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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

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5 stars Coheed & Cambria. When somebody mentions this name out in the world, many avid music listeners immediately say "Hey, yeah, they were at Warped Tour!". Despite the name of said tour bringing chills to my spine, I used to dislike Coheed & Cambria, their music being a tad too upbeat, modern rock and punk-y for my tastes.

Oh, how wrong I was.

"Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through The Eyes of Madness" is this band going from leaning towards straight modern rock towards a more progressive sound. Which, coincidentally, is why they're now on the archives. On "Second Stage Turbine Blade" and "In Keeping Secrets of The Silent Earth: 3", the songs are fairly limited and, in some instances, almost pop-like. For example, A Favor House Atlantic and Time Consumer, 3-minute radio songs.

Wikipedia has a very detailed article on The Amory Wars, the sci-fi story the band uses as a basis for their lyrics. Pleease read this if you want to FULLY understand the descriptions throughout this review. Fairly short, don't hurt your attention spans.

Beginning with the beautiful melody of "Keeping the Blade", the album starts with the feeling of a waltz, a dance that could change paces and even dancing styles if said dancer felt the need to. Running right into the Claudio-solo track, "Always & Never", the album continues to follow the calm motions, and suddenly breaks into "Welcome Home". Aggresive compared what Coheed & Cambria usually does, but an impressive intro nonetheless. The guitar riffs crunching with delicious feedback and harmonics squealing with aggravation bring out Claudio's alto notes even more than usual. The sequence of alternating between harmonics for the chorus and heavy, grungy sounds for the melody really blends together.

Moving on to track four, "Ten Speed (Of God's Blood And Burial)", the Writer's bike is stolen, and in his delirium, he sees it as, essentially, the personal motorcycle of the Devil. It insists on telling him to kill off characters in the story that he based off of Erica to settle his own conciousness, and he eventually gives in to the apparition. The story is well played out in the sounds, as the slightly fast-paced, steady bass drum/hi-hat sets the backdrop for a heated argument between the Writer and his subconcious.

"Crossing The Frame" is nothing very special, a medium-paced catchy rock song with the small humorous quip, "You decide to answer when my fist rings hello", expressing the Character Claudio's meeting with his ex-girlfriend Newo after 10 years in hiding. (see Second Stage Turbine Blade. Yeah, the story has lots of returning elements from previous parts, it's confusing, I know)

At this point we arrive upon this album's first amazing song, "Apollo I: The Writing Writer". A vague account of the Writer interacting with his Character about killing off his female companion to settle his own conciousness. The offbeat drums and the double layering on Claudio's voice in the beginning or the song create an almost creepy atmosphere, which makes it that much more unpredictable due to the sort of "dual nature" this song posseses. I love this song that much more when it comes swinging back in it's section of The Willing Well.

The next few tracks are, to me, radio songs that discuss various, unrelated plot elements of the story, and draw more influence from the punk and mainstream elements of the band. "Once Upon Your Dead Body" has a funny take when comparing the lyrics to the feel of the notes, but "Wake Up" and "The Suffering"/"The Lying Lies and Dirty Secrets of Miss Erica Court" are radio songs. Three-minute tracks with lyrics to please the mainstream, acoustic touchy-feely and punk/modern rock, respectively. (Even if I do have a slight guilty pleasure for The Suffering) "Mother May I" is another song I like that isn't very progressive, but still has some prog elements, melody changes, tone changes, etc.

The "grand finale" of this already fantastic album is it's apex, the four-part masterpiece that is The Willing Well. We begin by delving into The Willing Well I: Fuel For The Feeding End, with drumming that reminds me of the intro to "Sugar Coated Sour" by Dillinger Escape Plan. This track weaves together about four styles of instrumentalism and vocals into seven minutes of greatness. Climbing up from the strange, offbeat, fast-paced in the beginning and ending in the high-flying solo and waltz-timed minute of inspiration near the end, it is, in my humble opinion, the best of this album.

"The Willing Well II: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness" is a song similar to it's precedent, "FFTFE" for short, except almost a reverse. The beginning to the end is a build down that jumps back to old choruses but still continuing to progress through the song. A very interesting sequencing style, almost like the movie Memento (if you have not seen this landmark in filmmaking, make it a part of your day). What goes around, comes around in an epic sequel as part of a larger multi-part story, which is one part of a multi-part sci-fi epic......yeah, my head hurts too. "The Willing Well III: Apollo II: The Telling Truth" continues the legendariness that was Apollo I, and carries it through a new melody, keeping with the familiar chorus (Why ISN'T that bitch laughing now?) and maintaining the strange time signature.

The slow, dramatic ending that is "The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut", carries a lonely, sad mood that permeates the consistent bass and Claudio's voice which appears to almost be melting away from the music. The solo and the end is very Hendrix-esqe, and reverberates the slow, lonely feel of the song. In terms of musical composition and the story part it expresses, this end is a perfect fir for the Willing Well, the album, and this chapter of The Amory Wars.

This album, in my opinion, lends itself to being a stepping stone. Coheed & Cambria are a self-acknowledged progressive band who are, unwittingly or not, bridging some of the wide gaps between the minds of listeners of progressive music and those of the general Warped-Tour-going public. Those of you who frequent this website listen for skill in musicianship, depth in lyrics, the way an album blends together with the songs. The general radio-listening public listen for something catchy, something they can bob their heads to, with lyrics they can relate to immediately and generally not have to think about. Coheed & Cambria supplies both in this epic album, making it a concesus between the two groups. It contains songs like "Wake Up", a typically slow, acoustic song, preceding a catchy, fast-paced track like "The Suffering", and ending with the signature Coheed & Cambria four-piece album-ender, four songs completing a large section of the story. What I'm getting at here is that maybe, instead of judging an album by how progressive it is in terms of progressive music, judge it by how it affects the art music in general. If the point of progressive music to push the boundaries os music, why not push the boundaries that separate genres to create something new and exciting?

Peace out, Morbix.

Report this review (#133688)
Posted Saturday, August 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Good Apollo IV Review Keeping the Blade - I like this, as it sets the epic-drama tone for the rest of the CD very well. It's short, but it is quite beautiful.

Always and Never - Here begin the lyrics, and thus also my dislike for the band. Stupid Armory Wars...

Welcome Home - Absolutely wondrous track. This is heavy symph prog that reminds of neoclassical metal. The lyrics are, again, ridiculous and ungrammatical. Still, the track is absolutely the best on the CD.

Ten Speed (Blah Blah Too Long Title) - Extremely catchy, and with some excellent guitar. This has very clear pop-rock influence, and it's basically an intricate punk song.

Crossing the Frame - Very reminscent of ska and pop-punk. It's, of course, a catchy tune. Lyrics are ambiguous to anyone who is uninformed about the Armory Wars (i.e. Me). But they're actually tolerable, and poetic in this song ("Casting quarters into wells that hold our dreams"). It's a shame I don't know who "Newo" is.

