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Coheed And Cambria - The Afterman: Descension Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 8
Production 8
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 8
Reviewer Tilt 8
Final Verdict: 80%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.5
Musicianship 9.58
Lyrics 8.83
Production 9.33
Creativity 9.42
Lasting Value 9.58
Reviewer Tilt 9.5
Average: 94%
Inside AP.net

Coheed And Cambria - The Afterman: Descension

Reviewed by: Deathco_019 (02/17/13)
Coheed And Cambria - The Afterman: Descension
Record Label: Hundred Handed/Everything Evil
Release Date: February 5, 2013

There was a certain amount of doubt circling among the fans of Coheed And Cambria after the band's 2010 release, Year Of The Black Rainbow. Several fans did not like the direction the band was headed in. Talk to any fan of Coheed And Cambria and there is probably a 90% chance that they will say their least favorite album is Year Of The Black Rainbow or the band's 2007 release, No World For Tomorrow. The band's previous album (and part one to this double album), The Afterman: Ascension, was somewhat of a return to form. The album went over well critically and was received well with the fans. I approached this album with a bit of apprehension with my only question being "will the band keep the ball running, or will they fumble it?"

It's safe to say the band ran that ball in for a touchdown with The Afterman: Descension. The album picks right back up where Ascension left off. The story of Sirius Amory discovering the Keywork is still the center of attention lyrically, but vocalist/guitarist Claudio Sanchez has written his most honest lyrics to date with only subtle references to the story within the songs (and the ongoing dialogue between Sirius and the All Mother). Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry The Defiant is a perfect example of this. The song features powerful vocals from Sanchez, as well as strong lyrics - "Don't close the coffin yet / I'm alive!" Coupled with the music from the rest of the band, those words will send chills down your spine.

Coheed And Cambria not only continue their return to form with Descension, but they also manage to explore different areas of sound as well. Number City is a perfect culmination of the band's natural prog-rock sound and the pop sensibilities thrown in from time to time. The song sounds like typical Coheed And Cmabira material until the introduction of horns at the one minute mark. From there the song goes into the catchiest chorus I have heard from Coheed And Cambria since The Suffering. Number City also allows new bassist, Zach Cooper, to flex his muscles a bit, laying down a groove that is difficult to resist and may find you dancing along to. The song flows right into Gravity's Union, which is a massive number from the band in terms of its sound and length (the song clocks in just 15 seconds shy of seven minutes). Sanchez's vocals are at their strongest here, specifically when he repeats "caged / locked in perpetual motion / carving our wounds wide open / but you let the wrong one in." Gravity's Union is certain to please long-time fans of the band that wish they would write something just as epic (I hate to use that word) as The Crowing and the Willing Well tracks.

The album is not without its flaws, though. Away We Go is the least memorable song on the album. Maybe this is because following up Gravity's Union is no easy task, but I think it is because the song sounds like the long lost cousin to the family that comprises No World For Tomorrow. What might be getting the most flak among fans, Iron Fist is the album at its most delicate. Sanchez conveys great emotion through the song's lyrics and succeeds through showing his vulnerability. However, I feel that the drums lent from Josh Eppard take more away from the song than add. Despite these shortcomings, Descension has no problem picking itself back up with Dark Side Of Me and 2's My Favorite 1. The former showcases more of Sanchez's most personal and darkest lyrics, while the latter is a song that finds the band ending the album on a more upbeat and positive note.

The production also lends itself greatly here. Instead of the distraught mess that was brought to Year Of The Black Rainbow, the band chose Michael Brinbaum and Chris Bittner (whom also worked on the band's first three albums as well as last year's Ascension). This reinforces, again, what I meant earlier when I mentioned how Ascension was "somewhat of a return to form" for the band. Descension has a great flow to it, something that I feel Ascension lacked. Regardless, both albums really come together as one great piece of work. The Afterman is the best material the band has released in the past ten years and, with my faith fully restored, I am more than excited for what comes next for the band.

