The Afterman: Ascension – Coheed and Cambria
The Afterman: Ascension
Coheed and Cambria
Hundred Handed/Evil Everything
With the return of Josh Eppard on drums after a two album hiatus and the integration of the new, non-oxy addicted, bass player Zach Cooper, Coheed and Cambria rockets us out of our brains with the first part of their new two album set, The Afterman: Ascension. After Year of the Black Rainbow, and the end of the five album epic story of Coheed and Cambria’s dramatic adventure to save the world, I was skeptical on where Claudio Sanchez would go with the band’s newest album. Needless to say, he did not disappoint on the narrative end, nor the music.
Claudio brings us back in time to the beginning of it all with the character Sirius Amory as he sets in place the Keywork and the planets held together by its power. He discovers it as almost an afterlife where he encounters many different people whose energy after death is powering the Keywork; if you are a horrible being in life, your energy will echo through the afterlife in the same respect. Not following? Well you don’t have to! The music itself is a great listen whether you know the story or not, each song being a stand alone theme brought in by events in the writer’s life.
The album kicks off with the traditional slow first track we hear on every album leading you into the story, then blasting your faces off with the hard, heavy, in-your-face, “Domino the Destitute.” This song epitomizes Coheed and Cambria to a T with original riffs, upbeat rhythms, and Claudio Sanchez’s unmistakable thousand-octave-ranged voice going from the lowest of low notes to the highest of high with only a breath in between. It follows the story of a boxer, Domino, his downward spiral into the darkest depths of the drug world, mimicking the drug related departure of bassist Mic Todd from the band. The happy and fun “Goodnight, Fair Lady,” sends us into the mind of a date rapist getting up in the middle of a bar and singing out his intentions, in the style of a musical, to the women around him with more glee than a third world boy who outlived his Tamagochi.
Although the story gives the songs an amazing amount of substance and meaning, even without it, they are all high intensity, creative songs reflecting moments of pain in Claudio’s life that turn out very enjoyable for us listeners.
So finally, after years of turmoil within the band, members coming and going, and a few ‘eh’ songs, Coheed and Cambria return with a vengeance. The epic storyline continues creating an even larger universe and mythos that Claudio says he plans on making as large and intricate as he can. So get off your asses, and buy this album. If you wan’t to learn more about the story you can pick up their older albums or read the Amory Wars comic series currently in production. Also in the works is an Amory Wars film to hit the big screen sometime, God knows when, I sure don’t, but I can’t wait… I can’t fucking wait.