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The Afterman: Ascension (Deluxe Edition)

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Editors’ Notes

Coheed and Cambria’s sixth studio long-player is also the first half of a double album. Though frontman Claudio Sanchez hasn’t gone on record to state whether The Afterman: Ascension is a prequel or a continuation of the band’s conceptual Armory Wars saga, the protagonist here is named Cyrus Amory. This raises more questions. What relation is he to Sirius Amory? Is he the same person? The introductory song, “The Hollow,” has Cyrus talking to the mechanized voice of his mother over haunting piano parts. Then “Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute” properly sets the stage with proggy indie rock trimmed in all the accoutrements of emo-laced metal; Sanchez sings call-to-arms lyrics while sounding like an early incarnation of Styx’s Dennis DeYoung. And much like Styx’s 1983 album Kilroy Was Here, these songs layer theatrical drama over sinewy arrangements. With U2-inspired guitars, the title track, “The Afterman,” is more accessible. Over lush string arrangements, Sanchez's voice recalls Billy Corgan’s softer moments. “Goodnight, Fair Lady” sounds like a Thin Lizzy cover.

Customer Reviews

Way better than "Year of the Black Rainbow"

I'm so glad they came out with an album to redeem themselves after their abysmal failure when they released "Year of the Black Rainbow". It also seems that Coheed and Cambria are returning to their roots. What they have done here on this album definitely recaptures what they achieved on "Second Stage Turbine Blade". Something I thought they could never do again. But here I stand corrected. This is probably one of their best albums to date, and I'm so glad I have an advanced copy of the album, because it is absolutely awesome!

Wow...Just wow.

This is the Coheed that I fell in love with. The Black Rainbow was a great album (it's still Coheed, after all) but it wasn't their greatest. From what has been released, so far, this looks to be an amazing, epic musical journal, lyrically and instrumentally. Don't think, just buy. Sample the songs, if you must. You won't regret it.

Astonishing, once more.

To be clear about prior reviews, Year of the Black Rainbow was by no means a failure. In fact, the grungy under-produced sound added to the malice of the album's dark intent. The band pursued something different, closer to Second Stage Turbine Blade than this album will ever be and achieved substantial respect from knowledgable listeners.

That having been said, Afterman: Ascension is similar in sound to both In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: III and Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV. Every single song on the album is flawless and Claudio's voice and singing ability are unrivaled. If this is your first time listening to Coheed & Cambria, reference the two albums mentioned above. Otherwise, rejoice in the masterfully created album and impatiently await the second album in February with me.


Formed: 2001 in Nyack, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Although originally forming as a rock trio in 1995, New York's Coheed and Cambria officially took root in 2001, shedding their former name of Shabutie and embracing a fusion of progressive rock, emocore, and highly conceptual album themes. Vocalist/guitarist Claudio Sanchez, guitarist Travis Stever, bassist Michael Todd, and drummer Joshua Eppard issued their group's full-length debut, 2002's The Second Stage Turbine Blade, on the Albany-based Equal Vision Records. The band toured extensively for...
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