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The Afterman: Acsension CD

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CD audio, CD, 9 ott 2012
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Le recensioni clienti più utili su (beta) HASH(0x9eb5542c) su 5 stelle 95 recensioni
34 di 34 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0x9eb6b168) su 5 stelle "Something To Behold" 9 ottobre 2012
Di Ron - Pubblicato su
Formato: Audio CD
If you've never listened to(or heard of) Coheed and Cambria before, there is a good chance you will be confused by the time you actually do. A quick google search results in a tedious explanation of "the concept" behind the songs, a sci-fi epic spanning 6 albums and counting. For some, this piece of information alone is enough to turn off a would-be fan and as a result, has left the band under the scrutiny of obscurity.

But what about the music?

With "The Afterman: Ascension", Coheed and Cambria ASCEND from their own self-inflicted obscurity and into the light, leaving critics of the band with nothing to do but rationalize the denial of the a simple truth: Coheed and Cambria is an incredible band. The songs off of "Ascension" are THE best this band has put out and like all of Coheed's albums, there is no "filler" to be heard. It combines everything that made the first four albums so unique along with the dynamics of the band's previous effort, Year Of The Black Rainbow. Perhaps the best example of this progression is what may be the strongest track on Ascension, "Domino The Destitute". The 8 minute single makes the time fly by with it's epic arrangements and intricate guitar work, perfectly complemented by the powerful grooves of drummer Josh Eppard and bassist Zack Cooper. The return of original drummer Josh Eppard has most-definitely reinvigorated the band's magical chemistry, but let this be known: the virtuosic influence of former drummer Chris Pennie(as well as Mic Todd) is very much alive in this record and is part of what makes this the best Coheed record to date.

Whether it be the beautiful atmospherics of the title track or the radio destined, Thin Lizzy-esque "Goodnight, Fair Lady", you can tell the band has put their work in and the result is an extremely varied and rhythmically superior sound from start to finish. Tracks such as "Evagria The Faithful" and "Hollywood The Cracked" showcase the band's willingness to venture into unknown territory, even at the risk of alienating a few hardcore fans. They are two songs that sound nothing alike and yet they still FEEL distinctly Coheed, which is quite an achievement in a time where the music world has become imprisoned by an obsession with genres and intellect, and thus forgotten that the essence of music is in the "groove".

So how about that concept?

A lot of times when concept albums are released by artists, they tend to be very... conceptual. If you're into that sorta thing(I am)that's great, because this album does truly immerse you into the story of Sirius Amory. But any fan knows that the true power of Coheed resides in the personal nature of the music. Every time Coheed and Cambria releases a new song I cannot believe Claudio Sanchez sings the way he does, and a lot of the time I don't even like the songs at first. But when Claudio sings he means it more than anyone, and on "The Afterman", he strikes a powerful chord with his voice.

There are hardly any flaws to point out on "Ascension". The album can be all over the place at times, but in the grand scheme of things it is these differences that make the tunes complement each other very well. Also, like most of Coheed and Cambria's catalog the songs do take more than a few listens to grow on you with there being so much movement in them, but when it hits you boy does it hit you.

And did I mention this is part one of two? So proud of these guys.
13 di 13 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0x9eb6b1bc) su 5 stelle Afterman: Ascension is a portent of something monumental on the horizon. 9 ottobre 2012
Di Joshua - Pubblicato su
Formato: Audio CD
The Afterman: Ascension is the sixth studio album by Coheed and Cambria. Ascension is the first half of a double album. The second half, The Afterman: Descension, is set to release in February 2013. The band's first five studio albums chronicled the science fiction epic "The Amory Wars," set in the fictional universe of Heaven's Fence. The Afterman Ascension and Descension serve as a prequel to the events in the first five albums, telling the tale of Sirius Amory. Amory is a scientist that discovers the keywork--a field of living energy that binds together the planets of heavens fence. In the process of discovering the true nature of the keywork his body is taken over by some of the entities that comprise the keywork (Dominothe Destitute, Holly Wood The Cracked, etc.). The cover art is a reference to the changes he goes through as the keywork's energy changes him.

The Afterman: Ascension has several concurrent releases including a regular version, a limited edition digipak, a digital version on iTunes, and a deluxe version. The iTunes version boasts an additional track "The Homecoming" and two demos. So far the deluxe version has only been for sale as a preorder on Coheed and Cambria's website. The deluxe release contains both Afterman albums (one of which is a burnable CD) as well as a number of extras: a coffee table book, two bonus music discs, an "Amory Award" album and certificate, a documentary DVD, digital downloads of both albums, and a VIP laminate that gives owners access to special privileges and events at shows. (There are a couple of additional versions, but these cover some of the major releases. For now, more information can be found on Coheed and Cambria's webpage.)

Ascension starts out as many past Coheed albums--with a flair for the dramatic. The Hollow kicks things off with a slow, ambient piano sequence and a discussion between Sirius and a reassuring being he refers to as "All Mother." This is the same track that accompanied the Afterman: Ascension official trailer from the previous summer. The Hollow feels like a bit of a throwback to The Ring in Return. Keywork Entity Extraction I: Domino The Destitute tells the tale of a former boxer that falls from grace when he turns to crime. You may know this track from the video release that preceded the album's launch. Domino is a great example of the anthemic quality that has been demonstrated by a number of Coheed's songs, particularly since Good Apollo I.

