Coheed and Cambria released the latest installment to their career-long Amory Wars story arc with their new album, The Afterman: Ascension, which is being released today. Let me just say that I’m a huge Coheed and Cambria fan, and with that being said I’m sure you can tell how excited I was for this album to drop. Let me also point out that as a Coheed and Cambria fan I also know the Amory Wars storyline, but will not touch on that or how this new addition to the story affects the major plot lines.
The album starts off with the intro track, “Hollow.” This is a very melancholy opening track that consists of a piano, keys, and a spoken track. The album really starts off however with the track “Key Entity Extraction I: Domino The Destitute” this track happens to also be the first song I heard about a month ago when a music video was released. I have to say musically I enjoy the track especially the odd intro and the Iron Maiden influenced guitar part. Claudio Sanchez’s vocals however are what makes this track spectacular as he sores above the band.
The title track is up next, and I have to say that “The Afterman” is an odd song. Musically it feels as if it could be found on a U2 album, but vocally it sounds like Sanchez’s lower register voice. Eventually the song builds up to a less than grandiose conclusion. This however is corrected by the next track, “Mothers of Men” which starts off with a very Rush influenced riff, which I enjoyed. I enjoyed Sanchez’s vocals on the tracks especially when he gets harmonized by a female vocalist. I also enjoyed the riffs that went on throughout the song, as they were technical, but did not overdo it.
“Goodnight Fairlady” is the next track, and I enjoyed this track a lot. I found it to fall somewhere between their songs, “Feathers” and “Ten Speed.” Lyrically Sanchez does something interesting when he addresses the listener. The guitar tones on this track are spectacular, at times it sounds as if Brian May were on the record. Next up is the song “Key Entity Extraction II: Hollywood The Cracked” this song is very interesting, and brings in many new thing especially this new heavy bass sound that I enjoyed. The song slithers along and has a very lucid feel. The track ends with some odd soundtrack like samples, but hey it’s Coheed and Cambria.
Next up is the “Key Entity Extraction III: Vic The Butcher.” This song is great, and consists of an opening riff that is accompanied by what sounds like an army marching down a street. This then gets followed by the drums of Josh Eppard. The song then intensifies with Stever and Sanchez showing their rhythm chops. The song the song ends in an odd sci-fi part. The next track is entitled “Key Entity Extraction IV: Evagria” this starts with an odd reverb driven guitar part, but then Sanchez’s vocals come in and draws the listener’s attention. I have to say the arrangement of the song is very experimental, but I enjoyed it.
The final track on the album is entitled “Subtraction” and this is a nice track that starts off with a nice sample, but a nice acoustic guitar comes in, and makes the listener go to a very serene place that is only penetrated by Sanchez’s vocals.
This album is not for the casual listener of progressive music, but would simply delight the pallet of someone who is very much in to progressive rock. The Afterman: Ascension is a good album, but will not delight everyone, but I encourage people to take a listen.
Check out the music video for “Domino The Destitute” below: