Ok. I admit it. These guys are like one of my favourite bands of all time! And here's why:
At the tender age of 10, with music channels on Sky being my only real musical output and source, I had discovered this band, in quite a comical video and a very cathcy song. I liked them for that song (A Favour House Atlantic) and I think I might have heard and liked Blood Red Summer as well. Butabout a year later, completely forgetting about the band, I heard another one of their songs...one on this album, and seeing the video and hearing the track, I thought to myself "wow, this song kicks ass...I think I've seen that guys crazy hair before...and I was right, it was the exact same band, although they're very different now. So I decided to buy this album...and it completelty floored me.
In my opinion this is one of the greatest albums ever made. It really is. Their's incredibly catchy songs, amazing prog moments, great technical abillity and song writing abbilities that Gods would envy over. Also, the band make concept albums. And I mean linking concept albums. Now you don't need to know the concept to like these songs, but when you start thinking of it, it makes the songs even better. Now the concept is too grand and too detailed to go into, but all you need to know that it involves Sci fi, robots, an evil dicatator and THE END OF THE WORLD!!!...basically.
Now the production on this album is very different to their previous 2 efforts, and it really seems that alot of money and times was put into this album. Especially with the arrangements. Everytime you listen to this album, their's always something you'll end up missing. One of the highlights of this album was the production on the vocals. Now I'm a sucker for harmonies, and even the music I make, theirs always going to be harmony. But at times this a bit over the top, and it's not just basic 3rds and 5ths, theirs multi layering, question and answering, even just little atmospheres created by vocal harmonies.
The instrumentation is even fantastic, and one thing about this album that really stands out is that, besides the epics, the shorter catchier songs are only about 3-4 minutes, but theirs still a load in them.
Now I've listened to this album over and over again, I've sung these songs over and over again (I was in a band, and we were basically a Coheed cover band), I've played these songs over and over again, I know every lyric, every time change, every vocal harmony, every instrument used...IT'S THAT ADDICTIVE!!!
1. Keeping The Blade - An incredibly beautiful instrumental with piano and strings. Very haunting and incredibly well arranged. 10/10
2. Always & Never - Another beautiful song. I love the use of the childs voice adding a very innocent tone to the song. The vocals are beautifuly used in this song, yet theirs something very sinister about this song as well (it might be the last lyric of the song). 10/10
3. Welcome Home - This is the first song I heard from this album. Now this song is EPIC. I must have played this song a billion times when I used to play live in bands (I was 15 at the time too, so not too bad for a 15 year old). That guitar squeel is very noticable, but the song is way more. The ending solos are brilliant and very tricky to play. 10/10
4. 10 Speed (Of God's Blood & Burial) - I love the use of the question and answer vocals in the song. Just a very cathcy song, with an amazing guitar solo. The scream at the end is pretty cool too.
5. Crossing The Frame - Probabbly one of my favourite songs from these guys. It's just so damn catchy, but the main attraction for me is the vocal harmonies. Layered to an obscene point, but it only makes the song 1000 times better. 10/10
6. Apollo I: The Writing Writer - The intro is very atmospheric with the Jean Michele Jarre style synths. It's just such an epic song, but so inrcredibly cathcy as well. Great lyrics too. 10/10
7. Once Upon Your Dead Body - The guitar melody throughout is so pretty. Such a cathcy song, and the use of vocals again is pulled of really well. 10/10
8. Wake Up - The acoustic ballad of the album. Really beautiful and the isntrumentation is amazing, especially the use of lapsteel giving it a country esque feel to it. 10/10
9. The Suffering - I remember when I first got this album, I played this song over and over again. It really is a magical and addictive song, mainly cause it's so damn catchy. 10/10
10. The Lying Lies & Dirty Secrets Of Miss Erica Court - This song didn't stand out for me too much when I first got the album, but I have to admit it's one of my favourite songs of theirs now. It's inredibly catchy, and the lyrics are pretty cool too. 10/10
11. Mother May I - I never really liked this song too much, until now. I don't know, it just seems better now in my opinion. Great chorus and progression throughout, with some great melodies and some really catchy parts too. 10/10
The Willing Well
WARNING THIS MAY BE THE GREATEST HALF HOUR OF YOUR LIFE!
I. Fuel For The Feeding End - This is the most frantic part of this piece. Even though it's incredibly catchy. I think this is their best lyrical contribution. Again the vocals are used to even greater amounts in this song. It's just an absolute epic thrill ride. 10/10
II. From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness - This song really does put me in a good mood...well for the first few minutes, after that it drawns you in like a snake trapping a rat. Again, an incredible epic moment, still keeping the technical ability of Part 1, but making some very Rush like moments as well. 10/10
III. Apollo II: The Telling Truth - A development of the first part, still keeping alot of the ideas, but really building upon them, especially in the middle of the song. Great dramatic structure, again keeping you on your feet, and singing along. 10/10
IV. The Final Cut - The epic slow ending. Now this is epic. Especially the vocal parts followed by amazing guitar solos. The ending is really pretty too, and yes thats Bron-Y-Aur by Led Zeppelin at the end. 10/10
CONCLUSION: ONE OF THE BEST ALBUMS EVER!!! Thats all I need to say.