The Afterman slows things down a bit, at first giving you a touch of the delicate and ethereal. The track starts primarily with the rest of the band centered around Claudio's vocals, a minimalistic drum beat, and a consistent, light guitar lick. As the track builds accompaniment by additional acoustic tracks and strings give it a symphonic quality. Mothers of Men transitioning into something with just a little bit more rock edge. I wasn't convinced at first, but the track has grown on me. The counterpoint of the track's female vocals (Chondra?) add a a lot upon repeated listens.

Goodnight, Fair Lady is a more laid back, feel good prog rock track than most of the others on the album. The hooks remind me a bit of Crossing the Frame or Radio By By. A lot of fun. Holly Wood's dissonances and melodic bridge give you something a little not quite right--and the chorus is very catchy. Vic in particular has a great intro sequence. Coheed always gives you something fun when the music gets a little angry. It reminds me of why I loved the Black Rainbow so much.

While I normally find myself preferring Coheed's heavier and faster tracks, I find that some of the slower tunes strike a chord with me that continues to resonate with each listen. I'm not sure what it is about Evagria the Fathful that gets me, be it the beat or the harmonies or some combination, but I find myself a bit smitten with the tune. The song has a steady guitar beat in the background with some auto wah, and soothing choruses and bridges.

One of the things that grabs my attention in Subtraction is an odd set of sounds steadily keeping time in the background. They sort of remind me of the beeps and boops that you'd hear in a lab or space ship in an old sci-fi show. The song is mostly an acoustic piece, with a great arrangement on the parts of Claudio and Travis. The piece is highlighted by a number of great guitar runs that keep a slow, steady pace.

When I listen to Ascension I feel like I'm being more immersed in the underlying sci-fi story than before. This could be in part because I've listened to C&C's and read much of the accompanying literature. It could also be the voice of the "All Mother" providing a unifying theme at the end of so many songs. Either way, when I listen to the songs on the first half of the Afterman I feel like I'm watching one or more stories unwind more so than I did in the first or second listen of previous Coheed albums.

It's probably also that I know that this album is envisioned as one half of a complete package, but when I listen through to Subtraction I get the distinct feeling that I'm pausing at a "to be continued...". I don't think that the album isn't well rounded. Like many previous C&C albums there is a lot of variety and a lot of great tracks, but I'm left hungering for more like Sentry the Defiant, a track that has held my attention since Claudio first put the acoustic version online and the band started playing it live.

I'm glad that I've stayed away from the online banter about the new album now, because my take on Ascension feels completely different than the herd. I've seen a number of complaints that the album feels short or lacking. Despite the split releases of the album, everything indicates that C&C conceived the double album as a cohesive whole. Rather than feeling disappointment at an opportunity lost, I feel an increasing sense of excitement with every listen. I find that like every past album from the band, it takes repeated listens for me to fully appreciate what they're doing--and every time I listen to Ascension from start to finish it tastes a bit better. I can see the combination of Ascension and Descension being one of the most stellar Coheed and Cambria releases to date.
7 di 7 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0x9ecae468) su 5 stelle A Superb Coheed and Cambria Album 26 ottobre 2012
Di ISpaceWalkSometimesJohn - Pubblicato su
Acquisto verificato
I'm gonna do a track by track review, then sum it up.
The Hollow - A pretty cool instrumental/dialogue track, standard opening track idea for Coheed. I like it a lot better than One, but SSTB still takes the cake for best opening theme-track.
Domino The Destitute - This is among the best Coheed songs ever written. The instrumentation is superb, and carries the vocal melodies(which are some of my favorite ever) perfectly. There's a lot of epic peaks in it, as well as great drumming that ties the parts together very well. Great track, REALLY well written
The Afterman - A huge departure from other Coheed songs, but not a scary change. The song is really quiet and light, and I really enjoy the build into the big distorted guitar section. There are a lot of really nice strings on it too, which sound great and provide lots of texture. A really nice poppy tune, all-in-all.
Mothers of Men - This one gives me a GAIBS4 Vol:1 vibe, with the really riff-driven guitar parts. The vocal harmonies throughout the tune really make the song. The lyrics are also very interesting, and the use of a female vocalist between the chorus and second verse was a really cool dynamic. The bridge shows Claudio's ability as a vocalist to go from sweet to angry and aggressive in a matter of seconds and make it fit within a song.
Goodnight Fair Lady - "Faint of The Suffering" This would be the vibe I get. I really enjoy this song, and it comes off as very well written pop-rock, with great vocal melodies and guitars all over it. The song is densely harmonized(also not always in thirds), which is something I've always thought was really cool about Coheed songs. The bridge is perfect. I love it's harmonies, and epic build. The outro is also great, although Claudio's main vocal part is mixed a bit low for me(I didn't even know that it was there at first, but it's well worth figuring out).
Holly Wood The Cracked - Lyrically, this is a pretty weak song. But, the music more than makes up for it. It's really interesting and dissonant. When the song gets to the first bridge, there's a lot of background vocals that sound amazing, and the "Poor Hollywood" section is absolutely killer. A great Claudio-belting line. A really cool and interesting song, despite the weak lyrics.
Vic The Butcher - Very progressive, also not HUGELY lyrically strong, but not bad. Very aggressive. Really cool instrumentation, and carries the story of the song really well. Claudio uses lots of different voices on this one, which is interesting. A very impressive solo, which I think was performed by Travis, is on here. Very anthemic in the "Hang your secrets" part of the chorus. I can hear fans chanting it at a concert.
Evagria The Faithful - An experiment gone horribly right. This song is incredibly interesting. There is more texture than I would have ever expected from a coheed track. It creates quite a trippy atmosphere. The dynamics in it are also fantastic, and the song really grows on you. It's a really killer track.
Subtraction - This is easily my favorite acoustic song Coheed has done. It's absolutely beautiful. There's a harmony in the chorus with another member in the band, and the two voices blend beautifully. I really feel the emotion Claudio pours out in this song. It's lyrics are also deep and touching. It's one of my favorite songs on the record.

