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Coheed And Cambria - Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One - From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness CD (album) cover


Coheed And Cambria


Crossover Prog

3.66 | 175 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars OK, it's about time I tackled another Coheed and Cambria album here. To end the saga, the band decided to cover part IV over the course of two volumes. Continuing the evolution of the band's sound, From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness is something along the lines of 70s heavy prog-rock meets 80s metal meets 90s pop sound. The band sounds better than ever, but how about their songwriting? Fans may be disappointed after the first listen due to how straightforward the album is. Aside from the closing suite, none of the songs feature really complex structures, odd times, guitar riffs or anything else we were hoping to hear from the band this time around. As capable as the band may be, the listener must accept that the band does not wish to be a masterfully intricate music machine. They want to create songs, memorable, catchy, emotional songs that maintain a musical and lyrical integrity and appeal to wide audiences. Is it for the money? Maybe so, and I know I've pondered that question several times, but after a few listen it simply didn't matter; it's just darn good music and I don't need more than what they've given me to be satisfied. This album may be one of the highest-density albums when it comes to vocal and musical hooks. Every song has at the very least one great vocal line and one great guitar riff to stick in your head long after you're done listening.

After an orchestral opening that recalls the intros of the band's first two albums plus some fresh material, we're taken in an unxpected direction: a short acoustic song. Surely we were all expecting another epic powerhouse, but no, the band thought it best to catch us off guard with a nice little tune that's almost like a second introduction. "Always & Never" starts off rather cheery, but then the song twists the line "for one kiss from you" from early in the song to "to kill all of you" at the end, providing a quick change of moods and you know it's on now. Then the song we were anticipating presents itself in all it's majesty. "Welcome Home" is as epic as a 6-minute song can get. It is huge, powerful, orchestral, and it even has another "whoa" sequence at the end reminiscent of "In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3." The writing over the course of the first 3 songs is very effective. The album proves to be very much like an audio movie, which is something the band has been trying to accomplish. They've made their finest effort to make it happen on this one. Next we are given two fantastic poppy tracks that aren't afraid to rock: "Ten Speed (Of God's Blood and Burial) and "Crossing the Frame." Then we see the dark side again with "Apollo I: The Writing Writer." Not sure what the purpose of that redundant title is, but it is the proggiest song thus far and still manages to throw in some sweet hooks among the darkness. "Once Upon Your Dead Body" is another great poppy number that is followed up by the album's ballad, "Wake Up." This is the albums only real dull moment, but it's not entirely bad. They follow it up with a great sequence of tracks to close out the main part of the volume: the delicious pop fun of "The Suffering," the delicious rock fun of "The Lying Lies & Dirty Secrets of Miss Erica Court" and the delicious emotional balladesque fun of "Mother May I." By this point you are completely absorbed into the atmosphere the band creates, again, much like a movie, and with the final 30 minutes the band cranks everything to the max and delivers a full-fledged suite of climactic prog-rock songs. As with the suite "The Velorium Camper" from the previous album, "The Willing Well" is made up of individual songs that are associated by the lyrical content. Prog fans not convinced by the more mainstream side of the band should certaily give this stuff a shot. You may find yourself quite impressed. Still relying on great melodies and solid rhythms, the band struts their skills a little more here, particularly on the first part, "Fuel for the Feeding End" and the Floydian final track "The Final Cut" (coincidence? probably not, but we'd like to think that the band wasn't paying tribute to that unbearable album). Between those two are the rockin' title track and "Apollo II: The Telling Truth," which brings back most of the first part with added twists and turns. All 4 songs feature non-conventional structures and remain very coherent. A great way to close an already great album. Finally, we are treated to a fun acoustic/slide guitar hidden track which again goes back to the movie concept. Claudio put it there because he wanted to make it like one of those almost inappropriately chosen tunes in the credits of movies. Hey, it works for me.

There is something here for everyone, and prog fans might not get their fix of indulgence on this one, but for those times when you just want to rock to something simple and catchy but not mindless, this is definitely one of the places you should go. Claudio delivers a heartfelt and thoroughly memorable set of vocal performances, certainly his best yet, and the rhythm section, though what they play is simple in nature, is made more interesting with the use of slap bass, just to point out a few of the qualities here. Oh, and that so-called "emo" sound everyone was complaining about before is completely gone. What other reasons do you have not to enjoy this band? Strangely enough, this album requires repeated listens, but for the opposite reasons most albums require repeated listens. It's easy to write the disc off as being too simple, but you'll realize the glory of this album in the splendor of its simplicity soon enough. Don't overthink music all of the time!

Moatilliatta | 5/5 |


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