The only thing “progressive” about Coheed & Cambria is that all of their previous albums have progressed to the release of No World For Tomorrow with improvement on every effort.
The officially titled Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV, Vol. 2: No World For Tomorrow, or NWFT for short, is the second volume of the fourth and final chapter of The Armory Wars saga.
Those unfamiliar with the band should bear with the intricate titles and what might seem like gibberish at first. Coheed’s storytelling abilities make them one of the best rock bands out right now (and I say ROCK because they are often classified as emo and I strongly disagree with that classification).
If there was one word that could best sum up Coheed & Cambria it would have to be epic: musically and lyrically.
If you buy the stripped down version of NWFT at the store (or download it), I suggest you go online and check out the booklet info with lyrics here to see what I’m referring to.
The album starts out with a short intro setting the epic storyline up and then goes directly into the anthem-like title track, one of the best on the record.
“Feathers” might sound out of place at first but really grows on you after a few listens. The first single and video, “The Running Free,” is a hopeful-sounding, yet slightly dark song.
Three consecutive tracks: “Mother Superior,” “Gravemakers & Gunslingers” and “Justice in Murder” tell an incredible story themselves aside from the album in its entirety. Each song is like a chapter, specifically “The End Complete,” a five song coda.
The band did an amazing job of keeping their originality while tweaking their sound a little on this album. Those worried about Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins affecting the band’s sound shouldn’t be concerned. They rock harder than ever.
Experimentation with organs and pianos gives a different sound to the LP as the band was on a quest to create a sound described as “Ray Charles on Quaaludes.” Even with that, there are still melodies and riffs from previous albums that listeners will pick up on.
On efforts like In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3 and 2005’s Vol. 1: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness, there may have been a down spot or two on certain occasions. Not the case with NWFT.
The songs flow effortlessly into each other and the album sounds very tight musically (a full 11-14 minutes shorter than previous releases). They have damn-near perfected their sound.
As for the guitars on this album, Claudio Sanchez and Travis Stever are off the wall. There are more solos on NWFT than I ever recall hearing on earlier albums. The ending track “On the Brink” has a very sultry and bluesy guitar line.
Here’s the thing about Coheed: they give you (the listener) so much at once musically, lyrically, etc. you might not realize it at first. Sometimes the actual instrumental music rocks so hard and is so good you don’t even pay attention to the elaborate songwriting.
Not to mention if you combine that with Sanchez’s ability to sing intricate lyrics with such ease and punctuation. He has become the J.R.R. Tolkien of rock music.
There had been talks of an end to the band after this album due to the end of the saga. But fear not! There are already talks of a prequel album to the saga and possible spin off stories…apparently, the Coheed saga involves 78 planets. Hooray for creativity.