Coheed and Cambria
The Unheavenly Creatures


4.0
excellent

Review

by Rowan5215 STAFF
October 9th, 2018 | 142 replies


Release Date: 2018 | Tracklist

Review Summary: ok this is epic

I think "Toys" might for real be the perfect Coheed and Cambria song. Starts off with Claudio's still-improving vocals dead centre stage, floating delicately above some nice ambience (check); explodes into a riff tailormade for Guitar Hero wailing (check); works a skyscraping stadium chorus into a six-plus-minute prog extravaganza (check)! Now as much as I liked The Color Before the Sun, Vaxis - Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures: The Prequel [UPDATED] [COLOURISED] is the band back on their shit because they recall the advantage in being utterly ridiculous; voice acting straight out of Halo has given way to an eight-minute guitar workout before you've barely registered how awfully good the cover art is. You might be wondering at this juncture whether I actually like this music or if the whole thing is just some ridiculous exercise in irony - to this I respond that enjoying this band's music has always involved consciously repressing the parts of your brain which identify and recoil from cheesy excess, like have you even heard No World For Tomorrow, pleb?

Insanely, Vaxis is the longest Coheed album even if it seems restrained compared to the genre-switching mayhem of the Good Apollo albums. Actually, this is a shockingly consistent 79 minutes (lol) of music: you won't find a "Once Upon a Dead Body" here so much as a very focused set of songs, roughly occupying the mid-tempo prog-with-colossal-chorus section of Coheed's ouevre. But let's not set aside this band's capacity to switch genres at quick notice too soon. "True Ugly" recalls the grimdark post-hardcore feel of the underrated Year of the Black Rainbow with Josh Eppard to balance the scales a little bit, "All on Fire" and "It Walks Among Us" stretch the band's slightly atrophied From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness groove muscles, and best tracks "Love Protocol" and "The Pavilion" surprisingly recall Color's hooky indulgences qualified with stronger instrumental songwriting.

Vaxis kind of succeeds on every front without being a clear frontrunner on a single one; it lacks the diversity of The Afterman but attempts something like consistency, foregoes the rawness of The Second Stage Turbine Blade for a little bit of maturity and focus, and so on. If you've missed the concept-heavy nerdouts of classic Coheed then this might strike you as their best output in 10 years or so. As an authority on the band myself, the standout moments here are actually the ones where the less popular ideas from Year of the Black Rainbow onwards are reworked into a classic Coheed context, like a retrospective fleshed-out look at how those albums could have been. So yeah, Vaxis could be a solid fifteen minutes shorter, the title track sounds like it never got past being a Casio keyboard demo and the general mixing is literally as flat and undyamic as it could possibly be – no-one's expecting perfection. But when that fucking chorus on "Love Protocol" hits? Or "The Pavilion"'s second verse just stops pretending to be about anything else other than Claudio's declining love for touring with the band (longtime fans will be busting out the Kleenex for "you want me here, then ask me to stay")? These are transcendent moments of music that stand with the best the band have ever given us, and it feels like eighteen years of history, story and fanbase community are coming together like, uh, some sort of keywork.



Recent reviews by this author
Lupe Fiasco DROGAS WaveBrockhampton Iridescence
Big Red Machine Big Red MachineFoxing Nearer My God
Meg Myers Take Me To The DiscoLydia Illuminate
user ratings (192)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Xenophanes STAFF (4)
Welcome Home...

Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF (4)
A fluid collection of top-notch signature singles that espouses self-influence without self-indulgen...

btpw (3.5)
Not what I hoped it would be, but still another strong effort in an impressive back catalog....

Balto (4.5)
"Welcome Home."...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2018


40656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

yeah this album deserves a better review lol

Digging: St. Vincent - MassEducation

Toondude10
October 9th 2018


13262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"I think "Toys" might for real be the perfect Coheed and Cambria song."



honestly it's probably my least favorite song on the album, this rules though

Digging: Ice Nine Kills - The Silver Scream

foxblood
October 9th 2018


9463 Comments


that's one horrendous album cover.

bowlermicah
October 9th 2018


37 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Vaxis kind of succeeds on every front without being a clear frontrunner on a single one; it lacks the diversity of The Afterman but attempts something like consistency"



yep yep yep



"the standout moments here are actually the ones where the less popular ideas from Year of the Black Rainbow onwards are reworked into a classic Coheed context, like a retrospective fleshed-out look at how those albums could have been"



Agree hard with these points. This is a fun review, good job.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2018


4616 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The album is great, but I wish some songs were grittier. Often they just soften for an epic chorus.

Digging: Thomas Dybdahl - All These Things

BroFro
October 9th 2018


483 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^agreed, it's all a bit too major key, but damn if there aren't some huuuuge choruses on this thing

Digging: Cursive - Vitriola

Toondude10
October 9th 2018


13262 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

can't deny they have that epic-chorus formula down to a science

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
October 9th 2018


40656 Comments

Album Rating: 4.4

ALL APOLOGIES



WE'LL MAKE THIS RIIIIGHT



WITH YOU TONIIIIIIIIIGHT

WatchItExplode
October 9th 2018


5929 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The thing is, every great moment here harkens back to a better one from a previous album.



Also, I deleted Queen of the Dark the second time I heard it. That is one example of a sound from The Black Rainbow that was not refined well.

SrpskiCekic
October 9th 2018


3 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

All I see is cheese here

bowlermicah
October 9th 2018


37 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love Queen of the Dark, haha. I feel like Black Sunday, QOTD, and True Ugly are all refined versions of YOTBR, and Love Protocol and The Pavilion are better versions of TCBTS songs. Basically it's a greatest hits album with all new songs.

smaugman
October 9th 2018


4757 Comments


ok this is epic

Voltimand
October 9th 2018


888 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"every great moment here harkens back to a better one from a previous album" [2]



Too many sweeping ballady choruses for my taste, Travis too quiet in mix; otherwise a good album. I'm actually more excited for the next album to see how it'll evolve from this.

Digging: TesseracT - Errai

ShadowNeko
October 9th 2018


165 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

When trash like this has a higher average score than blood stain child LOL.

I agree that this is cheesy and every song goes into such a weak direction.

AtomicWaste
Moderator
October 9th 2018


2777 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I might write something about this at some point, but it basically feels like the upbeat counterpart to No World for Tomorrow to me.

WatchItExplode
October 9th 2018


5929 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It feels like fan service to me. Very enjoyable but a painful reminder this band has all but run its course.

beefshoes
October 9th 2018


7066 Comments


Cannot wait to hear this.

Storm In A Teacup
October 9th 2018


24051 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Also they could have titled this album "5 minute songs"

LightAndGlass
October 9th 2018


57 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Coheed is and always will be my favorite band but this album is a solid "okay".



Most of the choruses fall flat and the middle part of the album sounds like an '80s school dance rock playlist.



I don't like how straightforward the songs and instrumentation are. There's some good stuff but a lot of generic too. I miss their old creativity.

LightAndGlass
October 9th 2018


57 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I might actually delete Love Protocol and especially The Pavilion from my album.



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





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 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy