Coheed and Cambria is a band that might take a bit of getting used to. Claudio's voice is different than any band in today's music. It is a love it or hate it thing. But whether you like them are not, you have to admit that the members of Coheed and Cambria are great musicians, if you don't believe me pick up a copy of the "Live At The Starland Ballroom" DVD.
This CD is way different than "Second Stage Turbine Blade" and "In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3". SSTB was a straight-foward album, more heavy, and more rock-ish. IKSSE3 had more of a variety of styles. This CD also has a lot of styles, but a lot of songs show us a completly different Coheed and Cambria, which could be a good or bad thing.
If you don't know already, the lyrics for the songs of Coheed and Cambria are based on a sci-fi type story that the singer of the band is creating. Each song tells a different part of the story. The story is being released as a graphic novel/comic. As of 9/20/05, Second Stage Turbine Blade issues #1 and #2 have been released, plus Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume 1. More comics are to be released soon.
According to interviews of the singer of Coheed and Cambria, this album steps outside of the concept of having the lyrics relate directly to the story. The lyrics to this CD show how the author's personal experiances relate and have made their way into the story. The words still have to do with the story, they just arent directly telling it.
This CD is best listened from beginning to end, so pop in the CD and relax [or rock out] and if you don't have this yet, get in the car and run to your local CD store and pick it up now! It might take a bit to grow on you, so listen a few times.
INDIVIDUAL TRACK REVIEWS;
1. [ Keeping The Blade ]
Like the first two albums, this CD starts out with an instrumental. Basically, its putting the two intros together, but it sounds drastically different as this time it is in the form of a beautiful string arrangement and pianos. It sounds like something that would be the soundtrack to an epic movie, the song would be played at the part where the hero of the movie tragically dies... Okay I'm going a bit far. But really, the instrumental starts off with strings, then a creepy piano riff, which sounds a lot like "Second Stage Turbine Blade". About halfway through, it switches to strings sounding like "The Ring In Return". It is really beautiful, and especially to fans of the older CD's, it will send chills down your spine.
It wouldn't make it as an actual song, but as an intro I'd say its almost perfect.
[ 4.5 / 5 ]
2. [ Always & Never ]
This is an accoustic song. There are a lot of wierd noises in the background, which I believe is Claudio's neice. There is a lot of nice accoustic guitar work. Claudio's voice and lyrics are good, as usual. This might not be the best first actual song on the CD, but it its a good song. This is the start of Claudio's strange lyrics. No matter how happy the song may seem at first, it always ends on an angry or sad note... "I'm still waiting here, my dear... To kill all of you."
Anyways, a great song, very calming. I think it would be better a bit later in the record, but I think its great just the way the band wants it.
[ 4.0 / 5 ]
3. [ Welcome Home ]
The first single off the record, and an excellent one at that. This song is 6 minutes of pure goodness, putting it simply. It starts off with an accoustic riff, which quickly translates to electric. This song has a very epic feel, similar to "In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3" off of the last album. With this song, you might notice Claudio's voice sounds a little different, and there are a lot more solos. Coheed and Cambria is going in a new direction for their music, or maybe just this CD, but this is the song where it becomes obvious.
The chorus for this song is awesome, with the pinch harmonics, and the lyrics. "Hang on to the glory at my right hand, here lay to rest is a love ever-long." The verse is equally amazing. Their is a small quiet part... "One last kiss for you, one more wish to you..." Then the guitars break out with amazing solos, shared by both Claudio and Travis. Towards the end there is a chorus of "Wooooaaaahhh....", which like said before, adds to the epic feel and makes the song more similar to IKSSE3. The song ends with string instruments as the guitar and drums fade out.
This song is definently one of the strongest on the CD, and is an excellent choice for a single. Its also a bit different than the other singles, such as "A Favor House Atlantic" and "Blood Red Summer", so hopefully this song opens Coheed and Cambria up to a wider audience.
[ 5.0 / 5 ]
4. [ Ten Speed (Of God's Blood & Burial) ]
This track does not dissapoint after listening to Welcome Home. The song continues busting out the awesome guitar riffs and the bass and drums sound great together. There are also some great background vocals in this song. The chorus is incredibly catchy. "Believe her, you'll leave her, you're leaving more..."
Around the two minute mark, there is a great solo, which follows with a softer verse. "Nobody knows but you... Cause I don't want to ride tonight." For a few seconds there is a spoken verse in the background, which probably has to do with the story. The last part is awesome, "Ten Speed in God's blood and burial..." and the scream at the end leaves you wanting more.
