Coheed and Cambria "The Afterman: Ascension" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars
Mon, 08 Oct 2012 06:14:48
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In a career marked by raising the stakes, Coheed and Cambria up the ante drastically once more on The Afterman: Ascension. The first part of their double-disc epic stands out as the group's best album to date. Now, there's still another half on the horizon, The Afterman: Descension, out early next year. However, this collection mounts anticipation exponentially.
After an eerie intro on "The Hollow", the band kicks everything into high gear with the progressive metal symphony of "Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute". For almost eight minutes, they descend down a rabbit hole of blistering polyrhythmic fretwork, mind-bending drums, and frontman Claudio Sanchez's captivating storytelling. On the other end of the spectrum, "The Afterman" functions as an elegant and emotional rumination supported by guitarist Travis Stever's warm tones and flawless playing. Haunting female harmonies punctuate "Mothers of Men" at just the right moments as Sanchez screams "Another cog in the wall" with raw power.
Shimmying between bright beats from Josh Eppard and Zach Cooper's curling bass lines, "Goodnight, Fair Lady" is a theatrical exercise in instrumental fireworks with more signature crooning from Sanchez. "Key Entity Extraction II: Holly Wood the Cracked", "Key Entity Extraction III: Vic the Butcher", and "Key Entity Extraction IV: Evagria the Faithful" is the most expansive and entrancing series in the band's history yet. It's bound to be face-melting live.
"Subtraction" wraps everything up with a blissful intergalactic send-off, illuminating just how beautiful the band's music can get. Ultimately, Coheed and Cambria shift not only their own evolutionary course but that of alternative music as a whole here. The Afterman: Ascension isn't just a step up for them; it's a step up for rock, prog, or whatever you want to call it.
The best part is there's another album coming…
What's your favorite Coheed and Cambria song?
See our exclusive interview Travis Stever here!