For fans, it has been a long two years of waiting in anticipation of progressive rockers Coheed & Cambria’s next album. Now the Nyack, N.Y., quartet is back and has caught listeners’ ears with their third full-length album, “Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness.”
After spending the past two years on side projects, touring and comic books, Coheed entered the studio to record a collection of songs that demonstrates both their lyrical and musical progressions. “Good Apollo” expands on the style created and used in their past two albums by incorporating orchestral strings and more acoustic guitar than on previous albums.
These new elements are a fresh new twist on the familiar layered guitars, heavy bass drums and signature vocals of singer and guitarist Claudio Sanchez.
The album starts off slow with a string rendition of previous albums’ opening themes followed by an acoustic love song. After luring the listener into a false sense of calm security, a kick from the bass drum and a wailing electric guitar in the album’s first single “Welcome Home” brings back the familiar intensity of Coheed.
The rest of the album flows like a soundtrack to a movie, with the sound of each song matching an action described in the lyrics. Short instrumentals help make the transition from the fast-paced to the more subdued songs – something that was lacking in their previous albums.
The lyrics are equally as unique as their sound. While I don’t have enough room or sufficient understanding to describe the complex story Sanchez wrote, the following is an overly simplistic synopsis of the plot. The albums follow the characters of Coheed and Cambria, specifically their deaths, in addition to the life of their son Claudio who avenges his parents – all in an intergalactic setting. The complex four-part story will be told over a total of five planned albums, “Good Apollo” being the third. Sound interesting? Check out the two previous Coheed albums as well as Sanchez’s two comic books and graphic novel for the full story.
I definitely recommend “Good Apollo” to both longtime fans and those just getting into Coheed. For those unfamiliar with their material, I suggest listening to “Ten Speed (Of God’s Blood & Burial)” and the album’s second single, “The Suffering,” for a sample of the new album.
If you’re a fan of live music, Coheed & Cambria will be appearing in Rochester at the Harro East Ballroom at 7 p.m. on Nov. 4. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster.
Swain can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.