[ 5.0 / 5 ]
5. [ Crossing The Frame ]
This song starts out with pretty solid guitar work, and goes into a decent verse. The pre-chorus and Chorus are my favorite parts though. "I'm spying on you, Newo..." Around 2 minutes it goes into a little techno sounding part... "We're casting quarters into wells that hold our dreams."
This is a mediocre song in my opinion, its not the best, and not the worst, it has some great parts. Give it a listen and you might love it.
[ 3.5 / 5 ]
6. [ Apollo I: The Writing Writer ]
This song starts out with an techno-ish intro that is about a minute long before the song actually starts. The song itself quickly breaks into the verse, which has a strange, almost dark sounding beat to it. "If my shame spills a word across this floor, woah oh oh oh... and tonight, goodnight, I'm burning star IV..." "Goodnight, tonight, goodbye." The chorus of this song is pretty catchy, and along with the intro and verse, this song is pretty interesting and unique.
There are also some great lyrics... "You left me here to fend on my own, so cry on ***** Why aren't you laughing now""
I wouldn't say this is the best song on the record, but it is definently one worth checking out.
[ 4.0 / 5 ]
7. [ Once Upon Your Dead Body ]
This song starts out with a verse, with cool guitar work in the background, and great vocals. It continues to a great chorus, which seems to show a little bit of Claudio's personal side. " Do you remember why you did it" Do you remember why she left""
"Oh, I hope you die right now, will you drink my chemical" Oh and if you cry out loud, it'll only make me feel too good." could be one of my favorite Coheed choruses ever. The vocals get a little chaotic at the end, but its all good. The song ends with a chord and another techno type bridge fades into the next song.
[ 4.0 / 5 ]
8. [ Wake Up ]
This is the kind of song I would never expect from a band like Coheed and
Cambria. It is basically a love ballad. Its true that this band is always full of suprises. The highlights of this song are the words. "I'm going to ride this plane out of your life, I wish that I could stay....I wish you could've seen my face in backseats staring out of the window." The chorus (The morning will come, in the press of every kiss.) is the most un-coheed sounding music I've ever heard. Yet somehow I still end up liking this song...
[ 3.25 / 5 ]
9. [ The Suffering ]
The second single. This song is another poppy song, kind of a mix of Favor House, Three Evils and Blood Red Summer, yet it comes out better. It starts out with a catchy guitar riff and continues with the catchy verse and catchy chorus...
The background vocals (Oh where have you been if it hurts to be forgiving bye, bye bye.....then burn in hell, young sinner) are awesome in this song and add a nice touch. This song is another good song and although it is more poppy, I still think it would make a decent single that could get people into all the music in the band.
[ 4.5 / 5 ]
10. [ The Lying Lies & Dirty Secrets Of Miss Erica Court ]
This song is fairly upbeat. It starts out with distored palm muting and a cool single note guitar riff in the back. After about 40 seconds the song explodes into a catchy chorus, showcasing Claudio's amazing voice. The whole song isn't anything spectacular, but it is pretty catchy. It ends a little weak.
This song is pretty solid and catchy, but not the best of the album.
[ 3.75 / 5 ]
11. [ Mother May I ]
This song is a bit wierd. It has a strange, almost off-beat sounding intro. The song has some genius lyrics... "So run little children play, I'll leave the light off, to turn your mother on." The song becomes more upbeat and distored at 2 minutes, then slows down again. The highlight of this song is towards the end. "So give them the story they want you too..." "God only knows..."
[ 3.75 / 5 ]
12. [ The Willing Well I: Fuel For The Feeding End ]
The beginning of a four song trilogy, each song lasting nearly 8 minutes. This song starts out with a techno-ish intro, and after 20 seconds or so it blasts into a sweet guitar riff, with some great drums backing up. This song has some of the heaviest and darkest vocals at some parts... "little maggot..." This song is very solid, and the awesome guitar riffs and vocals never stop coming at you. The song gets just a little bet repetetive towards the end, but the song is still awesome none-the-less. The song ends with Claudio singing... "
[ 4.25 / 5 ]
13. [ The Willing Well II: Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness ]
After a 5 second techno-ish intro, this song blasts into a wacky, and incredibly verse, with interesting guitar and Claudio's amazing voice... "What is this that I feel"" They catchy chorus sings; "You'll burn in hell while they're digging you out." At 2:20 the song shifts into a different sound, with palm muting and tom blasting. At 3:10 background vocals sing "Woah-oh-oh... Woah-oh-oh-oh-oh...", a perfect sing-along for the crowd.
