Review Summary: Don't let the... interesting album cover fool you, this is a masterful live performance by Coheed and Cambria.
Coheed and Cambria are by and large one of the greatest progressive rock outfits in modern music. To anyone who has seen them live then you already know that Coheed and Cambria certainly have what it takes to put on a quite the ambitious display. Live At the Avalon
, released in 2005, is in fact the second live EP the band have released. Consisting of a mere quartet of songs it’s surprising that this EP spans a little over half an hour. Not surprising however is the band emerging triumphant once again.
Opening up with one of their most popular songs to date, ”Welcome Home”
sets an energetic tone as excitement excretes electrically from the crowd. From the perfectly executed twisting guitar intro it’s apparent that Coheed have had ample amount of rehearsal time to perfect their craft. Even as Claudio misses a note or takes an extra breath everything about the execution of the song is perfect. In fact it would have to be the small vocal mistakes that Claudio adds that makes the song so entertaining. When his voice cracks slightly as he cries, ”And never again will you see this in your life!”
the effect is riveting, adding tremendously to the feeling that you could actually be there. The intricate guitar solo towards the last half of the song is masterfully woven against frantically tight drum fills. It also must be noted that the drumming might actually be a step up from the original version as it is situated more loudly within the mix. ”Blood Red Summer”
opens with a brilliantly simple guitar slashing that sounds like repeated clashing, intertwining with the thickly webbed bass lines. Also nice to hear is how well the bass can be heard, not always the case with live outings, however each instrument is mixed in here at a pleasantly audible level. Claudio’s vocals on “Blood Red Summer” are noticeably a bit deeper but aren’t dramatically different in terms of how close a live outing would normally sound.
Possibly one of the greatest tracks Coheed and Cambria have ever written is present on this live EP in the form of, “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3”
. When the first distinguishable lead guitar line hits the crowd goes insane. Thankfully they shut up after the first opening guitar sequence. Unfortunately you’ll probably notice that Claudio’s voice has quite the number of issues during this portion of the performance. One is that his voice seems to crack a bit too frequently and the screaming is quite honestly atrocious. Thankfully the instrumental aspect holds a better pace with moody bass lines being easily recognizable against the signature, tightly complex guitar patterns. If the first half of the song was a little average feeling than the second makes up for the slight let down. Right after the song retraces the beginning guitar intro the crowd lends hand to the dark, ”whoa oh oh’s”
and the atmosphere sparks in a majestic fashion. ”The Willing Well IV – The Final Cut”
sends off the EP in a cinematically dramatic fashion. For one, Claudio’s vocals, unlike the previous song, feel more comfortable and much more fluid here. From the first sorrow wrought line, ” In the final curtain call you left me here with the coldest of feelings, weight, kind depression, blessing the floors with the places you've stepped in”
. The line is drenched in an emotion recalling grief ridden despair; you could certainly say Coheed saved the best for last. The potent line, ”I'm the selfish little whore, if I had my way I'd crush your face in the door”
, sends a wave of chilling ripples; this being a testament of the fans loyal devotion and the bands glorious execution. The soulful, blues inspired guitar solo that carries the song for several minutes, is quite simply stunning. It’s rare to see a band perform songs on par with album versions let alone having a chance at being stronger than those versions. Deciding on which version you like more might just becomes a confusion all its own but a pleasant confusion at that.
”Live At the Avalon”
isn’t perfect but I’m fairly sure there aren’t a terrible amount of live albums that are. However, if you’re a fan of Coheed and Cambria acquiring this in some fashion is a no brainer. If you aren’t a fan and you’re looking for a band that positively kills live than this should be something to keep in mind. And if you’re not a fan of Coheed and Cambria.. well I don’t have much to say to you other than that you’re missing out.
” Hang on to the glory at my right hand, here laid to rest is a love ever longed.
With truth on the shores of compassion, you see to take premise to all of these songs.”