous albums. It had beautiful violin work along with some really great piano. That is all new until they finally get to that point where they get to that classic melody that they bring into all their intros. If you ask me, it sounds like Zelda music. Then it fades out after its second minute and fades into one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.
Always & Never
is the next track and it is beautiful all the way through. Gorgeous acoustic guitar fallows the whole thing as Claudio recites really relaxing lyrics about fun in the sun and whatnot. Mostly about love for the things you care about the most. This is a short track, only two minutes and about 1:50 in you begin to realize that something is horribly wrong. Did Claudio just say “Here, I’m still waiting dear for one kiss from you. Here I’m still waiting dear to kill all of you
”Stay with me and fall asleep, Pray to God for no bad dreams”
begins and it is possibly one of the most amazing songs I’ve ever heard. The slow and steady acoustic guitar occupy the first ten seconds of the song and before you know it, you’re tossed into heavy soloing. The riffs are amazing and the pace is breathtaking. I must admit, that Claudio’s singing doesn’t really fit in with this song as much as it should, but he isn’t the highlight of the song. This one is the instruments”. The squeaky guitar in the verses after each line of lyric is Godly. Not to mention the simple but perfect drumbeat for the song. The verses are the perfect length before cutting into the pre-chorus, where it all happens. The big yelling and stuff alongside the insane guitar. One thing I really like about this, is that the bridge switches to pop/punk for a second. Then it comes as a surprise, back to the insane melody except there’s a guitar solo. A pretty darn good one too. Then the song fades out with the guitar and “Woahs” in the backround. Then the orchestra finishes up the song leaving as quick as they came in.
”One last kiss for you, one more wish to you, please make up your mind girl, I’d do anything for you”
Ten Speed (Of God’s Blood and Burial)
is the next song is the band seems to tread back to their roots for a little while. The lyrics are catchy to the extreme, as is the guitar in the verses. The chorus is completely insane with the lyrics “Believer, you’ll leave here, leaving them all”. Claudio delivers the lyrics extremely well here. Then the bridge comes in and it’s pretty slow, and that’s good because I need a break from the insanity. But the best is yet to come. The song picks up pace again and goes back for one more chorus. The song finishes with the title said over and over again and once more with screaming. “Ten SPEED of GOD’S blood and BURIAL!”
”They see no evil in leading their bodies from home”
Crossing The Frame
is another one of the mildly heavy songs on the album. The opening riff is pretty cool, it’s a little like a solo but nothing compared to Welcome Home. The verse is slightly jolly here but if you look at the lyrics, then you’d be proved wrong in so many ways. As the bridge begins, it gets a little softer. This is where most of the pop/punk comes in. You hear some strange voices in the background and light guitar. Then the song comes back in for one more chorus where Claudio places the most “Ooohs” and “Ohs”.
I’m giving you up Newo. How important I could have been to you
Apollo 1: The Writing Writer
starts off really spacey and dreary with all the abyss noises but soon turns into a great song. The bass begins the track with a slap and Claudio puts on his scary voice for most of the song. “Goodnight, tonight, goodbye.” Is the chorus and I find that to be a weak point in the song. The verses are plain beautiful but for some reason, maybe the lack of lyrics, I find the chorus weak. Well, anyway this is a great song.
”If my shame spills our worth across this floor, then tonight, goodnight, I’m burning star IV”
Once Upon Your Dead Body
is, in my opinion, the weak point in the album. This song is a little lame. It has a ridiculously simple guitar riff that anyone could play blindfolded. The bass is good, but you can hardly hear it behind the guitar. The lyrics are cliche filled with death references. This just seems to be that dreaded six letter word. That word is “filler”. I’m sorry to those who liked this song out there, but I just felt that it didn’t have anything special about it to give it a high rating. I just don’t feel it deserves the high ratings other tracks got.
”No, I hope you die right now. Will you drink my chemical?”
is possibly one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. The fantastic acoustic guitar keeps perfect tempo behind Claudio’s beautiful singing and lyrics. “The morning will come, with the press of every kiss, with your head upon my chest.” To be honest, there really isn’t much to say about this track. It’s slow and dreary but maintains the same exact pace and tempo the whole song. I like it, but I would never go to listen to it because I have it stuck in my head, for example.
”I’ll do anything for you, kill anyone for you”
is hands down, my favorite song on the album. It has a great pop/punk feel to it along with the girl that screams “Hey!” from Blood Red Summer
. The song begins like it’s going to take you on a thrill ride into heaviness, but not actually. Yeah, it starts out a little heavy but shifts into pop/punk within the blink of an eye. This song has amazing lyrics, some of the best I’ve ever heard. “If it was up to me, I would have figured you out way before the year clocked out. Oh, I hope you’re waiting.” This song is insanely catchy and is bound to get stuck in your head for days and weeks at a time. Great stuff, I’ll leave you with the chorus before I touch the next song. Oh yeah, and by the way. To those of you following the story of Coheed & Cambria, my best interpretation of this track is that Claudio asks Newo to marry him, but she says no. Okay, here’s the chorus.
