Coheed and Cambria
The Afterman: Ascension


2.0
poor

Review

by Starblind USER (28 Reviews)
November 8th, 2012 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A rushed, sloppy, unfocused mess of an album.

So, believe it or not, unlike most fans of Coheed, I've managed to go for almost a whole month without hearing even a single track from this record. Why, you ask? It's simple, the fanboy wankery over anything bearing the Coheed namesake has increased since the band made their breakthrough with Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV Volume I: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness is just plain ridiculous. I've seen the band live three times and met them twice, both with the current lineup and the Chris Pennie lineup, I've bought all their releases on the release day since No World For Tomorrow, and I've been able to observe their evolution with each album. Now yes, I bought this album on the release day, but I figured if I gave it time for the dust to settle so I can actually give it a good listen on my own accord, I wouldn't feel the pressure to follow the flock of sheep who can't seem to be honest because of their love of "The Heed". Need evidence of such wankery? Visit the Cobalt & Calcium forums. So, I listened. To the thirty six minute conversation. And yeah, thankfully it was mercifully short, and it wandered with no direction, but I listened.

Now, yes, this album is a step up from their previous effort, Year of the Black Rainbow. They've gotten rid of Chris Pennie, a drummer who seemed to be convinced he was joining a The Mars Volta tribute band, and they got Joshua Eppard back. They've also ditched the electro-metal sound that was baffling and a sign of the band lacking creativity. But does that mean this is a good album? Nope.

If anything, The Afterman: Ascension feels like a supergroup album. In case you're living in the stone age, supergroups are typically when a bunch of talented and well known musicians from well known bands collaborate for a full length album, combining their musical talents into one sound. It doesn't feel like any one of the bands from any of the musicians but rather just the sound of them playing together. I say this is the case because none of the songs feel like actual songs, but just a bunch of ideas jumbled together, with no direction behind any of them whatsoever. A lot of songs just drag on and repeat the same section over and over and over and just end. Others have the insulting, "verse/chorus/verse/chorus/verse/chorus" song structure- and I realize the band has a lot of songs like that, but here, none of the sings have catchy choruses or hooks. It's as if the band decided that since they're doing a double album, they're going to just gather some ideas and run out the door with them.

"Subtraction" is one of the worst tracks in Coheed's career. It's every ballad cliche in the book, with a cringe worthy electronic backing track that would make even The Postal Service cringe.

"Holly Wood" is almost as if Claudio was listening to some crappy post grunge band like Theory of a Deadman and decided, "hey, let's rip these guys off for one track... We've been original for four albums, we can lack creativity any time we want!" it sucks. Period. Even that chorus, "Holly wood, holly wood!" or the repeated chants of "Ha-ha-ha-ha-Hollywood!" just hurt my soul. Can't believe this is the same band that did songs like "Justice in Murder" or "Al the Killer".

"The Afterman" is an example of the directionlessness I stated above. It has a nice riff, but is just 5 minutes of a song that goes nowhere. I like Claudio's voice on it as well, but it just seems to wander and doesn't amount to anything at all.

"Evagria the Faithful and "Vic the Butcher" are about the same. Both repeat too much and lack in versatility. I honestly can't say I remember a whole lot about them. One of them even sounds like a friggin' Rihanna song. I kid you not.

There's maybe two tracks on the whole album I like: "Goodnight Fair Lady" and "Domino the Destitute". "Goodnight Fair Lady" is a catchy tune that is a nice throwback to Good Apollo, and while it's too short, there's a lot to like about it. However, even that song goes in one ear and out the other, with no lasting effect on the brain. And this isn't why I listen to music- I listen to music to absorb it, to get lost in the melodies. Thankfully, there's one track where that comes in handy- the latter tune, which is an eight minute epic, and I mean EPIC. Domino is what Coheed is known for, big, long epics that feel like a musical journey. The "Hahahahaha" part is dark and creepy, which really adds a sinister air to the song. It's sad that this is really the only song that manages to have a lasting impression on the whole album.

My guess as to why Coheed took the double album route is that they threw too many ideas together, and it didn't amount to much except just... Too many songs. So to make more money, they divided the tracks and made two albums, and released one before Christmas. Or, they just decided to give us an album of weak tracks to tease us for an album of absolutely great tracks. I say this because when I saw them open for Iron Maiden earlier this year, right at the front row, they played a song named "Sentry the Defiant", which gave me hope that Coheed could be back on the path to greatness. And I hope they can prove me right with the next album, predictably titled The Afterman: Descension. Either way, this is a pretty weak start for a double album and I sure hope they pulled it together and will force an amazing album down my throat next time. I guess every band has a "boring phase" in their career. And after four straight great albums (well, NWFT being to a lesser extent), I'll safely excuse YOBR and this as a boring phase from which the band will hopefully recover.