Apollo I: The Writing Writer - Oh, darn, the lyrics have taken a turn back to amazing pomposity. The ambient synthesizers are the interesting feature on this track, and the music features a couple of cool time changes (Singing "Come on bitch why aren't you laughing now?" in 6:8 is a lot cooler than singing it in 4:4)

Once Upon Your Dead Body - A creepy pop track, with a very punk rock bass line boring the hell out of me throughout much of it ("Duh-duh-duh-duh"). No I will not drink "your chemical", Claudio. This is the first bad track on the album. The synthesizers at the end don't make it prog, they just make it pseudo-prog.

Wake Up - Yak. I can't even stand this. It's really touching that Claudio will kill anyone for his sweet-heart, but I really can't take the simpering vocals and repetitive sentimentality. The orchestra comes in at some point, but really, any one who wants to can add an orchestra to something, and it still won't be prog necessarily.

The Suffering - Oh my God, does this track rock or what? Catchiest on the whole album. Probably the best non-prog offering. Don't let its genre (or lyrics) keep you from enjoying it.

The Lying Lies and Dirty Secrets of Ms. Erica Court - Just a punk track, not much to see here, unless you want a good laugh from the lyrics.

Mother May I: It's, again, a punk track with obscure lyrics. Too bad it's too chilled out to be as entertaining as The Suffering.

The Willing Well I: Fuel For the Feeding End - Oh yeah, this track combines the best of both worlds, in the same way The Cardiacs do. Excellent instrumentation, as well as a punk energy behind it all. The lyrics are just...well, look them up for yourself. Claudio can be scary in the same way Cate Blanchett was in Fellowship of the Ring.

The Willing Well II: Fear Through The Eyes of Madness - It starts off promisingly with some synthesizer, transforms into an alternatively upbeat punk and metallish-drone beginning. Towards the middle there's a bit of good rock n' roll (a bit like Wolfmother, say), which then transforms into very cool prog metal! Although repetitive towards the end (to the point of being more punk than metal, I think), it's a great, great track.

The Willing Well III: Apollo II: The Telling Truth - Nice electronic intro...followed by a song we've heard before. It's Apollo again...whoopdy-doo. This is followed by a neat bit of dual guitar playing, to make up for the repetition. 5 minutes devolves into pop-punk some how. In fact, it's the poppiest punkiest part of the album. And then we go back to Apollo I again (which is a big relief, as I don't like too much pop punk).

The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut - A fairly neat prog-metal offering. At 3:30, it begins to sound like David Gilmour is doing a guest appearance. It's wonderful. The final minute of the song is an absolutely hilarious bluegrass acoustic jam. It's just great that they decided to end this portion of a dark, epic saga in a very lighthearted, folksy way.

In summary, the album is fairly polarizing. It's divided between mostly 2/5s and 4/5s. I will give it a 3/5, but I would recommend you download certain tracks rather than buy the whole album. I would also recommend buying the Armory Wars comic if you want to have a prayer at understanding the lyrics.

Report this review (#134343)
Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 Really. Has some High high points, but way too many mediocre/low points.

Keeping the Blade is an excellent start to the album. Being an instrumental, focused around strings it sounds almost as if it is a lullaby. It sets the tone for the record to begin. 8/10

Always & Never keeps the same feel, this time sounding even more like a lullaby. It lulls the listener into a false sense of security before they are hit from nowhere by... 8/10

Welcome Home. This is where Coheed gets back to what they are good at. There is nothing technically "progressive" about this song really. But it FEELS very progressive. It feels incredibly epic. It is a really powerful track. 10/10

Ten Speed (Of God's Blood and Burial) is just a regular song. Nothing special at all. Nothing to really write about... 4/10

Crossing the Frame is in the same vein as Ten Speed, but is a bit of a better song. If these kinds of songs were cut from Coheed's repetoire they would be a GREAT band. Unfortunately they have way too many of them. 7/10

Apollo I: The Writing Writer might be my favorite track on the album. This one is definately progressive! It is a great song. Time signature shifts, band hits, you name it it's there. 10/10

Then we're back to Coheed's alter ego with Once Upon Your Dead Body. I wish they were consistent. 5/10

Wake Up is the tender song in the bunch. It's ok, but I can't really get into ballads that much. It builds nice though, with strings featured later on in the song. 6/10

The Suffering is clever at best, but a pretty fun track. Kinda punky, but kinda not. 7/10

The Lying Lies & Dirty Secrets of Miss Erica Court is still just a regular rock kind of thing. By this point in the album I'm kind of noding off.6/10

Mother May I. More of the same. 6/10

Finally! With The Willing Well I: Fuel for the Feeding End we reach the "epics" of the album. These are were Coheed's progressive side begins to show. This one is probably the weakest of the final four for me, but is a welcomed change from the previous almost emo songs. 8/10

The Willing Well II: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness is a good song, if kind of depressing at times. But a good one none the less. 8/10

The Willing Well III: Apollo II: The Telling Truth is basically The Writing Writer all over again. But it doesn't really hold up the way the first one did. 8/10

The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut is a great way to end a band! The final cut. The final track. The final album. It's perfect. And a great song too! 9/10

Report this review (#134562)
Posted Thursday, August 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars The beginning of this album is extremely well done. I first listened to it before I knew anything about the band. It starts out with a classical piece which is much more musically significant than the intros to the 2 previous albums. It then launches to the soft and lullabye-like Always & Never, which disarms the listener right before the twist at the end when the vocalist vows to 'kill all of you." Then the adrenalizing Welcome Home begins, and the pace continues with the equally well written songs Ten Speed, Crossing, and Apollo I.

At this point, I felt like this promised to be one of the best albums I've heard in a LONG time. However, it looses steam at Once Upon Your Dead Body, and never seems to regain it's momentum until it gets to Apollo II. The Suffering has grown on me, although it's unfortunate that this is how most people know of C&C, and I still can't really tolerate Wake Up. The latter songs are well performed, but they just don't strike me as all that well-written (Apollo II being an exception). The Final Cut comes across to me as a weak ending (I think Apollo II would've been better to end with based on flow), but I understand sometimes theatrics and storyline trump a pleasing flow. This album does have a lot more intricate timing and such than their previous 2, and I guess makes it their most progressive to date, but I would prefer better songs with less prog stylings over more overt progressive stylings on songs that don't seem as listenable (or should I say hook deprived). Barring storyline, there are a few tracks that could've been left on the cutting room floor IMO. The first 6 tracks are superb both individually and as a whole, therefore I still consider this a good album, but would recommend In Keeping Secrets (which would be an excellent addition to any collection) over this album. 3.5 stars.

Report this review (#134622)
Posted Thursday, August 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars.The third studio release from this band seems more mature and polished to me with the Punk element all but gone. I can't stress enough how clear the sound is on this disc. This is drummer Josh Eppard's last album with the band and he leaves with his head held high with a stunning, upfront performance. Actually the rhythm section really shines on this one,and there is plenty of lead guitar solos from Travis Stever as well. In my opinion this is their best work to date. I did feel the album sagged in the middle but it recovered well starting with "Mother May I" and ended in fine fashion with the four part suite called "The Wishing Well".

"Keeping The Blade" opens with violin melodies as piano joins in as it builds to an orchestral sound. "Always & Never" features acoustic guitar and fragile vocals as a childs voice can be heard in the background. These two very good songs really set us up perfectly for "Welcome Home". My first thoughts when I heard this song was "Here we go !" Check out the guitar melody in this one. Vocals arrive a minute in. I love this tune ! Claudio's in fine form. Some blistering guitar solos 4 minutes in as vocal melodies join in on the heaviness. I really wish there were more songs like this though. "Ten Speed (Of God's Blood & Burial)" sounds so amazing crystal clear. This is an uptempo, guitar driven track. "Crossing The Frame" is another song with lots of energy, while "Apollo I:The Writing Writer" is spacey with synths for a minute before the whole band comes in. We get some of those vocals melodies that Claudio is so famous for. Eppard is pounding away as the guitars grind it out.

"Once Upon Your Dead Body" has a cool guitar tone to begin with. A nice heavy rhythm follows as vocals are more laid back until late in the song. "Wake Up" is a ballad. The next three songs are ok but this is where I feel like this is more of the same just not as good until we get to "Mother May I". The final 4 songs are part of a suite called "The Wishing Well". It opens with "Fuel For The Feeding End". This song as well as others are driven by the bass and drums. Nice guitar work 4 1/2 minutes in. "From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness" is the first time i've ever thought of Geddy when Claudio has sung. There is a reggae rhythm then TOOL-like drumming 3 minutes in. Great guitar and vocal melodies follow. "Appolo II: The Telling Truth" is another fantastic tune with the bass and drums leading the way as the guitars grind away. "The Final Cut" is my favourite part of the suite. The guitars really sound different on this one. I like it ! It's like he's holding the notes longer reminding me of Gilmour somewhat. The keys in the background are a really nice touch.

Take out the three songs in the middle and it's easily 4 stars. As it is I can highly recommend this to fans of modern sounding music and especially if your into concept albums.

Report this review (#136399)
Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars I didnt like this band at all the first time i heard them. The vocals are so bad, you actuallly have a hard time hearing the rest of the music. for this album.."prog posers" come to mind when hearing the first track. Its obvious they are good at playing guitar, but they dont know how to write good music. Why this band is on prog archives is beyond me.
Report this review (#136685)
Posted Friday, September 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Coheed and Cambria perhaps only just warrant inclusion on this website. Not really prog, but trying. Their 1st disc, 'Turbine' is immature, disjointed, uncatchy. Their 2nd 'In keeping' expanded on that, got a bit catchier, with half of the songs worthy of this release.

'Good Apollo' on the other hand, is mature and accomplished, perhaps helped along by the production crew (Andy Wallace, remember Nirvana's Nevermind, Faith No More and many more). Bits of Rush, Queensryche, Zeppelin, Sabbath, Metallica - tasty riffs and lead work, vintage sounds, nice drums, quality melodies and a snarl in the vocal delivery - some of the lyrics verge on Slayer nastiness. Then there's the bits which sound like the Rocky Horror Show or Grease.

The scope of the story line (which I haven't bothered to decipher) is pretty cool, reminds me of King Diamond's story telling, I just like the nastiness and the flow of the songs, they work well together. Track 6 is the same as track 14, just a different arrangement and a different middle bit. A bit of a taste of prog.

So, not really testing the boundaries but interesting enough in a rock/metal way. Their next release was pretty bland rock and I can't see them doing much from here on, but you never know.

Report this review (#140914)
Posted Saturday, September 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I originally gave this one 4 stars, but I'm going to bump it up and actually go ahead a say that all prog fans should listen to this one.

The album is basically split into 2 parts. The first half is highlighted by the BRILLIANT (my favorite opening ten minutes to ANY album) threesome of Keeping The Blade/Always & Never/Welcome Home. Ten Speed (Of God's Blood And Burial) and The Suffering are two very good, radio-friendly rock songs with a prog flavor to them. Apollo I: The Writing Writer is the opening part to an epic to be continued later and it's probably the best song on the first half. Other highlights include Wake Up and Mother May I, and the rest are great in the album's context.

This is not the reason I give this album 5 stars, however. No, that would be the epic, 4 part Willing Well suite, which is truly the high point creatively for the band so far. Epic, moving, technically brilliant.... a wonderful, top-notch prog piece that rivals anything I've heard from any progressive band. 30 minutes of musical bliss that anyone with a interest in prog should hear.

Side note: this is where they shove aside anything having to do with "emo", so don't let that ridiculous reputation they picked up deter you from listening to this masterpiece.

Report this review (#148317)
Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars Really not cool. A pseudo-concept album for a pseudo-generation. Welcome Home is kind of catchy, but it's the only good song on the album. The rest is hipster poseur-anything. It's emo that wants to be prog. These guys are likely kidding and just making a buck, but this music is not good for people, if you like music that really has substance and good intentions to it, avoid this.
Report this review (#152014)
Posted Wednesday, November 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars After the amazing IKSSE:3 I was ready for coheed to continue to evolve their sound. I new they were going to change. Just didnt know how much. Then came the commercials, the animated sneak peaks. I was pumped. I heard the first single welcome home and i immediately set it on repeat. Then came the actual album.

While not a bad album, its not their best. The first few tracks started with the amazing intro "always and never" Set the stage for an epic album. Then the middle portion started. Once upon your dead body, a boring track with a boring hook. I said to myself..okay one boring track, its not bad..just not great. its probably the only one. Wake up, The lying lies of miss erica court, the suffering, (wrong order i know), and mother may i. All..pretty boring tracks. I wasnt mad at coheed. Every band has there bad songs.

THANKFULLY after those bore feasts i was greeted with the willing wells. 4 of the best coheed songs ever conceived. Awesome time sig changes, amazing lyrics, vocal harmonies. The final cut live is one of the best things ever.

The band really show their influences on this album. Which is both a blessing and a curse ( i know cliche). You can definently hear the Zepplin influence on welcome home. Iron maiden on ten speed. The police on one or two tracks. I know there are some i am forgetting but just listen to the album and see if you can hear them.

If your going to get one cd by coheed though. Don't let it be this one. As a long time coheed fan. I say get..any of their other albums. If you get hooked, this should be the the last one of your list to buy.

Report this review (#152863)
Posted Monday, November 26, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I love this album. Everyone else seems to be obsessing over No World For Tomorrow though, and I still can't get into it as much. This is my #1 favorite album of all-time, and it has been since it came out. I know this sounds shallow, seeing as it only came out in 2005, but it's true. I'll go to listen to other albums, and eventually, I'll always come back to this album. I never get sick of this one.