”Now listen well, will you marry me? Not now boy. Are you well in the suffering? You’ve been the most gracious of hosts. You may be invited girl, but you’re not coming in.
I will now take a short break and a minor recap. This is pretty much the first half of the album, I know that technically, because I past the half-way mark. But to make this recap look good, I have to list some notables. So far, Welcome Home, Ten Speed,
and The Suffering
were the best tracks. They were all either heavy, or pop/punk. This is the point in the album where it tones down a bit and gets a lot more progressive on us. Especially The Willing Well series. That’s 28 minutes of hardcore progressive (was that an oxymoron?). Okay, well here’s the (very different) second half of Good Apollo.
The Lying Lies & Dirty Secrets Of Miss Erica Court
starts off the second half of this album with a slow but steady guitar riff. Claudio’s soft voice makes this track flow really well. As the pre-chorus breaks in, Claudio moans and wails in a high pitched yell. He screams “HELP!!!”. I know that this track seems a little like filler to some, but I personally like it. As the song carries, the guitar gets more active. He occasionally busts out the “five second solo” to keep the song moving. The lyrics are pretty cool here also, but I’ll type some of those in a second. Overall, this song is good. Not great, just good.
”They move to fast to be words behind your teeth, the give-and-go of most of your memories”
Mother, May I
fades into the closing of the previous track and starts of pretty slow and maintains that pace throughout the song. This is a really slow song, but the drumming is at it’s finest here. Hitting all the fills with perfection, not to mention the fact that they all sound extremely good. At about 2:11 the song picks up a little bit. But only for the chorus, which lasts about 30 seconds. In my opinion, this song is not their best. It seems a bit watered down in the verses. But the lyrics are good (as always).
”Give em the story they want! You too! Give them the story they want! A kiss to you before you fall down and leave me”
The Willing Well I | Fuel For The Feeding End
is the first of the Willing Well
and its pretty sweet. The song is filled with some amazing drum fills and it has this really great pace. The rhythm is unbeatable and undeniably fast for a progressive song. But I must admit that I get a little creeped out when Claudio puts on that scary voice of his and screams “RUN LITTLE MAGGOT!”. Even after that the song just doesn’t lose its fun. In the seven minutes it runs on, it never gets old. The guitar riffs are infectious half way through, you can hear it solo behind Claudio and it gives shivers down the spine. I’m smiling even as I write this thinking that there are three more of these masterpieces left to go. As the song comes to its close I leave you with this lyric.
”Feed little maggots off the Westside of your sin. Run little maggot when they learn of what you did.”
The Willing Well 2 | From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness
starts up and it’s beautiful. It sounds a little like a folk song in the intro, but slowly goes back to the formula of light verses and heavy choruses. The guitar is really catchy as it comes for a second and suddenly disappears. As the bridge starts up, you lose your sense of security for the softness. Before you know it, its as heavy as can be. Pounding guitar behind Claudio’s yelling. “Run little rabbit, go hide in the blades of grass. Run rabbit, run.” Hmm, I’m sensing similarities to the last track. As the track slows down a little, the pace changes a bit. Claudio repeats the same line over and over again as the song fades away and we hit 3.
”Should capture be our earnest fault? Breathe up through lust and I’ll find your cure. In there I’ll kill. In there I’ll kill”
The Willing Well 3 | Apollo II: The Telling Truth
begins and I think a little. It seems as if this was a 28 minute song, but they split it up into four parts. Anyway, the song starts up and it has very similar lyrics to the first Apollo track. They even share the same chorus. Anyway, in the middle you think the song is over but they come back with the bass being the leader in the pack. This song tends to get a little old after the halfway mark. This is when you can imagine Claudio on his knees, yelling at the sky. In the end, this is an okay song. It’s nothing real special and it does rip a little off of its sibling, the other Apollo. Anyway, here’s my closing lyric.
”I’ll make you wish you didn’t burn our time before, I’ll live through this in manner cursed at my own accord”
The Willing Well 4 | The Final Cut
starts up and it is possibly the greatest closing song to an album I’ve ever heard. The other was Pink Floyd’s “The Final Cut”. Ironic, eh? Well, this song begins pretty slow but for first listeners but gains its “epicness” and “superblyness”. The thrashy guitar solo comes in at halfway and leaves you in effing awe to how good it is. It sounds like Zeppelin, and if Jimmy Page saw this, he would be teary eyed. This was an amazing and awe-inspiring end to this monster of an album. In the last minute, the child voices come back into the mix and leave you with the same feeling you entered the album with. Curiosity. I cant wait to see what they whip out next.
”This is no beginning, this is the final cut. Open up, I’m in love”
Some of my final thoughts on this album are:
- Its very different from the previous two. They seem to have gotten heavier in their music.
- The lyrics, IMO, are better this time around in their songs.
- The bass is now audible in the recording.
- Will there be a Volume Two? If so, how many will there be?