Oh, and who decided to package the album this way? Whoever thought using a small piece of plastic to keep the disc intact on the cardboard clearly needs to be fired. I actually almost broke the disc the first time I listened to the album. With this kind of mentality in the music industry, it's hardly a surprise everyone is going for the "a few clicks and it's on my iTunes" route nowadays.



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user ratings (777)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • Cam McNeil (4)
    Year of the Black Rainbow will forever be known as a temporary detour in the increasingly ...

    Alex Beebe (4)
    The boys of Coheed release another ambitious installment in their series of concept albums...

    SowingSeason STAFF (3.5)
    The Afterman: Ascension marks indisputable growth for a band that up until this point seem...

    Robert Lowe CONTRIBUTOR (4)
    Welcome home Coheed fans, The Afterman: Ascension is so good it erases the damage done by ...

  • Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF (4)
    Coheed and Cambria regroup and release the soul successor to From Fear Through The Eyes Of...

    Brent Stephenson (3.5)
    Not a true return to form, but at the very least proof that Coheed haven't run out of stea...

    Seth Barry-Hinton (4.5)
    Simultaneously a return to form and a step up....

    Alex Carlson (3.5)
    Coheed and Cambria's first half of their double album lacks a unified mood like their past...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
November 7th 2012


50958 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Track by track in disguise oh boy

Digging: Friendzone - Collection 1

Yazz_Flute
November 7th 2012


18875 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck your opinion

Digging: DIR EN GREY - Arche

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 7th 2012


16130 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

not sure its worth mentioning the intricacies of the packaging is it ?

ChopSuey
November 7th 2012


2392 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

well then

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
November 7th 2012


20155 Comments


um yeah this is one of their most focused albums.

Digging: Angels and Airwaves - The Dream Walker

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
November 7th 2012


20155 Comments


"I've seen the band live three times and met them twice, both with the current lineup and the Chris
Pennie lineup, I've bought all their releases on the release day since No World For Tomorrow, and I've
been able to observe their evolution with each album"

Exactly what's the point of this being in the review? No offense but it doesn't make the review any
more believable and quite frankly NOBODY cares how many coheed albums you own. Lol just stick to
reviewing the album we don't need to hear your life story. Not trying to be a dick but i'm guessing
others will agree with what i've just posted just trying to be helpful.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
November 7th 2012


16130 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

damn, atari getting feisty :D

Kris.
November 7th 2012


12510 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

worst review ever negnegneg

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
November 7th 2012


20155 Comments


just trying to be helpful menawati. I didn't neg not my thing just figured i'd give some feedback.

also too much of a track by track but don't forget you can always edit the review!!

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
November 7th 2012


20155 Comments


Not like the review is terrible just needs some work.

ThroneOfAgony
November 7th 2012


3485 Comments


ok album

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
November 7th 2012


20155 Comments


lol do people not understand the rating system?

An "ok" album would be a 2.5/5 maybe a 3... ok =average

a "3.5" means you think the album is Grrrrreeeeaaaat!

Havey
November 7th 2012


9804 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

good album.

Album Rating: 3.5
ok album

Hmm

Digging: Billie Holiday - Lady Day: The Best of Billie Holiday

afergusonart
November 7th 2012


220 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"One of them even sounds like a friggin' Rihanna song."

lol

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 7th 2012


10382 Comments


You're a good writer, but you come across as a prick... Hmmmm...

Digging: Thou - Heathen

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
November 7th 2012


2042 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

not sure its worth mentioning the intricacies of the packaging is it ?

Track by track in disguise oh boy

Both of these.

A bunch of grammar issues that I don't feel like isolating right now (i.e., "is just plain ridiculous" being an entirely unnecessary phrase at the end of a sentence that already completes the sentiment).

The entire thing comes across also as a rant, particularly in spots where you talk about your personal experience with the band (being at concerts and such), the whole section of the supergroup, and use of statements like the one afergusonart brought to light above.

Digging: Damascus - When Last We Met

zaruyache
November 7th 2012


7410 Comments


You complained about the wrong band, motherf%&*#r.

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

Torii
November 7th 2012


820 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

hahahahano

breakingthefragile
November 8th 2012


2966 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

wankerywankerywankerywankerywankerywankerywankeryAAAAAANNNND neg'd.

Digging: Molly Drake - Molly Drake

KILL
November 8th 2012


72280 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

hm

Digging: Throwing Muses - Throwing Muses



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