A band knows they have written a quality album when their fans sing back every word of their new songs live before the album has even been released for purchase.
After leaving many Coheed and Cambria fans disappointed in 2010 with their release of “Year of the Black Rainbow,” the band has gone back to their old sound and rediscovered the “it factor” that attracted the loyal fan base that follows them today.
The new release, “The Afterman: Ascension,” is part of a double album. The second half, “The Afterman: Descension,” is to be released this upcoming February. Coheed’s sixth album follows suit of the previous albums, following the storyline of frontman Claudio Sanchez’s comics “The Armory Wars.”
The band has reunited with original drummer Josh Eppard, who left the band in 2006 for personal reasons. During live performances it is obvious how ecstatic the rest of the band is to have Eppard back in the lineup.
“The Afterman: Ascension” starts right off with “The Hollow,” a beautifully haunting electric piano intro that takes its time building tension into the album’s single “Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute.” “Domino” will remind Coheed fans of why they fell in love with the band in the first place.
As always, the guitar work on the album will impress even the pickiest of critics. After having multiple songs released for the popular video game “Rock Band,” Coheed and Cambria may have a few more to add to the “Rock Band” catalog. Riffs from tracks “Mothers Of Men” and “Goodnight Fair Lady” sound like classic Coheed riffs that just had not been written yet, already fitting perfectly with the rest of the “in your face” riffs.
The best thing about the new album is that Coheed continues to show off their versatility. While any song on the album starting with the words “Key Entity Extraction” may be on the heavier side, Coheed slows down for its more mellow audience.
The third song on Coheed and Cambria’s album “The Afterman” has a guitar part that sounds very similar to one you would find on a U2 album. The part is very spacey with a lot of reverb and delay, complimented perfectly by lead singer Claudio Sanchez’s uniquely high-pitched, yet wide-ranged voice. The sound builds using the tension that can only be found in the strings of a violin.
The album ends on the mellow side with “Subtraction.” Mixing together the elements of the ever popular acoustic guitar and modern day electronica sounds, “Subtraction” is the perfect ending to an album that is going to pick up right where it left off as part one of a double album.
Although it is too early to tell where “The Afterman: Ascension” will rank amongst the rest of Coheed and Cambria’s discography, the album definitely gives fans another solid record to add to the collection.