on 26 October 2007
First things first... Coheed are not emo, they're progressive rock.
Now that aside, I'll talk about this masterpiece.
Rather than offer an epic conclusion to the saga, this album offers a different, yet interesting approach. With its often claustrophobic riffs and lyrics and nostalgic melodies, this is a bitter-sweet creation.
We open with an atmospheric, haunting piece entitled 'The Reaping'. Claudio's sweet, childlike lyrics offer us a 'calm before the storm' feeling as it quickly kicks into the title track "No World For Tomorrow". These two songs alone set the tone of the entire album, introducing a speed-up, slow-down formula to the saga.
We are then guided through the highs and lows of the characters final struggle. We feel the 'highs' in such songs as: 'The Running Free' and 'Radio Bye Bye'. But also the lows in songs such as: 'Mother Superior' and 'The End Complete'. AND IT WORKS!!!
Now I can guarantee that MOST will not know what to make of this album the first time they listen to it. But listen to it a couple more times and you'll find that tracks start to stand out rapidly and that the whole album is woven together beautifully.
To sum up... this is a strangely appealing album that gets better every time you hear it.
on 18 February 2008
I've been a big fan of 'Coheed and Cambria' since their first recordings, and have enjoyed hearing their new work improve and mature, but there's something not quite right on this album, whether it be the loss of members or the threat of almost splitting up I don't know, but I don't feel that they've taken these things and used them positively. I think the main thing that stands out is how horribly boring the drums are compared to what Coheed can usually produce, Taylor Hawkins' playing is very standard. Chris Pennie is the new drummer and I am wondering if he doesn't change the drums how he can be excited to play after coming from the challenging mathcore band Dillinger Escape Plan. Apart from that, the guitars sound awesome (but a bit more 'classic rock' than usual) and the vocal parts sound as great as always. I'm very much looking forward to what they can produce with their new members on their next album.
on 25 October 2007
This is the second half of the fourth and final part of C&C's mammoth space-prog-rock epic, which is meant to be the last section of the story with the first being released some time in the future. Confused? You should be.
Trying to make sense of the complex story aside, this continues much in the same way as its predecessors, though is somewhat lacking in the 'epic' stakes. There isn't really a towering, monolithic track on this record that stands out in the same way that "In Keeping Secrets" or "Welcome Home" do on previous albums. However, it isn't without its fair share of good tunes. "Feathers" sounds reminiscent of Bon Jovi/Bryan Adams melodic rock, "Gravemakers and Gunslingers" kicks as much behind as its uber-cool name suggests and is quite possibly the best song Iron Maiden never wrote. The first single, "The Running Free" is a bit simplistic, but "Mother Superior" returns to the melodic Bon Jovi-esque power ballad.
Overall, this is a worthy collection to the Coheed and Cambria canon, although as a supposed climax to the overarching story it is somewhat subdued - in many ways its predecessor sounds more like a closing act. I'd give it 3 and a half stars if I could, so I've rounded it up to four. It is still well worth a listen, though it does seem to be missing its battle-cry...
on 26 December 2007
I'm impressed. The last CD of theirs I bought was their first, the Second Stage Turbine Blade, which I must say was a little disappointing. No such qualms with this. It's more catchy than epic, with many singalongs, and Sanchez' unique voice as ever makes it very entertaining. The guitar work is also very good, with some new styles of track, in 'Mother Superior' especially. Lyrically it's more of the same, but 'Gravemeakers and Gunslingers' has some really cool lyrics. The choruses are some of Coheed's strongest ever, and although there are no tracks really rivalling 'The Crowing' or 'Welcome Home' from previous albums, as a whole this album is probably stronger than 'From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness.'
on 7 July 2008
Being a fan of Coheed for a good 4 years, I have grown to know a lot about them. And when I read in Kerrang! magazine, (prior to release) that the album/songs from it qualify as a 'Space Prog-rock opera' and are 'over-the-top' I can't help but feel... unclean.
There is a backstory to the Coheed saga, and this gives all the songs a passion that is both touching and fantastic; frontman and creative genius Claudio Sanchez lends his vocals so well to every song, you quickly 'get over' his high-pitch voice (I know this has put a lot of people off Coheed's music.)
Travis Stever (guitarist) lashes the songs with smooth licks of his guitar and some catchy and beautiful riffs. (Catchy; Feathers. Beautiful; Mother Superior).
The whole album screams with oozing talent and pure, mesmerizing melodies. If looking for a genre, you would probably settle on Prog-Rock (or the controversial'New-Prog) but this album rather defies classification. Every song is differnt. You have the acoustic, disturbing hauntings of The Reaping to open, heavy metal guitar solos galore in Gravemakers and Gunslingers, progressive stylings in Mother Superior and what can only be described as Jazz-come-Blues-come-Rock-come-Shredding in the End Complete V: On the Brink to finish it all off.
This album (coming in at exactly an hour long) if fifteen tracks of pure heaven... though I won't lie to you - a Foo Fighters fan I'm not, and (this could make it or break it for you) Taylor Hawkins hasn't made a decent job on the drums that I think new drummer Chris Pennie would. This isn' bad drumming, don't get me wrong, but compared to the sheer power of Pennie... But that's just me being a fanboy. It's a good album, aside from that one flaw.
This is the fourth album in this stupendously ambitious (and brilliant) series, and though it's a long way from being the best, it's still Coheed and Cambria (despite the slightly altered line-up) and still a clear mile above almost everything else going. I love that each of these albums has its own unique and distinctive sound, despite the fact that each is a chapter in the same story. That said, the creative well is showing early signs that it may at last be running dry. The album does have an occasional tendency to fall into familiar patterns at times, and many of the tracks are sadly quite forgettable - you won't find another Time Consumer, or the wall-to-wall perfection of In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3, or even the uncomfortable angst and complex structure of the most recent album. What you will find instead are a handful of excellent, hummable tracks - highlights include Feathers, Mother Superior and of course The Running Free (which was actually written for the new Transformers movie, though sadly it didn't make the cut). The high points of this album are definitely up there with the past glories, and definitely offer something new and distinctive - it's just that everything else is a little bland and over-familiar at this point. That's not to say it's bad by any stretch - it's Coheed and Cambria after all and this band doesn't really do `bad'. It's just that each of their albums inevitably has to be measured against the impossibly high standards of the previous ones, and this one is not quite up there.
on 6 November 2007
Well if I'm honest I was under-whelmed on first listen but a couple of listens in it just grows and grows as you get to grips with the songs hooks and structures.
The second track has what seems to be the most preposterous of riffs meandering all over the place.....makes Muse's `Plug in Baby' seem a little straightforward. The riff almost seems a bit too much at first but the overall melody takes over and gives the song cohesion.
The album then sails past.....which must be a good sign. Whilst I thought the last album was good, it seemed to lose it's way a little bit in the middle. Not that the individual songs were poor but it was a long album and the songs were perhaps a little less individual. No World For Tomorrow seems to have made a conscious effort to rectify that.
The suggestion is that it's more commercial but if you look at all the previous albums they all have those moments. Perhaps the new album has a couple more, but certainly not to it's detriment. I don't see the crowds switching off and going for a beer during A Favour House Atlantic, Blood Red Summer, The Suffering etc, so why should they for the new supposed 'commercial' material.
The only quibble is where is the big crescendo ending? But maybe I'll understand that more with a few more listens. Perhaps it all goes full circle and the big ending comes at the end of the first album in the series......which comes next.....in some sort of never ending circular nightmare. Who knows, I'm not too sure I've worked out what happens in the story yet. Oh well, better listen to them all again.
on 24 October 2007
Two years have passed since the release of Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV: Volume 1: From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness, and for myself and other Coheed fans these two years seem like an eternity. However, now it's finally here, the record we have been waiting for - and it doesn't disappoint.
Breaking tradition for the first track, The Reaping is the first introduction on a Coheed album with lyrics - and also replaces the 'Second Stage Turbine Blade' theme that has been running throughout the albums. It sets the mood for the album, and leads quite nicely into the title track.
No World For Tomorrow grabs you by the scruff of your neck and drags you face first into the album. Opening guitar line really sets you up for whats coming. The lyrics are apocalyptic and for once not too hard to see how they fit into the concept.
Feathers is fast becoming my favourite track on the album, although im not sure if it ever will be. Catchy and emotional, this is Coheed at their least proggy, and at their best poppy.
The first single off the album is a good one - although from the mass exposure from Myspace/Youtube has stopped me listening to it as much. The Running Free is catchy, with a chunky main guitar riff. Shame the chorus guitars are the same as The Suffering.
Forget about those live Youtube clips of Mother Superior RIGHT NOW. They do not do this track justice. Claudio's vocals are superb in this track, and Taylor Hawkins' drumming really comes through to me on this one. Easily my favourite track on the album, despite Feathers' persistence on trying. Simply fantastic, a must-be listen and most probably an upcoming single.
Gravemakers & Gunslingers was posted on Coheed's myspace, and if it hadn't have been then it would have to live up to a lot following the previous track. A change of style almost - gave me an 80's Hair metal vibe. Some people argue that it sounds like Ten Speed, but I can't really see the resembelence. A great song nonetheless, and some superb lead guitar.
Now for 'The End Complete' series. When i saw there were to be a series of songs like the Willing Wells, I immediately thought of The Final Cut when looking at this song. And what could be more epic than... nah, I won't spoil it. But Coheed fans will be pleasantly suprised when they get to the ending of these songs. Each track is clever and intricate, especially when it comes to On The Brink. Melodic and sweet, you know this is the end. So Long Amory.
Overall, this album is rather splendid. Coheed fans can debate whether it should have been proggier, but In my view, it couldn't be much more perfect. Can't wait for the next record already, and to see what the band do with these tracks live and how they go on from this story. Roll on Kerrang! Tour 2008!!!
Coheed And Cambria's fourth Studio album No World For Tomorrow is a real corker; a well written and wonderfully produced record that picks up right where the previous Burning Star IV record left off.
This album contains just the right mixture of shimmering David Gilmore influenced leads, metal influenced breakdowns and catchy sing along vocal hooks that'll stick in your head for days on end.
The main problem that the band have is getting people to give them a fair listen in the first place. Some fans will always have a problem categorising this band and end up dismissing them no matter what. Coheed were never as progressive as the Mars Volta, never as metal as Dream Theatre and too progressive and metal influenced to be just a regular indie/alt/emo band.
Regardless of what genre the album may be, or who the band do or don't sound like, this album when taken on its own merits is undeniably good; full of great lyrics, excellent vocal melodies and a sense of cohesion that many bands lack.
The only negative thing that I can say about this album is that occasionally the production and tonal choices can make certain sections of the more commercial songs like 'Feathers,' 'Running Free,' or 'Mother Superior,' at times seem too saccharine, too slick and a little overblown. This is a very minor flaw however, and doesn't apply to the majority of the album, or when material from the album is performed live.
Stand out songs include the brilliant single 'Gravemakers And Gunslingers,' which is possibly the most fun Coheed song to date, the catchy fast paced 'The Hound Of Blood And Rank,' and 'The End Complete,' which is quite frankly staggering.
At the end of the day, this album boasts some of the best guitar work that the band ever recorded, mixing both melodic and hectic solos with powerful riffing and a few soft ballads to create an powerful and enjoyable album. If you liked their previous album From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness; or as it is commonly known, Good Apollo (part one of a set in which No World For Tomorrow is part two), you'll love this.
PS. Some editions contains a short Making Of Documentary; which features interviews with the band, mixed with in studio footage and discusses topics such as the writing process, the band's story concept and new drummer Chris Pennie's visa troubles. Its not the most in depth documentary, but is enjoyable none the less.
on 30 November 2007
2007 has been a great year for music and has now been capped off by a fabulous record by Coheed and Cambria. This is, without doubt in my opinion, the album of the year. It is accessible, intelligent, loud, lively rock music and even if you don't want to follow the concept story line, I can guarantee that you will love this CD for years. One of the things that I like the most about Coheed is that you can pick up almost any of their CDs and enjoy an hour or so of great music, without worrying too much about the mythology. You just need to pull on your King Crimson T shirt (it's at the back of your wardrobe) like Travis does on the "Making Of" DVD that accompanies this package, and listen to something that used to be called progressive rock. Don't worry, the term is irrelevant really, you just need to listen.
As a Coheed "noob" all I can say in addition to the compliments showered on this album by the Amazon reviewers is this: If you have any interest at all in rock music, this album will leave you with your jaw on the floor. And the DVD (equally revealing) is just what you would expect from a band at the top of their game. Sorry that they lost Josh, equally glad that Michael is back. Love them to death. Well done guys, Claudio and co take a bow!