Keeping the Blade is a nice opener, I love the band's explanation of the merging of the intro tracks from In Keeping Secrets, and Second Stage. They say that merging two beginnings (said intro tracks) can only mean that all that's left is the end. It was a successful transition, and I like the newly written part in this track as well.

The fade into Always and Never seems almost Broadway-esque, but I think that might be why I like it so much. The second half of the opening riff in Always and Never seems to invite the listener in to hear the story that this band wants to tell you. I'm not raving about the noises of small children's laughter in this track, but it's obviously story-related.

Welcome Home makes me feel like an army is marching through my dorm room/car/headphones/wherever I am when I'm listening to it. It's such a great song, and the solos are really fitting, not seeming out of place at all. Though the end does get a little repetitive, I feel like they ended it just in time.

Ten Speed (Of God's Blood and Burial) is an incredibly catchy song, with an interesting explanation of story material. This song is about the main character's battle between himself and his subconscious self in his head, which takes the form of a bicycle (named Ten Speed, obviously.) Ten Speed is trying to encourage the character to kill off the main love interest in the story, and the positioning of the lyrics in this song really makes the listener envision a conversation going back and forth between the character and Ten Speed, especially in the chorus. (Claudio's different vocal tones are most likely used to designate two separate characters.)

Crossing the Frame always comes off to me as Ten Speed II. But that doesn't make it a bad thing. It doesn't quite carry the momentum of Ten Speed, but it's still fun to listen to, and carries along the same tempo and mood as Ten Speed, which really prepares the listener for a dynamic change just in time for Apollo I: The Writing Writer.

Apollo I: The Writing Writer has a sadistic mood to it, and I love the lyrics. The bass groove in the verses are really inexplicably fun to listen to, and the whole song, even though it repeats a little bit, is still really well-written, and you can taste a tinge of prog in this song.

Once Upon Your Dead Body is the Orange to Apollo I's apple. It seems a little out of place, but this song picks up a little bit, and towards the end of this song, it becomes fun to listen to. At this tempo, and in this mood, you can pick out Josh Eppard's skillful drumming, with which he is gracefully modest.

Wake Up is one of my least favorite songs, and I think that this song is the Cloverfield of the album. It's great the first time, then it kinda descends after that. It seems to carry on for just one chorus repetition too long, but it doesn't necessarily ruin the album for me by any means.

The Suffering is #2/3 of my least favorite songs, just because this song is incredibly out of place in terms of mood and structure. But, I guess every band needs a catchy single that they can spam the airwaves with. It's too bad that this had to be the result of that, especially since this song still really only serves as filler as far as the story goes.

The Lying Lies and Dirty Secrets of Miss Erica Court is a very subtle song, until it gets going, but I like the mood that it starts in, slowly building until it gets to the chorus. Once the chorus comes along, Claudio wails on his vocals, and the emphasis of the song sits in the chorus and later sections. Nothing too technically interesting here, but still a good song to build tension with, for the conclusion of the album.

Mother May I is #3/3 of sore thumbs of this album for me. It starts out a little oddly, then it starts to switch back to normal. I'm not sure that Josh Eppard's syncopation was what this track needed at the beginning, but the chorus or refrain section is interesting. The tempo is good for Claudio's 'Heed-ish style of guitaring, though.

The Willing Well I: From Fear Through The Eyes of Madness. YES. I love this song. This is one of my three favorite songs on this album, and this song is also a major contributor to my love for this album. I think Coheed excels on technical parts, and I think that might be a reason why I didn't enjoy the new album as much. The guitar lines in this song fit the cool time switches well, and I love some of the vocal processing and general sound modifications that they use in this song. So creepy and neat to listen to, at the same time.

The Willing Well II: Fuel For the Feeding End SEEMS out of place at first, but I think it's supposed to, because within the story, this song takes place in a completely different setting/mindset of the characters, which is why it goes from a happy-go-lucky mood to a strangely sinister, sick progression.

The Willing Well III: Apollo II: The Telling Truth isn't much different from Apollo I, besides the bridge section and on. I will say that I've never heard a repeated section of an album pulled off so well. I think this song sits here with good reason, establishing the plot of the story, and once again pounding the plot into the readers' heads, before something drastic happens in The Final Cut.

The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut is one of my three favorite tracks on this album for so many reasons. Seeing them play this song live is even better, because they just keep going on a jam-session sort of escapade. On the Last Supper DVD, this song goes on for upwards of 10 minutes, but I love how jazzy/bluesy it is. The solos are great, and I couldn't have asked for a better closing track.

I HAVE to give this album a 5. I won't say that this album is PURE prog, because honestly, it's not. The influence is definitely there however, and the small pieces of prog thrown into here and there are definitely true works of art.

Report this review (#170246)
Posted Thursday, May 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I have always been interested with any music with story telling theme or usually called as concept album. Coheed and Cambria has been position as a band who always release concept album so I was interested to purchase one of their albums until I found this one at local CD store. It was quite hard to digest the whole album in its entirety even though some passages in the music are quite good to enjoy but not all in its entirety. Just to make it simple, this album favors me only at the the first ź of the whole album. It sounds inspiring at the opening with great orchestration of "Keeping the Blade" (2:08) followed with some sort of of prolog of the story under "Always & Never" (2:33) which contains mostly acoustic guitar work plus vocalization. The music starts to blast really at third track "Welcome Home" (6:14) where it combines heavy riffs and symphonic style, the music flows nicely from passage to passage with grandiose music that accompanies. I do not actually favor the vocal style but it seems this is what I have to accept.

"Ten Speed [Of God's Blood and Burial]" (3:46) continues the musical journey in modern emo style with some kind of riffs and choirs section. It flows to "Crossing the Frame" (3:26) with practically similar vein and it kind like creating a boring situation for me as there are no catchy passages or melodies that I can digest easily. This is where the rest of the music does not truly attract me forward. I think the music is alike from this point onwards even though not all of them exactly the same but there are no surprises that elevate the curiosity. The peak of boringness arrives at approx track 7 "Once Upon Your Dead Body" (3:19) which does not seem to improve musically. I can only hear that the basic rhythm section of this album is supported with acoustic guitar work. Under "The Suffering" (3:43) the band make their effort with upbeat music but unfortunately it does not stimulate further attractiveness to me. The album's epic "The Willing Well" fails to elevate the music as it does not offer something truly catchy . it's just a series of drama to support the album's concept.

