Pros-Great recording quality
-Instrument tonality is just beautiful
-This album is unique because it is very diverse. There are tunes that are poppy, some with more metal leanings, and others that just exemplify progressive rock (namely in the final four songs)
-This album contains "Welcome Home" which is very popular these days
Cons-There are honestly no faults I can find on this album.
Full ReviewCoheed and Cambria are constantly on the move. They are almost always on tour and doing their best to satisfy their fans. I feel in my heart that they are a very unique band in that they continually mesh professionalism with friendliness. Amidst their rise in popularity they have remained humble (as far as I can tell). They go from playing huge shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City, to small, local club venues.
The movement that I have described about the physical band is also very noticeable in their music. In the album "Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness" Coheed and Cambria press forward into a darker and generally more surreal musical atmosphere. It was from this point on that Coheed and Cambria would become highly recognized by the musical world, yet I feel they have never strayed from the musical ideas that crafted who they were.
As I have stated in my other reviews of Coheed's material, all of their albums attribute to some higher "concept." For those who are unaware, a concept album is basically a story being told through music. Coheed and Cambria is unique do to the vision of vocalist Claudio Sanchez, who began this band to explore his personal feelings; as well as a larger sci-fi tragic love story. In the past, the band's concept has been described as a "more graphic Star Wars story." For any nerd present, this is a beautiful thing. This album is perhaps the darkest section of the story, easily noticeable by the Parental Warning sticker on the front cover. That said, there is little to fear. There are occasional profanities and some lightly violent lyrics, however within the world of "the Fence"; these are acceptable things. Consider the hundreds of films people watch, and how those individuals are so numb to graphic violence, sex, and profanity; yet when a simple, meaningful album such as this comes by; they pass it up due to a Parental Guidance sticker. I ask of you, my reader, to not pass this album by without a geniune listen.
As with all tragic love stories, there is darkness to be found as well as beauty in the love side of the tragedy. The album opens with a quiet instrumental known as "Keeping the Blade." It is very peaceful and tranquil due to the usage of a real orchestra and a light piano melody, and a great way to open the album. The second track, "Always and Never" seems like an extension to the introduction; as it is just two and a half minutes of light acoustic playing with some interesting vocals on behalf of Claudio Sanchez. The third track, "Welcome Home", is perhaps the most notable song on this album simply because it is so popular these days. It has been featured on a trailor for the feature film "9", as well as being released on the popular "Rock Band" video game.
Unfortunately, many people would pass this band by due to their widespread popularity; however for once I actually agree with the publics view on a band. Coheed and Cambria's "Welcome Home" is a monumental rock/metal track. It has every thing a good song needs. It is easy to sing along too, it has beautiful riffs and light orchestration; and the end solos are just amazing. The chanting at the end solidifies its usage at all further Coheed and Cambria concerts.
Let me continue with my analysis of the music. A few songs later we are treated to the light ballad "Wake Up", which shows just how unique Coheed and Cambria's music is. Amidst all of the aggression and violence within the context of the story, some time is spent recollecting love and the loss of it. If you are new to rock music in general and would like to check out Coheed and Cambria, look up this song on Youtube or something. It was the first song I heard by this band and it moved me deeply. The final four tracks on this album, known as The Willing Well series are the by far the best songs ever created by this band. They make use of unique time signatures and complex riffs. As on all of their albums, bassist Mic Todd is able to shine during these moments on the album. Unlike most bassists, he actually has the freedom to do something unique with his instrument. The albums conclusion comes in the song "The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut", and to say the least, it is an extremely well crafted song. The best part about this song is how well it translates into Coheed and Cambria's live show. I had the opportunity to see them perform (on two occasions), and at one of their shows they performed this song with their 20+ minute jazz improv interlude. It is just amazing to see how well each individual in this band performs, from the guitarists with their unique tonality and antics to the drummer who drums like there is no world for tomorrow. That pun is intended.
In ClosingCoheed and Cambria continue to push the boundaries of music. On this album it is increasingly noticeable. For those who are interested in the stories of Coheed and Cambria, definitely check out Claudio Sanchez's graphic novelization (Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness); as well as the comic books and other albums.