Coheed and Cambria
The Afterman: Descension


4.0
excellent

Review

by Alex Carlson USER (53 Reviews)
February 4th, 2013 | 64 replies


Release Date: 02/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Coheed and Cambria close out the Afterman saga with a dark and textured tale that tops its predecessor in nearly every way.

You’d think that after pursuing six albums surrounding the same conceptual universe that a band would eventually run out of ideas and flounder around, desperately looking for new tales to tell in order to stay relevant. That’s not the case with progressive alt rock band Coheed and Cambria. While they haven’t reinvented themselves with every album, there always seems to be new ground to tread for the New York braniacs, especially guitarist, frontman and mastermind Claudio Sanchez. The band’s massive Amory Wars universe reached a spacey, but enjoyable point with their 2012 album, The Afterman: Ascension, the first half of the Afterman double album. Coheed and Cambria’s second Afterman encounter, Descension, picks up right where Ascension left off. But it doesn’t just continue the saga; it achieves a massive high for the storyline while also broadening the mood and themes introduced in their 2012 record. If Ascension was holding your breath and diving into the Afterman’s world, Descension is gasping and clawing your way back out.

“Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant” without a doubt, is a huge highlight on Descension. Even long after its debut at live sets, the track stands tall as one of Coheed and Cambria’s most intense compositions in their extensive discography. It really culminates every bit of ingenuity that the band has delivered since The Second Stage Turbine Blade. The brief soft spots throughout the track are subtle, small pit-stops across an adrenaline-soaked joyride of a track. Claudio Sanchez’s lyrics continue to reach out beyond the mythos, and very much like in Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV: Vol. 1 – From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness, they have potency and hold relatable themes, something that felt surprisingly absent in Ascension. It was well worth the wait.

Unlike its predecessor, which focused on discovery and unknowing, Descension is all about weight, confusion and the feeling of struggle. “The Hard Sell” is a furious mix of Sanchez’s razor-sharp guitar (echoing “Gravemakers and Gunslingers” from No World For Tomorrow) and his melodic croon. It definitely says something when the prelude (which takes place in the form of “Pretelethal”) is worth head-banging to. At times, it can start reaching for that overly dramatic and huge sound of Year of the Black Rainbow, but Descension has a deeper tone to it that persists throughout even the lighter tracks like “Number City”, which focuses an alternative groove that would fit in well on the band’s debut album. While these almost instantaneous left-turns in tempo might feel disorienting at first, it all settles into a comfortable and enticing point. This is a dark album and Coheed and Cambria flesh out that darkness in many different, but still cohesive ways.

Altogether, Coheed and Cambria understand not only their mythos, but the feelings and thematic moods that grew from it. This is very apparent in the softer ballad “Iron Fist” and its follower “Dark Side of Me”, with the latter filled to the brim with poetic and mystifying lyrics alongside a fantastic and intense musical composition. Josh Eppard’s thundercrash of a drum line stands with Sanchez’s nimble guitar playing. The closer, “2’s My Favorite 1” is classic Coheed, breathing emotive lyrics, melodic vocals and a sense of storyline completion. It definitely has its ups and downs, but every second of the album feels purposeful and has something to tell.

The Afterman: Descension isn’t a flawless mix of heaviness and experimentation, but it does make some very impressive steps forward from its other half. While the tempos differ from songs like “Iron Fist” and “The Hard Sell” the songs still sound linked (much more so than in Ascension) and that dark mood persists even when the riffs become softer and the lyrics more optimistic. Coheed and Cambria has closed this chapter of the Amory Wars without stumbling. The loftiness of the band’s ambition isn’t wasted with Descension; they’ve made something thick with purpose with this album, while not ignoring their honed musicianship and past successes. It can stand alongside From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness and The Second Stage Turbine Blade as one of their richest and most textured works. Not only that, it’s also one of their best in years.



Recent reviews by this author
Grant Kirkhope Banjo​-​Kazooie: Everything and the Kitchen Sink!Primus Tales from the Punchbowl
Clawerfield Engines of CreationSavlonic Red
Primus Pork SodaAnberlin Lowborn
user ratings (607)
Chart.
3.7
great
other reviews of this album
1 of

Comments:Add a Comment 
PostMesmeric
February 4th 2013


389 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Full album stream on RollingStone.com: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/coheed-and-cambria-the-afterman-descension-vol-2-album-premiere-20130204

Kris.
February 4th 2013


12345 Comments


fantastic review

bumpin this up cuz its all ive been listening to since it leaked

greg84
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2013


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The Hard Sell, Sentry the Defiant and Number City are awesome. I can't say the same about the rest though. I prefer Ascension to this.

Digging: Dope Body - Lifer

johnnydeking29
February 4th 2013


9232 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Pos'd hard

Digging: Kayo Dot - Coffins On Io

Kris.
February 4th 2013


12345 Comments


cant wait til sowing reviews it and fucks it all up AGAIN

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2013


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3 | Sound Off

album sucks

demigod!
February 4th 2013


44722 Comments


band sux

Digging: Weezer - Everything Will Be Alright in the End

greg84
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2013


7421 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

The fact is that nobody out of staff/contribs seems to like it. So, it's inevitable Kris.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2013


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3 | Sound Off

yeah i think xeno has dibs on this. i mean leak is out so if his shit isnt out in 3 hours im gonna write a review anyways.

also, will prob write one anyways

Kris.
February 4th 2013


12345 Comments


oh good just so long as sowing isnt like OMG SENTRY IS THE MOST POIGNANT AND POWERFUL SONG OCHEED HAS
DONE SINC WELCOME HOME I dONT KNOW ANYTHING BAOUT THIS BAND LOLOLOL 5/5

Athom
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2013


17222 Comments


I like how Kris hated this at first, but then once Claudio's dick wiggled inside his anus all of a sudden he thinks this terrible record is the best thing ever.

Kris.
February 4th 2013


12345 Comments


john please write one anyways, i wanna hear your opinion

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2013


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3 | Sound Off

sentry would be awesome if it just didnt sound so homogenous. the production on these albums is so horrid.

Kris.
February 4th 2013


12345 Comments


I like how Kris hated this at first, but then once Claudio's dick wiggled inside his anus all of a sudden he thinks this terrible record is the best thing ever.


claudio's dick is fucking hypnotizing okay

Athom
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2013


17222 Comments


kris likes those puerto rican street meats.

Kris.
February 4th 2013


12345 Comments


http://cdn.head-fi.org/3/38/386685bc_homer-drool.gif

johnnydeking29
February 4th 2013


9232 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

cant wait til sowing reviews it and fucks it all up AGAIN

Comment of 2013

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2013


4443 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Really good review, man. I actually I enjoyed this a bit more than Ascension. Have a POS.

The fact is that nobody out of staff/contribs seems to like it. So, it's inevitable Kris.


I thought one of the contributors called dibs on it a while back. Hmm, but Xenophanes covering it is great news.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 4th 2013


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 2.3 | Sound Off

lol nevermind i was wrong it is sowing. get ready kids

Kris.
February 4th 2013


12345 Comments


shut up john no its not whyyyy



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy