Coheed is back...with a new agenda.
Ok, I think everyone should know that I'm a massive fan of this band. From being in bands that basically where cover bands of this band and buying everything they own, yea, I have known them for a long time.
Now, the build up to this album was rather secretive, and its interesting because usually Coheed treat a new album like the second coming of Christ. It might be due to the fact these guys are now signed to there own label, and not to a major one anymore. So really, buying this album is buying each member of the band a cheap KFC. So you should buy it out of charity really.
Now on every album, Coheed do something different, and as usual, they can be notably seen. From the mixed reviews of Year Of The Black Rainbow from critics and fans alike, Coheed decided to ditch the weird production and dark Nine Inch Nails sounding atmospheres, and go back to songwriting, and it worked like a treat on this album.
The songwriting has actually become a lot more compact, and a maturer sound is really appearing on the album. The songs sound more contemporary at times and more to the point. The length of the album also helps the feeling of being “compact”. It's over in heartbeat, and it feels like you just listened to a great string of songs, in order. Usually Coheed albums are a bit longer, and more filler moments can be heard, but this format really works well for the band, and the sequel to this album will also match the feelings felt on this album.
Now concept wise, the band have taken a different approach. Instead of one linear narrative, it focuses on different events and character profiles, as the protagonist Sirius Armory travels back to his past and sees the life through different characters eyes. An interesting idea for a concept, and a great idea to cover an entire double album (in fact, it reminds me a little bit of Ayreon's Flight Of The Navigator double album)
Musically, the band have changed a bit, especially with a new line up. Josh's return to the band has brought back the more rockier drum sound, and new bassist Zach Cooper is just an amazing bassist, who gives the album a certain warmness. Claudio's voice is also better than ever too. Also, I suggest seeing the band live (as I did in November) for an amazing experience. This band will always be dear to my heart.
1. The Hollow – An amazing intro to the album. The atmospheric keyboards, the creepy narration. Perfect way to keep a listener to keep on listening and wait for what's happening next. 10/10
2. Key Entity Extraction I: Domino The Destitute – Ok, I have to admit. When this song was leaked, I was a bit obsessed with it. Out of all the Coheed epics, this is probably my favourite. Also, out of all their longer songs, this seems to be the most compact one. Nothing really gets boring, every section is as enjoyable and interesting as the next, and a lot of climaxes will be heard throughout. Also, it is probably one of Claudio's best lyrical moments. This definitely goes on the top of my list of favourite Coheed songs. 10/10
3. The Afterman – One of Coheed's more softer moments. A very beautiful yet tragic song. The strings on this song are nice touch as well. 10/10
4. Mothers Of Men – One of my least favorite songs on the album, but when considering Coheed, that's like saying my least favourite cake. One of the more rhythmical songs on the album, with a very interesting arrangement throughout. 9/10
5. Goodnight, Fair Lady – A pop song about date rape. Only Coheed could get away with this. The date rape does add a touch of dark humour to the song, but other than that, its incredibly joyous and catchy. 10/10
6. Key Entity Extraction II: Holly Wood The Cracked – This would have been one of the shining moments on this album, the only problem I have with it is that it's too short (usually songs need to be cut down for some bands, Coheed need to make them longer). A more darker side to Coheed, and a flashback to some of the darker material on Year Of The Black Rainbow. One of the albums best chorus' as well. 9/10
7. Key Entity Extraction III: Vic The Butcher – The albums most rocking song. A great sing along chorus and some really kick ass fist in the air moments. This will run around your head through the next few days. 9/10
8. Key Entity Extraction IV: Evagria the Faithful – Probably one of the nicest Coheed softer moments. A very melodic tinged song with a very powerful chorus. I'm glad Josh is back as well, because the drumming on this song really is top notch and some of his best. 10/10
9. Subtraction – An odd way to end off an album, but rather pretty and nice. The arrangement I think is great too, especially the use of keyboards. I have heard that this was supposed to be a Prize Fighter Inferno song, so you can expect a few electronic glitches and soft keys. 9/10
CONCLUSION: This may not be my favourite Coheed album, but after thinking it through, this may be the album that I would give to someone if they wanted to get into Coheed, because it really has everything, and a little bit more. The band have changed a lot over the years, but there's eve stabs back at there older sounds, and even more on the 2nd part of this album (which I will review at some point as well). The shortness of the album also helps a lot more. A very compact little package. Also its Coheed, so expect a masterpiece of music and songwriting.