The first time I ever heard of Coheed and Cambria, I was waiting for them to come onstage at a show at the old Grog Shop in Cleveland when I struck up a conversation with a fan. The fan said to me, “Yeah. Have you ever listened to Rush? These guys are like a combination of Rush and Indie/Punk rock.” I was astounded by the combination and when pressed for details the fan told me he thought that because the singer, Claudio sings at the upper ends of his register like Geddy Lee does.
Subsequently, going into the show I was a little worried about what these guys were going to be all about. I like a couple of Rush songs and I respect who they are and their influence as a band, but 9 times out of 10, I would like to choke Geddy Lee with my bare hands. Then Coheed and Cambria came onstage and I was impressed by their brand of rock.
When I got a copy of their new album, IN KEEPING SECRETS OF SILENT EARTH:3 this week, my expectations were decidedly mixed. It could go either way where I could be listening to a pop/punk album, I could be listening to a screamo epic, or a combination of the two like the first album was. After listening to it for a couple of days, it is decidedly the latter.
The album starts out with an intro that features a phone ringing, the sound of footsteps to answer the phone, a female voice says hello, and a gothic organ piece begins. I can imagine that it would be creepy given the right set of circumstances. It fades into the first song, which shares the album name. This is the kind of Coheed material that I appreciate. It is 8 minutes of urgent indie-rock-opera complete with movements and subtle starts and stops.
This style of song goes until “Three Evils (Embodied In Love And Shadow),” which drops back into the pop/punk style that was frequently heard on their first album. It is complete with bouncy time switches and that fret raking sound that looks much cooler onstage than it ever sounded in the studio.
The other highlight to this album is the three-song trilogy, “The Velorium Camper Parts 1-3.” I am not sure I am in support of naming three songs as pieces that belong together because it seems a bit pretentious, but I haven’t seen anyone do it in a while so I will give them some leeway. Part 1 is called “Faint of Hearts.” Part 2 is called “Backend of Forever.” Part 3 is called “Al the Killer.” I won’t even venture to guess what it is all about, but it is interesting and relatively fresh in a genre that is known for being a little short on subject matter sometimes.
The album finishes with “The Light and the Glass” which is a complete departure from everything else on the album. It sounds mostly acoustic, but even when the electric guitars come in, they take a back seat to leave room for the atmospherics, and various keyboards and vocals which complete the melody. It is really a beautiful song that ties up one of the more adventurous albums I have heard in a while.
Coheed and Cambria don’t conform to all the rules and regulations that are pretty strictly laid out for their “scene.” It is nice to see a band willing to write beautiful melodies, rock out when required, put the screaming on the back burner and push forward the trends in subject matter. I don’t like every song on the album, but I would recommend it to anyone who already likes this type of music.Powered by Sidelines