Overall, I consider this is a good album but it tends to get me bored right at the after the first quarter of the album contents. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Report this review (#176622)
Posted Sunday, July 13, 2008 | Review Permalink
1 stars I usually don't leave reviews, but I am inspired to write a review of this album. I understand that this band can be classifiably progressive with the conceptual flow of the lyrics from album to album. I praise the band for doing this, that is great. As far as the musicianship goes this band belongs in a neo-punk/emo genre. This album displays painfully disappointing writing. The guitar riffs are so repetitive and forgettable. The sections of the suites seem to have no connection to one another. In actuality this band is like a sci-fi novel put to emo music. If that seems like something that interests you then by all means check it out. As far as my own taste goes, the lack of creativity that this band displays composition-wise is unlike any other band I have found on this website.
Report this review (#178362)
Posted Monday, July 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
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!

Report this review (#178376)
Posted Monday, July 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars To those that know me personally, the fact that I'm giving the band Coheed and Cambria a five star rating on any album would strike you as... more than odd. For somebody like me whom had decried Coheed and Cambria for so long as a horrible band with little to no redeeming qualities. I can admit, however, when I am wrong. I was indeed wrong to judge as harshly as I had in the past, because this album is nothing short of a masterpiece. The dark story with the adrenaline pumping lyrics, it was more than I could have hoped for in a band that I'd hated so much.

Keeping the Blade, as an introduction, does a good job with setting the tone. The orchestral works build up a sense of tension, and it fits perfectly with the accoustic song Always and Never. As I listened, lyric sheet in hand, ready to absorb what was coming and I heard him finish, promising to Kill all of you. I knew I was in for a treat. The only song that I knew on the album, Welcome Home drove me to a state of mind that is indescribable. The story coming together in my head, I was ready for more.

On the outside, Ten Speed of Gods Blood and Burial is the low point of the album for me. Something about the rhythym drives me off, however it's more than made up for in the deep, consise, lyrics. All of this leading up to the four part song The Willing Well, it provides one of the best conclusions I'd heard to date, and left me wanting more. I immediately picked up No World For Tomorrow the week afterwards, and now I'm rethinking all that I've said about their older songs too.

This purchase was worth every cent. I don't think I've ever listened to any album as extensively as this. In fact, I'm going to put in on after I finish writing this reveiw. This gets five stars from me, and I'd recommend it to anybody that enjoys a good Rock Opera.

I don't know if the styling is strictly prog, though I've noticed some musical references similar to the likes of Rush. I'm new to prog rock, though if there is more music like this, I'll be likely to invest much more.

Report this review (#181533)
Posted Tuesday, September 2, 2008 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness' - Coheed & Cambria (8/10)

This is the pinnacle of Coheed & Cambria's career. In a prudent move, they decided to shed their emo 'pull the trigger and the nightmare stops' shanadigans and make way for more of a Prog sound. Songs like 'Welcome Home' even verge on being considered progressive metal, which isn't something people would expect from a band that's lauded by the 'scene' crowd. While I love each of Coheed's albums respectively, this one holds the place of being my favourite from this band hailing from this New York band. The songwriting adopts a newfound maturity that really adds to the making of a really great album. There are so many great songs on this album, and even the weaker tracks ('Crossing The Frame' and 'The Lies And Dirty Secrets Of Miss Erica Court') bring something interesting to the table. This album would be somewhere in my top twenty favourite albums.

The best songs are obviously, the most progressive. 'Apollo' is a song that is divided into two parts/versions, which is very cool, despite the fact that the two parts are a bit too similar for their own good. Despite a very modern sound (Coheed & Cambria should be applauded for their attention to both the credible and commercial aspects of being an artist) there are obvious homages to their classical influences (Pink Floyd, Yes, Rush.) 'The Final Cut' has a solo in it that sounds like David Gilmour did a guest appearance.

As far as the concept or storyline for the album goes, I've always found 'The Amory Wars' concept to be far too complex to be followed and told faithfully through lyrics. It's nice to know that the lyrics tie together somehow, and perhaps at a later date I will analyze the lyrics, but a science fiction theme is always a plus in my books.

I can't promise everyone will fall in love with this album or band, but the fact that Coheed & Cambria is an extremely talented, able group is undeniable. An album that flows against the tide in an ocean of primarily disposable music.

Report this review (#205608)
Posted Friday, March 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars I'm going to keep this one fairly simple.

Coheed & Cambria are kind of like a prog band. I wish they would be more like one because this album shows how awesome they would be if they just let the creativity fly. Unfortunately, they seem to be stifled by the ever-increasing pressure to be popular.

These days, when record sales are so very low, its hard to blame them. But ultimately, that doesn't change the fact that this isn't really a prog-album. It's part of one, and that part is so good I wish they had recorded the rest.

Let me clarify. This is like 2 different albums. "Side 1" is the emo-power-pop side. It mostly quite poor, except for the third track, WELCOME HOME, which has an enormous solo, and the sixth track, APOLLO I, which introduces musical ideas that will feature later in the album on what I call "Side 2".

So... "Side 2", as I call it, is the 30 minute long Wishing Well suite.

This is one of the best pieces of post-2000 prog I've ever heard. Hell, the suite is so riveting, rocking and down right awesome that it earns both of the stars for this album just by itself.

You can draw your own conclusions as to how many stars I awarded the first 11 tracks!

What a shame. I feel like this band has the talent to be legendary, but they are content to merely be popular for now. Really a pity. I bought "In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth..." and "No World For Tomorrow" just to see if C&C realised their potential on either of those. Unfortunately, they did not.

Report this review (#212815)
Posted Wednesday, April 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Despite a serious dip halfway the album, this is the most convincing C&C material. If you're in the mood for an entertaining mixture of punk-pop fun with touches of Zepply Rushiness, then you should give this album a try.

Right from the opening it is clear that C&C have a few more tricks up their sleeve this time: some moody violins open the album, followed by a good acoustic piece before they kick the thing into real action with Welcome Home, an epic Led Zeppelin anthem. The riffs have become more intricate, the arrangement more textured and the composition is more extended and purposeful. A vast improvement over any of the preceding albums.

However, the creative vibe is not maintained. From track Crossing the Frame onwards, the album won't add much surprises anymore. By consequence, the album loses focus as the songs become gradually more samey and less solid. The closing suite saves the album a bit. With the Willing Well suite C&C deliver some of the best minutes of their career.

If you'd like to try a bubblegum version of the Mars Volta you should seek no further and give this album a try. Only the first 4 and the last few songs would be good enough for 4-stars but nevertheless this is Coheed & Cambria's finest hour.

Report this review (#252285)
Posted Monday, November 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars Throughout their career, Coheed & Cambria have established themselves not only as a band adept to treading the fine line between progressive rock and modern emo rock, but also as a band whose sound becomes stronger and more developed with every new album release. "In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3" was nothing short of a landmark release for C&C, cementing a solid career for the group. Surely they could not create a follow-up album worthy of a monster release such as that...right?

