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Coheed & Cambria
- The Afterman: Ascension

The run has been great, however if this instalment is any indication of the sonic future for the band, most fans would agree that it’s time to jump on the saddle of a new horse rather than continue whipping this dead one.

Benny Doyle

Nov 2nd 2012 | Label: Co-Operative Music
21st century New Jersey progs Coheed and Cambria are back with the sixth instalment of their Amory Wars concept series, the science fiction storyline that each of their records has been centred around. But what is becoming increasingly apparent with each new chapter is a) the tales are getting more convoluted and b) the musical ideas are running dry.

After the Amory prequel that was 2010's Year Of The Black Rainbow, The Afterman: Ascension now leaps back over all five albums, the first piece of a two-part saga continuing on from where Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World For Tomorrow left off in 2007. A weird tech-alien conversation acts as an introduction into Coheed's universe before the record dives straight into the wide-scope rock that they're renowned for with Key Entity Extraction I: Domino The Destitute. It has some beauty, some grunt and the guitar interplay of Travis Stever and Claudio Sanchez is fantastic. Unfortunately, that seems to be a minor glimpse of former glories, the majority of the album instead moving towards the meek (The Afterman), the weak (Goodnight, Fair Lady) and the powerless (Key Entity Extraction II: Holly Wood The Cracked).

The problem is, now, with Coheed and Cambria, they've got themselves so deep into their own comic book world that they seem creatively shackled to the idea. The run has been great, however if this instalment is any indication of the sonic future for the band, most fans would agree that it's time to jump on the saddle of a new horse rather than continue whipping this dead one.

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