And so continues a segment, in which I will listen to an album for the first time and give my impressions of said album as I go through. I will provide background information, a track by track review and then final thoughts. Enjoy!
Background – Coheed and Cambria are one of my favorite bands. They are essentially my generation’s Rush and combine a mix of hard hitting, progressive metal songs with a great songwriting sensibility. The first offering in the “Aftermath” series pretty much blew, so I am not really sure of what to expect with part II, The Aftermath: Descension. Will this be an album that redeems the band and gets me into them again, or will this be another let down. Lets find out….
1) Pretelethal – We’ve got a lullaby/acoustic intro…sounds like King Crimson so far. Things are getting heavier, but this song is very firmly rooted in “intro track territory.” That is not necessarily a bad thing, but you know the law with intro tracks; their ultimate success or failure depends upon the following songs. There certainly isn’t enough here in and of itself to make a great song.
2) Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant – There are clear guitar tones, so this is already a step above anything on the Ascension album. Ok, I am through the first chorus and this is a solid track. Sounds like something that would be a solid track on the first couple of albums. There is nothing mind blowing here, but there is solid structure and a pretty good chorus. There are also some of those really nice backing guitar parts that Coheed are known for. All in all, this is better than any song on the Ascension album….good start guys.
3) The Hard Sell – This one kicks right in with a funky little verse, before going into a decent enough chorus. Much like the last song, I am not blown away or feeling the need to listen to this one again, but its solid enough and would have worked well as a deeper cut on any of their previous albums.
Have I ever mentioned that I know nothing of the overarching storyline that connects all of Coheed’s music? I am a huge fan of this band, but I have never taken the time to learn what in the hell they are singing about. This is strange, because I usually dig pretty deep with bands. But, honestly, I just take their songs and give them my own meaning, instead of trying to think about what I perceive to be a strange sci-fi based theme. I bring this up, because there are weird spoken vocal effects after every song that probably would have some meaning if I knew what in the hell they were talking about. But I don’t.
4) Number City – This is probably the only Coheed song I can think of that starts off with a baseline. Ummm….electronic bass, a ska type guitar/beat thing going on and I am left utterly confused. There are electronic drums too. What in the hell is going on here???? The verses in this song sound like a half assed No Doubt/Finger Eleven ripoff.
You notice how I didn’t even talk about the chorus? That’s because its not worth mentioning. It is almost as if Phil Collins took a dump and called it a chorus. That’s about the nicest thing I can say about it. I am sure this song is supposed to be interesting. But, I am really disturbed and underwhelmed by this. And the outro….they count from one to nine over and over again. This fucking blows.
5) Gravity’s Union – Oh jesus…uber distorted guitar. And not in a death metal kind of way, but in a you can’t make anything out kind of way. I really despise that sound and no band, Metallica, Annihilator or even Coheed can make it work. That aside, this song has a confusing, off-timed verse and forgettable chorus. I’m going to get a bottle of water.
6) Away We Go – With an intro reminiscent of “Feathers,” off of Coheed’s best album, No World For Tomorrow, this one has potential, but the story will truly be told in the chorus. DAMN IT. Not a good chorus and some lame ass lyrics combined to make that chorus a pile ‘o poop. This album is starting to enter some bad territory. I am two thirds of the way through and I have only half liked two songs. Is this the end of my relationship with Coheed?
7) Iron Fist – With a title like “Iron Fist,” this song may be the last hope for this album. Guys, please don’t let me down. Acoustic guitars, soft spoken lyrics and electronic drums; so far, this is more like a Michael Jackson fingerless glove than an iron first. And it just stays like that for the rest of the god damned song!!!!!!!!!! There’s nothing about this song to indicate an iron first. This just sounds like music to go through menopause to. I’m getting dangerously close to throwing this CD out the window and throwing some Morbid Angel on. The lyrics at the end of this song got me physically upset. I’m shaking right now.
8) Dark Side of Me – Another, slow tempo, crappy, forgettable song and I am left debating on if I ever liked this band at all. If one of my friends, who have dealt with me gushing over this band for years heard this album, they’d challenge me to a duel. I need a beer.
9) 2’s my Favorite 1 – Right off the bat, this is one of the lamest song titles I have ever seen before. And guess what? The crappy music, matches the crappy title. Another weak ass, slow jam. I am throwing my hands up, writing my conclusion and taking a shower.
Conclusion – I haven’t heard an album that made me sweat it was so bad in a long time. This makes three bad or mediocre releases in a row for the band. I am a patient man and willing to give the benefit of the doubt most of the time, but Coheed and Cambria seem like a band without a direction right now. Gone are the well written, prog-metal classics and in their place are whiny ass, electronically infused dog turds instead. Coheed are being put onto the backburner. If I hear great things about a future album, I’ll give it an honest shot, but this is the last time I rush to buy a new record that they put out.