The Afterman: Ascension

The Afterman: Ascension

by Coheed and Cambria


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The Afterman: Ascension

It appears that when Coheed and Cambria's Amory Wars saga was completed back in 2007, it didn't quite end. Or did it? First there was The Year of the Black Rainbow in 2010, an album reported to be a "prequel" to the Amory Wars recordings. Now, songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist Claudio Sanchez offers The Afterman: Ascension, the first part of a double album whose main character is someone named Sirius Amory. Make of the name association what you will. Like every C&C recording, this one is detailed to the gills, musically, lyrically, sonically, and, of course, in product design. There are also some returns to the fold here. Co-producers Michael Birnbaum and Chris Bittner helmed the band's first three records, and drummer Josh Eppard, who played with the band from 2000-2006, is back. Musically, Coheed and Cambria have become far more accessible, while remaining adventurous as they experiment with various rock styles. Check the knotty, labyrinthine "Domino the Destitute." Travis Stever's guitar work is particularly elaborate, signaling numerous key, time, and riff changes throughout the tune's nearly eight-minute length. The band's heaviness takes a back seat to shimmering pop hooks on "The Afterman," with gorgeous orchestral strings arranged by Karl Berger even as its guitars, bass, and bass drum churn in the backdrop. They cop from middle-period U2 here, but move past them, too. "Goodnight, Fair Lady" unabashedly rips off Phil Lynott's songwriting style; Sanchez also apes his vocal phrasing. But that's just the beginning: the band also swipes Thin Lizzy's trademark twinned guitar leads. The track becomes a not so subtle tribute inside a concept record. That said, it's one of the set's best cuts. "Holly Wood the Cracked" brings the band's more aggressive and sinister side back to the fore, while "Vic the Butcher," nearly six minutes in duration, is a raging prog metal anthem. Sanchez even sheds his inner Geddy Lee in the process. "Evagria the Faithful" is one of several tracks to feature jazzman John Medeski's keyboards in a thoroughly prog rock context. The lilting "Subtraction" is among the most intimate songs Sanchez has written to date; his delicate multi-tracked vocals are colored by acoustic guitars, loops, and delicate female backing vocals. The Afterman: Ascension is so ambitious it's actually a bit of a mess, but with so much here that works, this small lapse in focus can easily be forgiven.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/09/2012
Label: Hundred Handed Inc
UPC: 0793573179111
catalogNumber: 001
Rank: 14272

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Coheed and Cambria   Primary Artist
John Medeski   Synthesizer,Piano,Clavinet
Daniel Sadownick   Percussion
Tomas Ulrich   Cello
Travis Stever   Guitar,Group Member
Claudio Sanchez   Guitar,Vocals,Dialogue,Group Member
Fung Chern Hwei   Violin
Zach Cooper   Bass,Group Member
Julieanne Klopotic   Violin
Josh Eppard   Drums,Group Member
Nicole Federici   Viola
Madeline Birnbaum   Background Vocals
Chondra Sanchez   Background Vocals,Dialogue
Sirius Amory   Dialogue

Technical Credits

Karl Berger   Orchestration
Michael Birnbaum   Producer
Chris Bittner   Producer
Coheed and Cambria   Arranger,Producer
Claudio Sanchez   Arranger,Composer,Writer
Kirk Sommer   Booking
Rob Gill   Guitar Techician
Rob Markus   Booking
Blaze James   Navigator
Rob Gordon   Marketing
Steve Strange   Booking
Josh Eppard   Arranger,Writer
Nathan Spoor   Artwork
Mikael Mossman   Marketing
Katy Ables   Marketing
Jeff Champtone   Guitar Techician
Heidi Taillefer   Cover Art

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