Coheed and Cambria
Vaxis II: A Window of the Waking Mind


2.0
poor

Review

by don't ask me, I don't know any hallways STAFF
June 24th, 2022 | 379 replies


Release Date: 06/24/2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: he looks up grinnin like a major player in the cowboy scene

Good afternoon, I am an adult Coheed and Cambria fan here to answer your questions about how it feels to love and continue loving this beautiful dorky prog-pop masterband through the third decade their career. I have good intentions, enthusiasm of both the nostalgia and joie de vivre strains, and vaguely adequate awareness of the supporting comic book universe that somehow improves the band’s catchy vocal singing, scrumptious cheese, and big big guitars for reasons no-one will ever succeed in explaining. Any time’s a good time in the world of Coheed, and normally I’d welcome you right in. There is just one problem:

I fucking quit.

Vaxis II: A Window of The Waking Mind takes everything questionable about Vaxis I’s overall charming forays into stadium rock, castrates it of any semblance of grit, urgency or personality, and subjugates its once formidable trove of catchiness to an almost impressively bland slew of commercialised hard rock templates that, in conjunction with the record’s militantly pop production, render it a gormless caricature of everything once endearing about the band. It is, as the kids say, a bum deal. Claudio Sanchez, typically the master of memorably oblique lyrics and delightfully contorted vocal hooks, is here reduced to singing however many variations of exactly the same vocal melody through the back of his nose and occasionally acquitting otherwise hookless songs with such apropos-nothing cornerstones as GAME OVER LOVE MURDER ONE. This lyric in particular is mercilessly devoid of punctuation, and I have no idea how what the fragilistic fuck it is supposed to mean (take this with the extreme opposite of a pinch of salt from someone only too happy to condone past one-liners as ham-happy as blow off sorrow, goodbye tomorrow). Without competition, the album’s opening 10-song run is the most punishing run of duds the Keywork has seen to date; “The Liars Club” and “Comatose” are the only salvageable cuts from this entire stretch, and this is by virtue of packing something distantly approaching a pulse.

The closing run achieves some form of pyrrhic superiority, repping mediocre prog ‘epics’ over the anaemic rock garbage preceding it. This comes in the form of: “Ladders of Supremacy”, a song that screams Vaxis I b-side like nothing else (and, shock horror, turned out to be exactly that), “Rise, Nainasha (Cut the Cord)”, a spirited banger that does not quite follow through on its eponymous imperative but at least comes respectably close, and “Window of the Waking Mind”, which is at once the silliest thing and - okay - awesomest thing I’ve heard in my life. It sees Coheed go full rock opera like never before, thunderous riffs, woodwind flourishes, tasteless choral bollocks and direct character address galore. Take it or leave it, it’s only thing that stands as an honest departure. It is fun, it is long, it is too little too late, and then it’s over. Oh boy, is it over for Coheed and Cambria - or is it? Pass - I doubt it’s the end of the line for endorsable Coheed albums; they’ve made strong comebacks before between turbulent tandems as Year Of The Black Rainbow (eh) and The Afterman: Ascension (yay!), and The Color Of The Sun (huh?) and Vaxis I (yuh!!). They sure give themselves a lot of opportunities for strong comebacks, almost as though TIME HAS A FUNNY WAY OF PLAYING JOKES ON YOU WHILE YOU’RE WAITING FOR WHAT YOU THINK YOU KNOW someone buy me a fucking drink.



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user ratings (165)
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2022


49320 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

album bad, find me somewhere back in time desperately holding onto this band's glory days

SteakByrnes
June 24th 2022


27422 Comments


this album is probably a lmao/5

Gyromania
June 24th 2022


34821 Comments


Most dogshit album art of the year?

RivalSkoomaDealer
June 24th 2022


1644 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As someone who used to proclaim Coheed as one of their favorite bands when he was in high school, i'm terrified to listen to this. The singles and buzz around this album haven't exactly given me the impression that this will be good.

Slugboiiii
June 24th 2022


331 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I prefer this to part 1 because it's not 80 minutes long tbh

Toondude10
June 24th 2022


14936 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

idk I liked this album, not as good as part 1 but still decent



and yeah at least it's not 80 minutes lmao

TheSpirit
June 24th 2022


29985 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

maybe it's b/c i am not a huge coheed fan, but i am liking this so far

LightAndGlass
June 24th 2022


630 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Better than everything they've put out since Ascension.

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2022


58973 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

2 what

Gyromania
June 24th 2022


34821 Comments


Their best albums (the first two) aren't even that good, and everything since has been very mediocre. Prob won't even bother hearing this one

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
June 24th 2022


49320 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

First two albums and most of the third and a decent chunk of the fourth and other bits are fire

the rest exists and this is mostly fine

WatchItExplode
June 24th 2022


9790 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

From fear through the eyes of madness is best though. I'm scared about this one but I'm going to go in with good headphones and an open mind this evening.

LightAndGlass
June 24th 2022


630 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Their best albums (the first two) aren't even that good"



Jump into a vat of acid, please.

Odal
June 24th 2022


1216 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This review is technically well-written, but man do I not agree with it at all lol Do you hate fun?

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
June 24th 2022


15348 Comments


"From fear through the eyes of madness is best though"

c o r r e c t

Toondude10
June 24th 2022


14936 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the last three songs are fucking great

bowlermicah
June 24th 2022


139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album is good and is more "fun" than they've been in a long time.

Teal
June 24th 2022


404 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

They leaned wayyyy too hard into their more commercial, poppy side. While I’m a fan of both the poppy and progressive elements of Coheed, what made the poppier moments in albums past was they were outliers. Here, they invert that ratio to underwhelming results for me personally.

Slex
June 24th 2022


14553 Comments


Booooooo

cfox666
June 24th 2022


24 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I always thought this band sucked side-walk dogshit to be honest. Nothing had me more confused than the time I was between jobs and found myself working as a prep-cook for a celebrity chef in Connecticut and hearing the Chef and his sous-pals listening to Coheed and Cambria. I was like- "am I working with children?" Glad that's behind me... Cheers



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