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Coheed's 3rd album sticks to formula

Nov. 2, 2005

by STEPHEN CORTEZ, contributor

Coheed and Cambria return with its third release, Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness, following up on its breakthrough album In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3. If this is your first time listening to Coheed, you're probably a bit confused.

This CD is the third release in a five-part sci-fi epic that accompanys a comic book series.

The series is the brainchild of front man Claudio Sanchez. Although the story and premise are revolutionary and certainly impressive, unless you've actually read the comics and followed the story, the songs can be a bit difficult to follow.

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Courtesy photo
Coheed and Cambria's third album, Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness, was released Sept. 20.
Lyrically, the songs are fairly void of meaning, which is characteristic of all Coheed's albums.

But musically speaking, this band is as talented and original as any other band in the industry. It had the ability to transcend genres flawlessly, delving into everything from emo to hard rock, touches of symphonic sounds and even a bit of folk music.

Vocally, Sanchez can be a little odd with his high-pitched wails (often drawing comparisons to Rush lead vocalist Geddy Lee), but after a few listens, the vocals merge seamlessly with the music. The intricacies of the songs can sometimes be compared to those of progressive rock band Dream Theater.

The album's first single, "Welcome Home," is a good taste of what Coheed has to offer. The song's selection for single status deserves some recognition as the band decided to release this 6 minute 14 second epic to debut the album, instead of the three-minute radio-friendly songs most bands select.

This song shows off Sanchez's vocals and also includes a little bit of Coheed's heavier guitar on the album, including an excellent solo to end the song.

There are also small spots of some of their slower riffs. "Always and Never," the album's first lyrical track, is the best example of Coheed's slower, gentler music, while "Ten Speed (Of God's Blood and Burial)" is a faster-paced track.

The musicianship and staying power of Good Apollo are excellent. If it's your first experience with the band, the album an impressive piece of work that is probably unlike most bands that you have heard of.

For fans of the band's past efforts, Good Apollo has everything you would expect in a Coheed album, but lacks anything new or exciting. It doesn't have the exceedingly poppy tracks that made In Keeping Secrets popular, and is riddled with filler songs.

Overall, it is well worth a listen, but don't expect anything new and exciting for all you die-hard fans.

Grade: B