It's tough to go back to something that was once so great. Remembering the first listen through of The Second Stage Turbine Blade or In Keeping Secrets of the Silent Earth 3 and the jolt of originality and fresh ideas, this is what was hoped for in Coheed and Cambria's latest release The Afterman: Ascension.
For those of us keeping score on the storyline, Afterman is the first part of a two-part album (the second half is promised in February 2013) and is the prequel to the story of the characters Coheed and Cambria and their children. I know Year of the Black Rainbow was also a prequel, but the story has a definite end...so apparently now we must find the true beginning.
It's seems as time has passed, Coheed has become overly polished. The story is definitely more concise, and the playing is on point, although it seems we've moved further from roaring guitars with keyboard accents to more of a keyboard focus. It would be a good sacrifice to lose some continuity in order to get some edge back. After going through the tunes of Afterman it seems these albums have become formula. Starting with a somewhat instrumental tune ("Hollow", parallel to "Keeping the Blade" on Good Apollo or "One" on Black Rainbow), followed by the big anthemic song ("Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute", parallel to "Welcome Home" on Good Apollo or "The Broken" on Black Rainbow), and the obligatory slow jam ("Subtraction", parallel to "Wake Up" on Good Apollo or "Pearl of the Stars" on Black Rainbow)...we begin to see that there is a pattern. This may be the intent of the story teller, but if so, we are losing out on better music in order to ensure a pocket pattern is formed.
Unfortunately, this is not the triumphant return of Coheed we may have hoped for...but hope still shines...perhaps they can break the chain in February with the second part, The Afterman: Descension.
Where to find them:
The Amory Wars 1 Ultimate Edition By Sanchez, Claudio/ Guzman, Gabriel (ILT)/ Vasquez, Gus (ILT) (Google Affiliate Ad)