Wrong! With the release of "Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness" (which I'll shorten to "Good Apollo," because I don't have all night), C&C truly established themselves as a talented prog rock band, capable of melding catchy riffs and melodies with elaborate, intricate soundscapes and orchestrations in an unbelievably expert manner. And, while there could be debate on whether or not "Good Apollo" tops or rivals "Silent Earth," it is apparent that "Good Apollo" is a strikingly different album in either case.

The album begins with the haunting and beautiful intro track, "Keeping the Blade," which is comprised of a piano and strings section. What follows is yet another short track, "Always & Never," which is dominated by a lovely acoustic guitar and the vocals of lead singer Claudio Sanchez.

The album truly kicks off with the incredible "Welcome Home," a dark, energetic track characterized by a powerful hard-rock rhythm and another epic strings section. The next song is "Ten Speed (Of God's Blood & Burial)," which, although lacking in the orchestral elements of its predecessor, does not fail to rock equally as hard as "Welcome Home." Then comes "Crossing the Frame," which carries on in the same vein as the last track, albeit a bit more upbeat,

Next is "Apollo I: The Writing Writer," which maintains a dark and well-done soundscape for the majority of the song. The song remains quite dark, aside from the more light and energetic chorus. This song is surely the most progressive on the album, until the suite at the end.

The following song, "Once Upon Your Dead Body," is quite catchy and enjoyable, but seems to only echo certain previous tracks on the album, specifically "Ten Speed" and "Crossing the Frame." Then comes "Wake Up," which is a touching and beautiful acoustic track, accompanied by absolutely stunning orchestrations. Personally, it is one of my favorite songs from "Good Apollo."

After that comes the songs "The Suffering," "The Lying Lies & Dirty Secrets of Miss Erica Court" and "Mother May I," which all hint at the album's tendency to repeat previous ideas. None of these songs provide anything new or ground-breaking that hasn't already been covered earlier in the album, but they all provide considerably fun listens, especially "The Suffering," which I tend to play quite often.

After these tracks come the last four tracks of "Good Apollo," which together make up the "Willing Well" suite. These tracks show Coheed & Cambria at their most progressive on "Good Apollo." There aren't as many catchy moments to get stuck in your head this time around, but instead VERY complex and in-depth compositions. "I: Fuel for the Feeding End" and "II: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness" showcase such progressive tendencies through two forceful, high-octane heavy rock tracks. Both songs have little or no structured patterns, but instead simply do as they please.

The suite then continues with "III: Apollo II: The Telling Truth." This song simply seems to repeat "Apollo I," with some additional parts near the end. The suite and the album close with "IV: The Final Cut," which is most definitely the darkest song on the album. It's a slow yet powerful rock track, with a prominent organ throughout. After the final verses of the song, the rest of the track is dominated by a series of impressive blistering guitar solos, which then fade out with a nice keyboard solo.

In conclusion: "Good Apollo I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness" boasts incredible musicianship all the way through, swapping catchy and enjoyable pop rock songs with more dark, intricate progressive pieces. There is much repetition in the album, which bars it from a perfect 5-star rating, but there is more than enough solid songwriting to compensate for that. "Good Apollo" is a true milestone for Coheed & Cambria, a band that never ceases to evolve from where they're at.

Report this review (#258992)
Posted Saturday, January 2, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Now if you want an epic album, this is the one to get! IV is the epitemy of Crossover Prog and the best album of 2005 only to be rivaled by Kamelot or Pat Methany. This album though seeming to be a very mainstream record at first listen is an essential album for its masterful story telling and musical composition. And the album ends with one of the best songs in the past 10 years! The willing well suite is Prog at its finest! Its a shame that they have not been able to duplicate more music of this calibur! This album is the perfect blend of mainstream to progressive and has been a gateway to leading many people to explore prog! A definite essential in my book!
Report this review (#280505)
Posted Tuesday, May 4, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is where it all starts, this is Coheed's most progressive effort, some may say it is No World For Tomorrow, but i feel its this one that they really find their own and everything just folds into place, i was hooked on this album ever since i heard the first single from the album WELCOME HOME with its awsome riffs and even more awsome chorus, well everything about this entire album is awsome, for prog fans though it all comes down to the final four songs, THE WILLING WELL saga is just spectacular and the real standout tracks on the album, although every song is brilliant some songs you might wanna check out if you dont really want to buy the album yet are ONCE APON YOUR DEAD BODY, MOTHER MAY I, CROSSING THE FRAME and the beautiful WAKE UP. There is nothing else left to add that i havent already said in the other Coheed album reviews, the production as ever is flawless and musicmanship is out of this world, although i would say one thing, i think that overall it is a bit darker than their other efforts though bt meh as long as the music is that good they can be as dark as they want;

Keeping the Blade - Intro Always & Never - 9/10 Welcome Home - 10/10 Ten Speed [Of God's Blood and Burial] - 9/10 Crossing the Frame - 10/10 Apollo I: The Writing Writer - 9/10 Once Upon Your Dead Body - 10/10 Wake Up - 10/10 The Suffering - 9/10 The Lying Lies & Dirty Secrets of Miss Erica Court - 10/10 Mother May I - 10/10 The Willing Well I: Fuel for the Feeding End - 10/10 The Willing Well II: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness - 10/10 The Willing Well III: Apollo II: The Telling Truth - 10/10 The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut - 10/10

My Conclusion? they have done it again yet another perfect album by Coheed and Cambria, and yet another masterpiece.

Report this review (#282540)
Posted Tuesday, May 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars One reviewer calls them a "bubble gum version of Mars Volta". Hah! That made me laugh, but it is actually close to the mark in many ways. I love about 75% of what Mars Volta does and it's about the same for Coheed & Cambria. This album, with the impossibly long title, is the best of the C & C albums I have. That is not to say it is perfect by any means, though. Despite the stronger tracks such as "Welcome Home", "Wake Up", "The Suffering", and the last 4 "Willing Well" opus tracks, the rest of the songs often leave me flat or just annoyed. Is it the voice? Is it the sometimes relentless guitar? I don't know, but I can't seem to find the perfect Coheed & Cambria CD. It is interesting to see rating for this group spread between 1 stars and 5 stars. Quite a devisive group! I'll split the middle somewhere and give this 3 stars (3 1/2 really). Wish I could bump it up to 4.
Report this review (#436141)
Posted Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Ok. I admit it. These guys are like one of my favourite bands of all time! And here's why:

At the tender age of 10, with music channels on Sky being my only real musical output and source, I had discovered this band, in quite a comical video and a very cathcy song. I liked them for that song (A Favour House Atlantic) and I think I might have heard and liked Blood Red Summer as well. Butabout a year later, completely forgetting about the band, I heard another one of their on this album, and seeing the video and hearing the track, I thought to myself "wow, this song kicks ass...I think I've seen that guys crazy hair before...and I was right, it was the exact same band, although they're very different now. So I decided to buy this album...and it completelty floored me.