This is another SOLID Coheed record. I am not in the least disappointed. I love all the songs on it. I definitely recommend it to any music fan.
3 di 3 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0x9ecaeb70) su 5 stelle Welcome Home 13 ottobre 2012
Di Andy - Pubblicato su
Formato: Audio CD
After a year of trials and tribulations that likely would have squashed a lesser band, Coheed & Cambria have re-emerged in top form. With bassist Michael Todd severing ties with the band due to, ahem, personal and legal troubles and drummer Chris Pennie following suit with creative differences, it seemed that Coheed & Cambria were once again at a crossroads (similar to the path that brought them to "Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow"). Rather than limp along or give up altogether, remaining members Claudio Sanchez (vocals/guitar and all around mastermind) and Travis Stever (guitar) recruited newcomer Zach Cooper on the four-string and welcomed original drummer Josh Eppard back into the fold. The results? A homecoming of sorts.

It's not enough that Coheed's latest effort features ¾ of the original, "classic" line-up, but it also finds the group returning to the spacey prog-rock/metal/punk hybrid that made them famous. Of course, it'll come as no surprise that the band have reunited with producers Michael Birnbaum & Chris Bittner, who had a helping hand in creating the band's more well-known, earlier work. In many ways, "Afterman: The Ascension" is the album that many wanted "Year of the Black Rainbow" (the band's controversial, industrial-influenced 2010 effort) and, to a lesser extent, "No World For Tomorrow," to be. The first of a two-part concept album, "The Ascension" brings the classic Coheed sound in full force. Opening epic, "Domino The Destitute" finds the band tapping into a similar vein to their biggest hit, "Welcome Home" without sounding like a retread in any way. Likewise, "Vic The Butcher" threatens to bring the house down with its unrelenting rhythm section while Sanchez and Stever riff on old-school metal. As far as heavy bands go, Coheed & Cambria may not be the heaviest of them all, but they can certainly hang with the best of them and dwarf any pretenders to the throne in one fell swoop, as these epics can testify.

"The Ascension" isn't all aggression though. The band takes things down a peg for "The Afterman," and "Goodnight Fair Lady," brilliantly capturing the mood of the ongoing "Armory Wars" plot (if you've read this far and don't know what the "Armory Wars" are, that's your bad). Never ones to shy away from a good ballad, Coheed mix the saltiness of the more metallic tracks with the sweetness of the ballads to create one delicious, unique treat. The album is every bit as edgy and atmospheric as you'd expect, yet leaves no room for improvement. This set is absolutely air-tight as it is, with all members of the band coming to the table with their A-game. This is classic Coheed & Cambria, to be sure.

Sure, at only 40 minutes, it feels like half of a meal (the second part, "Descension," will see a release in February) but for those who have been starving for some classic Coheed, you need look no further. These guys are certainly at the top of their game and as far as their peers go, there simply aren't any. Nobody of their generation does this sound as well as Coheed & Cambria and "The Ascension" goes a long way to re-instill such a belief in its audience. Though all of their albums have something thoroughly awesome to offer, Coheed & Cambria going back to their roots is certainly an undeniable force to be reckoned with. Welcome home.
3 di 3 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
HASH(0x9ecaf06c) su 5 stelle Welcome "Home" C&C 26 ottobre 2012
Di Kyle Davisson - Pubblicato su
Acquisto verificato
As a long time C&C fan I was very happy to hear about Josh's "coming home". And believe me, his presence doesn't go unnoticed. What an excellent return of the old C&C sound. The album seems a little short, but remember that this is only half of an album. I can't wait for the next part to come out (only 4 more months!).

What can I say, this band is a stroke of excellence. I own everything they've put out as C&C, seen them live 3 times, and try to keep up on my comic book reading, which isn't easy (thanks Claudio). This CD belongs in the "What's the best Coheed album?" discussion.

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