Review Summary: Welcome Home
Full disclosure: I feel that Coheed and Cambria have released three stone cold classic albums (and an equal number of terrible ones) but I couldn’t tell you one thing about The Amory Wars
. I’d like to think Claudio is literally singing about mayonnaise, but know I it’s clearly
something space-related. That being said, Coheed and Cambria are clearly at their best when diving head-first into their disjointed mythos, with a series of prequels and non-canon records yielding a decade of false starts and dead-ends. Unheavenly Creatures
(if the physical packaging doesn’t use that absurd full title then I’m not going to either) is a continuation of the story which started with Second Stage Turbine Blade
and, musically, it feels just like it, too. After 10 years, Unheavenly Creatures
brings Coheed back home.
Being the truest Coheed album in quite some time Unheavenly Creatures
is billowing with content. At 80-minutes it’s too long, too unwieldy, and too indulgent, but it’s Claudio operating at peak cheese—seven-minute power-romps sweep wildy, build higher and higher, and end with boisterous one liners that would make your eyes roll were it written by anyone else. Hell, there’s an entire song built upon rhyming “boy” with “toy” as well as one titled “Love Protocol.” Said with enough conviction and backed with a catchy hook, even lines like “The soundtrack placed over this heart/ It shares no rhythm of mine” can be anthemic and sincere. Some of its triumphs have been done better in other albums, with “The Dark Sentencer” failing to match its progenitors “Welcome Home” and “No World for Tomorrow.” Soulful ballads have been excised, multi-part suites are gone, and the band is on 10 the entire time. But when lofty chorus kicks in at the end of “Black Sunday” it doesn’t really matter. When the multi-layered vocals in “Night-Time Walkers” start waxing camp, it doesn’t really matter. And when “The Gutter” really kicks in gear with a rollicking Brian May-style guitar solo, it doesn’t matter
. Coheed’s latest disappoints in all the expected ways, but it kicks ass just as you’d expect, and in every way that matters.