In my opinion this is one of the greatest albums ever made. It really is. Their's incredibly catchy songs, amazing prog moments, great technical abillity and song writing abbilities that Gods would envy over. Also, the band make concept albums. And I mean linking concept albums. Now you don't need to know the concept to like these songs, but when you start thinking of it, it makes the songs even better. Now the concept is too grand and too detailed to go into, but all you need to know that it involves Sci fi, robots, an evil dicatator and THE END OF THE WORLD!!!...basically.

Now the production on this album is very different to their previous 2 efforts, and it really seems that alot of money and times was put into this album. Especially with the arrangements. Everytime you listen to this album, their's always something you'll end up missing. One of the highlights of this album was the production on the vocals. Now I'm a sucker for harmonies, and even the music I make, theirs always going to be harmony. But at times this a bit over the top, and it's not just basic 3rds and 5ths, theirs multi layering, question and answering, even just little atmospheres created by vocal harmonies.

The instrumentation is even fantastic, and one thing about this album that really stands out is that, besides the epics, the shorter catchier songs are only about 3-4 minutes, but theirs still a load in them.

Now I've listened to this album over and over again, I've sung these songs over and over again (I was in a band, and we were basically a Coheed cover band), I've played these songs over and over again, I know every lyric, every time change, every vocal harmony, every instrument used...IT'S THAT ADDICTIVE!!!

1. Keeping The Blade - An incredibly beautiful instrumental with piano and strings. Very haunting and incredibly well arranged. 10/10

2. Always & Never - Another beautiful song. I love the use of the childs voice adding a very innocent tone to the song. The vocals are beautifuly used in this song, yet theirs something very sinister about this song as well (it might be the last lyric of the song). 10/10

3. Welcome Home - This is the first song I heard from this album. Now this song is EPIC. I must have played this song a billion times when I used to play live in bands (I was 15 at the time too, so not too bad for a 15 year old). That guitar squeel is very noticable, but the song is way more. The ending solos are brilliant and very tricky to play. 10/10

4. 10 Speed (Of God's Blood & Burial) - I love the use of the question and answer vocals in the song. Just a very cathcy song, with an amazing guitar solo. The scream at the end is pretty cool too.

5. Crossing The Frame - Probabbly one of my favourite songs from these guys. It's just so damn catchy, but the main attraction for me is the vocal harmonies. Layered to an obscene point, but it only makes the song 1000 times better. 10/10

6. Apollo I: The Writing Writer - The intro is very atmospheric with the Jean Michele Jarre style synths. It's just such an epic song, but so inrcredibly cathcy as well. Great lyrics too. 10/10

7. Once Upon Your Dead Body - The guitar melody throughout is so pretty. Such a cathcy song, and the use of vocals again is pulled of really well. 10/10

8. Wake Up - The acoustic ballad of the album. Really beautiful and the isntrumentation is amazing, especially the use of lapsteel giving it a country esque feel to it. 10/10

9. The Suffering - I remember when I first got this album, I played this song over and over again. It really is a magical and addictive song, mainly cause it's so damn catchy. 10/10

10. The Lying Lies & Dirty Secrets Of Miss Erica Court - This song didn't stand out for me too much when I first got the album, but I have to admit it's one of my favourite songs of theirs now. It's inredibly catchy, and the lyrics are pretty cool too. 10/10

11. Mother May I - I never really liked this song too much, until now. I don't know, it just seems better now in my opinion. Great chorus and progression throughout, with some great melodies and some really catchy parts too. 10/10

The Willing Well


I. Fuel For The Feeding End - This is the most frantic part of this piece. Even though it's incredibly catchy. I think this is their best lyrical contribution. Again the vocals are used to even greater amounts in this song. It's just an absolute epic thrill ride. 10/10

II. From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness - This song really does put me in a good mood...well for the first few minutes, after that it drawns you in like a snake trapping a rat. Again, an incredible epic moment, still keeping the technical ability of Part 1, but making some very Rush like moments as well. 10/10

III. Apollo II: The Telling Truth - A development of the first part, still keeping alot of the ideas, but really building upon them, especially in the middle of the song. Great dramatic structure, again keeping you on your feet, and singing along. 10/10

IV. The Final Cut - The epic slow ending. Now this is epic. Especially the vocal parts followed by amazing guitar solos. The ending is really pretty too, and yes thats Bron-Y-Aur by Led Zeppelin at the end. 10/10


Report this review (#472378)
Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Good Eye, Sniper.

By far my favorite between the two juggernauts albums baring the name Apollo, this one has lots of musical hooks like other records..only a few more. Coheed and Cambria's records are not very different from another, with the same (winning) recipe and the same sound.

Some songs like Welcome Home are monsters, real epics of Goliathesque weight. C&C are riffing like it's their last day on earth, mimicking some that Metallica gave us in their glory days. Of course, this is not for everybody; they starred in the Vans Warped Tour and the majority of their fans never heard of Gentle Giant or ELP. To me, their songs are a good relief when the greasyness of prog clogges my soul. I do enjoy their comic book attitude and I find refreshing to hear a young voice closer to Geddy Lee than Peter Gabriel. There's so much Marillion wannabees around, how about a change?

I love headbangin' to Ten Speed so much, why should I bother banish them because they achieved MTV success? Prog is the Revenge of Nerds right?

Well Claudio Sanchez is one major nerd.

Report this review (#822753)
Posted Monday, September 17, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Coheed And Cambria is a group that is profoundly influenced by Science Fiction space operas, Progressive Rock,80's metal, 70s classic Rock and various guitar hero tropes (frontman Claudio Sanchez plays a double necked Gibson using his teeth and behind his back, without a shred of irony.)

Sounds like Progarchives wet dream right? Well there is a catch: C&C's music is also heavily based on a layer of pop. Indeed, in many cases their sound is interchangeable to the Post-Grunge sound that was so lucrative trough the 00's. On their latest albums the Punk sound is long since abandoned, but early in their career, songs like "A Favor House Atlantic" gained them a strong fanbase among Emo's and created some serious split personality problems on their records.

Beginning with this record i think Coheed And Cambria began to reassess their earlier Punk sound into something much more integral. There is nothing inherently wrong with mixing Prog with a more commercial genre of music, as long as the latter does not encroach on the former. King Crimsons experiments with New Wave from 1980 and onward are just as appreciated as anything before that by most fans. The newfound complexity in C&C's music is brilliantly showcased in the opening, where the ice cold strings of "Keeping The Blade" is contrasted with the warm classical guitar of "Always And Never". We are then thrown headfirst into the thundering metal tune "Welcome Home" wich features some serious guitar. The rest of the album consists of extremely solid hard rock tunes (and one ballad) with special mention going to "Ten Speed (Of Gods Blood And Burial)", "Apollo 1 The Writing Writer" and "Mother May I". This is both the albums strong and weak point. Strong, because these are some superbly written and performed rock songs and weak because are not superbly written and performed PROGRESSIVE rock songs. The Prog returns first on the ending suite "The Willing Well" and it delivers. All four of the songs except "The Final Cut" have a strong Rush influence and make good use of shifting time signatures and polyrythms. "The Final Cut" is a guitar showcase where Sanchez and Stever duel against eachother and it is amazing. To summarize, "Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness" was not the greatest prog album of 2005 (That title goes to The Mars Voltas "Frances The Mute") and it was not even the greatest Alt Rock/Metal album of 2005 (both Strapping Young Lad and System Of A Down released far superior albums that year) but it is such a well written and memorable album that i must give it 5 stars anyway. Recommended for classic rock fans and new ones alike.