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Pretelethal
2. Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry The Defiant
3. The Hard Sell
4. Number City
5. Gravity's Union
6. Away We Go
7. Iron Fist
8. Dark Side Of Me
9. 2's My Favorite 1

Coheed And Cambris is:
Claudio Sanchez - Vocals/Guitar
Travis Stever - Guitar
Josh Eppard - Drums/Percussion/Keyboards
Zach Cooper - Bass


Recommended If You LikeCirca Survive, The Dear Hunter, Rush, sci-fi put to music
 
Displaying posts 1 - 9 of 9
07:17 PM on 02/27/13
#2
StartAngry&Mad
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Should read "is not without its flaws"

But great review though! Just picked up a copy on vinyl to accompany Ascension and looking forward to giving it a first spin, I really enjoyed Part 1, and hearing that this continues their return to form is exciting! (I'll admit I maybe wasn't as disappointed with the previous two albums as others were though, but I'm probably not classified as a hardcore C&C fan anyway)
09:36 AM on 02/28/13
#3
Deathco_019
I demand a trial by combat.
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Should read "is not without its flaws"

But great review though! Just picked up a copy on vinyl to accompany Ascension and looking forward to giving it a first spin, I really enjoyed Part 1, and hearing that this continues their return to form is exciting! (I'll admit I maybe wasn't as disappointed with the previous two albums as others were though, but I'm probably not classified as a hardcore C&C fan anyway)

Thanks for catching that. Just edited.

And thanks for reading! I just realized it's a bit lengthy in the middle, but I don't think too many people will mind. And I really enjoy Ascension, but I think I like Descension more. It's got a better flow and that's what makes me want to listen to it from start to finish.

If you like Ascension, you'll like Descension.
06:13 PM on 02/28/13
#4
StartAngry&Mad
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Thanks for catching that. Just edited.

And thanks for reading! I just realized it's a bit lengthy in the middle, but I don't think too many people will mind. And I really enjoy Ascension, but I think I like Descension more. It's got a better flow and that's what makes me want to listen to it from start to finish.

If you like Ascension, you'll like Descension.
Having now listened to it, first thoughts are that there are more memorable moments than Descension, especially in the front half. Sentry and Gravity's Union are both as you said, epic (an appropriate adjective - not a cliche)!

The one criticism I have, and my best friend first pointed it out listening to Ascension, is that the album sounds a little flat in the production, at least speaking of the vinyl. The mix is good, and the bass comes through well (usually my complaint), but overall it just doesn't sound as big and clear as I'd maybe like.
06:20 PM on 02/28/13
#5
Deathco_019
I demand a trial by combat.
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Having now listened to it, first thoughts are that there are more memorable moments than Descension, especially in the front half. Sentry and Gravity's Union are both as you said, epic (an appropriate adjective - not a cliche)!

The one criticism I have, and my best friend first pointed it out listening to Ascension, is that the album sounds a little flat in the production, at least speaking of the vinyl. The mix is good, and the bass comes through well (usually my complaint), but overall it just doesn't sound as big and clear as I'd maybe like.
Ascension definitely has more standouts (I believe that is what you are saying). Sentry and Gravity's Union are powerhouses indeed, though.

And I can see what you mean about the production. Maybe it's because the band also had a hand in producing the album on both Afterman albums. The band isn't credited for production on the first three.
06:26 PM on 02/28/13
#6
StartAngry&Mad
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Ascension definitely has more standouts (I believe that is what you are saying). Sentry and Gravity's Union are powerhouses indeed, though.

And I can see what you mean about the production. Maybe it's because the band also had a hand in producing the album on both Afterman albums. The band isn't credited for production on the first three.
In talking about memorable moments, I don't just mean standout tracks, but passages in songs, whether it be a solo, extra catchy melody, inclusion of horns, etc. that really grab your attention. Ascension was really solid and flowed well (considering the diversity of styles and pace), but I did think it maybe lacked distinctive memorable moments.
03:21 PM on 08/11/13
#7
kevindadbrewer
Kevin Brewer
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Flawless compared to that disgusting 2010 release.
12:26 AM on 11/30/13
#8
drewperri
Drew Perri
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still trying to get use to the new albums, nothing has been the same since before black rainbow
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