"Run little rabbit, go on, to the blades of the grass, run rabbit run." sings dark and deep vocals at 4:10. Then the "Woah-oh-oh" continutes, in the background of some more awesome guitar riffs and pinch harmonics. "No one runs faster than you can..." repeats with more background vocals and solid guitar playing until the end. The song ends with some instrumental work, and then the song fades out into more techno sounds, which continue into the next song.
Altogether, this song flows really nicely, and its incredible how it starts out so light-hearted, then becomes heavier throughout the song. The whole song has amazing instrumental work and vocals, and is one of my favorites from the album.
[ 4.75 / 5 ]
14. [ The Willing Well III: Apollo II: The Telling Truth ]
This beginning song is much like Apollo I: The Writing Writer, except for the techno intro is shorter, and the lyrics are different. The whole song is a lot longer though, and has a lot of different parts to it. It is also better, in my opinion, than Apollo I. Claudio's vocal work is amazing... "These days are numbered, this close encounter..." The genius vocals make a return, also. "So cry on *****, why aren't you laughing now""
The song goes off in its own direction after the 3 minute mark. At 4:00 or so, the song has some pretty cool sounding guitar work. "What did I do to deserve all of you"" "Jesse, bad boy, just come and look at what your brother did, to that girl's precious little whore of a body." Co&ca veterans will recognize similarities to old lyrics here. The song ends with the chorus from earlier in the song, with the final note being Claudio's voice distorting suddenly.
This song is another great song from the Willing Well trilogy, the highlight is the part where Claudio sings "Jesse... bad boy... etc." Just like the other songs, this song has amazing instrumental work and vocals, yet still remains to be unique and catchy.
[ 4.75 / 5 ]
15. [ The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut ]
Not the best way to end the album, but this song is amazing all the way through. This song might have the best instrumental work in the whole CD. It is a bit lacking in the vocals department, but the part where there is vocals, is just as amazing as the rest of the song. Especially the part where Claudio blasts "This is no beginning..." with amazing emotion. There are some other awesome parts too... "I guess that you knew, that your a selfish little whore, I'm the selfish little whore, If I had my way I'd crush your face in the door."
At about 2:40 the vocals end, and the rest of the song is an amazing, drawn out solo, that will keep you on your toes. The whole song shows the highlights of Claudio's musical talents. His amazing voice and his amazing soloing abilities. The solos range from screaming guitars, to very blues-y sounding work. At the end theres some extra notes maybe from a keyboard, and the return of Claudios' niece's voice.
This probably wasn't the best way to end the album, as I was hoping for something a bit more hard hitting, but it definently leaves a "to be continuted..." feel. Overall, this is one of my favorite songs on the album to just lay back and listen to.
[ 5.0 / 5 ]
Secret Track [ Bron Y Aur ]
I'm not 100% sure if thats the official name for the hidden track, but anyways. This song is an instrumental, and it sounds like its straight from a country westeren. The band obviously decided to become a bit creative, and pick up some banjos and blast out a tune worth square-dancing to. The hidden track starts at 6:20, and is tacked on to the end of Final Cut.
For what it is, I think its pretty good, and if Coheed and Cambria put out a wierd country CD with stuff like this, I'd probably listen to it, but I'd much rather have an awesome hidden track like 21:13, or even IRO-bot. A strange way to end the album, anyway.
[ 3.0 / 5 ]
Well, if you haven't noticed by now, I'm a bit byist to the rating of this album, since I love Coheed and Cambria. This album is definently different than the other two. Claudio has taken a bit of a different apporach to the vocals for this album, and the band has taken a different apporach musically. There are less power chords, and more single note blasting and pinch harmonics, the bass has become more creative, and the drums are more hard-hitting. This CD, especially if you are a fan of Co&Ca's older stuff, will blow you away. It may take a few listens, but once you listen to the songs a few times, this CD will grow on you more and more.
This CD has some mediocre songs, but the ones that are really good blow them away. For that, I give this CD...
[ 4.5 / 5 ]
Definently go pick it up, if you haven't already.
Ten Speed (Of God's Blood & Burial)
The Willing Well II: Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness
The Willing Well III: Apollo II: The Telling Truth
The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut
HIGHTLIGHT SONGS from older albums:
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
Devil In Jersey City