Report this review (#951218)
Posted Sunday, April 28, 2013 | Review Permalink
2 stars I've tried numerous times to get into Coheed and Cambria's music, but to no real avail. While Welcome Home is an all right track, I've simply just grown to dislike it the more that I've heard it. Many of the songs on this album are just straight up unimpressive and seem pretty uninspired, and Claudio Sanchez's voice does not help at all.

This album contains a few highlights, namely the Willing Well II: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness, which I feel could have been shortened by at least a minute because the ending is relatively repetitive, and perhaps Willing Well III: Apollo II: The Telling Truth. I don't think I can ever bring myself to listen to this entire album again, as I really don't like their punkish influence (not that I dislike all punk; I simply don't like the way Coheed and Cambria incorporate it) and at times grating vocals.

Report this review (#1286523)
Posted Wednesday, October 1, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars So, this is a band I'm not as familiar with as I should be. This is so far, the only Coheed and Cambria album that I own, and I must say that I enjoy it to a certain extent. I know that their roots were in some kind of emo and punk combination, but I hear very little of that in this album. Instead, what you get is a very nice combination of progressiveness and some leanings towards a poppy sound at times. The most progressive parts are the best, but the poppier songs aren't really that bad either. When the band is good, they are really good. Tight playing, a complex concept based on a sci-fi story and some heavy passages that never get overbearing plus some very inventive songs mixed with a few lighter ones gives a good feeling of variety so that one doesn't get too tired of the sound. The concept is complex like I said before and actually spans several albums. I have no idea what the story is, but I plan on understanding it better because the music is good enough to merit several listens, and as I become more accustomed to the vocals, I think I might even decide that it deserves a better rating than what I give it here. The vocals....I do have a problem with them, but that problem has become a smaller and smaller problem the more I listen to this. They seem like they are not so believable because the vocalist does have a slightly immature sounding voice, but I know that when the music and the composition is as good as what this is, I have been able to adjust to vocals in the past with other bands, and I really think that will happen here. Ask me again in a year or so and I bet that they won't even bother me anymore.

Rhythms are complex and challenging at times, and simple and almost radio oriented at others. The band reaches a perfect balance here in my opinion. The album opens with a beautiful orchestrated instrumental which is followed by an impressive track "Always and Never" and then followed by a full on prog track called "Welcome Home". This is followed by a harder track with again a good amount of prog elements to is called "Ten Speed". After this, the middle of the album does tend to sag a little bit, especially in the first listenings because the songs tend to get a little more radio friendly for a while, and as a result, start to sound a little too much the same. The more you listen to this album though, the more you hear, and the songs to start to grow on you and you do notice each one has it's own personality. The beautiful slower track "Wake Up" breaks this sameness up a little bit, and is to me the best of the middle tracks, but the immaturity of the vocals really shows through here, even though the song is beautiful. After that, the songs build in progressiveness again until the more complex "Mother May I" and the excellent 4 part suite "The Willing Well" which is full blown progressive rock again. The songs are typically (but not always) vocally driven, the rhythms complex and changing. The only slight complaint here is I wish there were more instrumental passages here, but that complaint will fade as I get more familiar with the suite. There really is a great instrumental section that finally ends off the suite about half way through the last movement that is simply amazing and shows off the talent of the band. Then there is this very surprising coda that just comes out of nowhere....

Very good album, impressive compositions and instrumentation, I am more than willing to familiarize myself with the band better now that I have gotten to the point that I do enjoy this album. As of now, I have to give the album 4 stars because of the few complaints that I have, but as I get used to the sound, my feelings about this could very well change. My son loves this band, and so, with his encouragement, I will familiarize myself with the band better. For now, this is definitely an excellent album and a great addition to your prog collection.

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Posted Friday, April 10, 2015 | Review Permalink
4 stars A fantastic album! I always think of Rush when I hear Claudios voice. It comforts me to think that this is what Rush would have sounded like if they came of age in the 2000s. That being said I don't think they are Rush fans so they aren't derivative of them. They have their own sound so to speak. This album along with In Keeping Secrets are wonderful additions to any Prog collection. When I first discovered this album I would have given it 5 stars but one has to eventually take an objective look at things and come back down to earth. That being said I am very comfortable giving this album 4 stars.
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Posted Friday, March 25, 2016 | Review Permalink
3 stars OK, to give Coheed and Cambria full credit, repackaging what is fairly standard progressive metal fare and selling it to the alternative rock crowd quite as effectively as they did with this album is no mean feat. The post-hardcore and emo influences that informed the band's early works are now dialled way down, to the point where they are discernible less as fully expressed musical approaches and more as a certain touch to the production aesthetic; scratch the surface of the packaging, though, and what you have here is essentially a rather boisterous performance of material which wouldn't be entirely out of place on one of the edgier, heavier Dream Theater albums.
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Posted Thursday, January 5, 2017 | Review Permalink
5 stars Looking back at many reviews, it seems like this album is mostly getting an okay rep, but I think this album deserves 5 stars. I don't say that often at all, and I will explain just what led me to my decision.

Initially, actually, I didn't think much of the album. With each listen though, the album grew on me. While I'm sure that this album will disappear amongst my music list in the next month or so, every listen since I tried it 2 weeks ago has bounced this album to its essential ranking.

After my first listen, I was happy to give the album 3 stars as it really didn't do anything for me. However, by the 2nd listen and the 3rd listen, I was noticing epics such as the 4-part "The Willing Well" and the energy-filled "Welcome Home."

Then, by my 4th and 5th listen I was really digging more and more songs from the album. Particularly, "Always and Never" held high replay value for me. It reminded me of a short preview to Steven Wilson's song "Pariah." They both just felt like they should've been longer, but they weren't so I found myself replaying them over and over!

My 5th listen was mostly for the lyrics. The story seems exaggerated but valuable, though I'm partial as to whether I should buy the parallel graphic novels.

Finally, my next few 6th, 7th, and 8th listens were just really fun. The album isn't all that technical and it is very poppy. They move through concepts quickly, and all-in-all it makes the album very fun to listen to when looking for something to bounce around to. Very worth trying out!

Report this review (#1701593)
Posted Tuesday, March 14, 2017 | Review Permalink

COHEED AND CAMBRIA Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One - From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness ratings only

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