Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through The Eyes of Madness is Coheed and Cambria’s follow-up to its gold selling album In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3. Good Apollo is the first half of the band’s third installment of its prog-rock/sci-fi series of young Claudio Kilgannon and his exploits to avenge the death of his family. “The record continues in what will end up being a 5 album saga based around a doomed married couple who are convinced they must sacrifice their children in order to save the world from being infected by a virus that is embedded in their genes.” (Insert Scientology joke anywhere)
The band cites Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and the Police as influence for Good Apollo. “Welcome Home” is the band’s Led Zeppelin-esque track, which I found more Metallica sounding than Led sounding. “Once Upon Your Dead Body” is C&C’s ode to The Cars. Although the inspiration isn’t explicit, what gives Coheed and Cambria its uniqueness is the band’s ability to reinvent sound as opposed to the more popular method of recycling it. Lead singer Claudio Sanchez’s vocals are very unique distinct and the band’s progressive sound differentiates the band from even the most obvious of odes.
C&C’s breakout single “A Favor House Atlantic” gained the band an emo label, which the band both distances from – with tracks like “Mother May I” and “The Lying Lies & Dirty Secrets of Miss Erica Court” – and embraces – with tracks like “Ten Speed (Of God’s Blood & Burial)” and “Wake Up.” While C&C might resemble emo in the genre’s loosest sense, the band matures with every song. The album is direct and doesn’t digress, especially in the nonexistent gaps between each track. For concept albums, losing focus can be easy, but C&C somehow manages to construct Good Apollo as tightly as possible, while also maintaining room for its epic series of “Willing Well” songs. Any genre label might be premature for a band growing as fast as Coheed and Cambria and Good Apollo is a testament to the band’s potential.