Though the original epic Amory Wars albums released by the band had their moments, Coheed & Cambria have finally let go of their indulgent tendencies and are all the better for it.
Wrapped up in sometimes punishing rock (Gravity's Union) or softer, more melodic but equally intricate tunes (Iron Fist), the band this time around have been able to completely integrate very real emotions into their science-fiction fantasy world. The Afterman: Descension is part of a two album set that began last year with The Afterman: Ascension – a lean, tightly-packed expansion on the story of Sirius Amory, a new character in the story of The Amory Wars (the defining saga that propels most Coheed & Cambria output).
While the guitars wail and scream and the drums pound away here, this otherworldly character sings lines like, “Honey, release my heart if you go” and “There is no weight that can bury us beneath the ghosts of all my guilt here in the dark side of me”. For the most, part these songs are accessible and easily digestible, allowing you deeper into their world on each listen, but certainly not shutting you out if you're not interested in cosmonauts and 'The Keywork'. Even the proggier tendencies of the band have been sharpened into something a lot neater and more efficient.
And though the effect may be a little overbearing, it's not hard to imagine a double-disc release of these two albums attracting more than just the die-hard fans. Though the original epic Amory Wars albums released by the band had their moments, Coheed & Cambria have finally let go of their indulgent tendencies and are all the better for it.