Review Summary: The boys of Coheed release another ambitious installment in their series of concept albums, and even if it is a bit cluttered, it won't disappoint fans on any front.
The only issue that weakened both of Coheed's Good Apollo
volumes was that the band was bringing this grand smorgasbord of differing influences to the table, such as decorating the style on their concept album with a neo-prog flare, post-hardcore's melody and furious pacing, and some alternative rock for accessibility's sake, but both albums were lacking a central hold to tie all of these genres together, and make the albums cohesively gel together better.
The production aid they received from Atticus Ross and Joe Barresi on their following album Year of the Black Rainbow
was that missing piece their sound needed that brought everything together with a tight grip and gave them a more consistent and well-rounded sound.
Now their latest release The Afterman: Ascension
lacks both of those producers, and Coheed are back to having a more dominant role in the production this time around instead of letting others take the wheel completely, though the album also sees the return of the two producers who had a hand in producing the first of the two Good Apollo
volumes, From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness
. It's audibly apparent on this album that the production change seems like a step backwards in quality to their state before Black Rainbow
, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing at all.
does sadly suffer from the same issues the band suffered from before Black Rainbow
. This album has so many interesting qualities about it, yet it's all over the place, and it's a bit uneven because of it. Fortunately though, disregarding these flaws, it’s just as good as From Fear
and No World For Tomorrow
, if not better for the same reasons.
The typically 6 minute semi-epic compositions are booming with power metal guitar chords of titan-like heights that come crashing down upon listeners in a clean and polished swoop, as sweeping electronics buzz and whirl in the background, providing visceral soundscapes of vast proportions with winding gargantuan scales that listeners are guided through at breakneck speed.
It's a step back sure, but no farther back than one step, and despite minor flaws abound, it's still a very enjoyable progressive rock release from one of the genre's leading new millennium heavyweights.