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Coheed And Cambria
by Dan Grote

While they may have wrapped up a tour with Thrice and Thursday, for the love of God do not write off Coheed and Cambria as just another let’s-talk-about-feelings whiny emo band. If nothing else, CandC compete with the Mars Volta for best neo-prog band of the past year; both bands at the vanguard of an incredible movement to resurrect the spirit of bands like Rush and at the same time create music that punches the contrivances of their genre in the face and bury them under a mountain of home-spun sci-fi.

“In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3”, details the adventures of Claudio, the son of Adam and Eve-style pair Coheed and Cambria (an upcoming comic book will explain the five-arch story of Coheed and Cambria). Claudio is a warrior who tells his story and rebirth from the battlefield while reminiscing on a childhood he can never have back and who longs to be reunited with his deceased parents to the point of suicide fantasies.

The album opens with a phone call and a flourish of strings which parlays into the title track, where Claudio prepares to charge into battle, envisioning all the murders he is about to commit and the lost lives of those beneath him as a means of seeking approval from his parents from beyond (“I’d do anything just to make you happy, hear you tell me that you’re proud of me/For them I’d kill anything, cut the throats of babies for them, break their hearts for they were them/Waiting for you to say I love you too.”). Gripping, creepy stuff, really. 

In the midst of war, Claudio finds love (“Cuts Marked in the March of Men”), surrenders his life to the enemy for said love and endures torture at the hands of said enemy (“Three Evils (Embodied in Love and Shadow)”). Then comes a series of flashbacks wherein Claudio recounts his childhood as the favored son of his parents.

Sounds like a bunch of Battlestar Galactica whatsit to read the lyrics, but in truth some of it couldn’t be catchier. Listen to, for example, “Blood Red Summer,” with its “wo-oh, wo-oh-oh” ending after a song in which Claudio confides in a friend, or “Three Evils (Embodied in Love and Shadow),” a song filled with lyrics about torture and which ends with the refrain of “Pull the trigger and the nightmare stops” that engenders pogoing more than a pregnant pause of horror. “A Favor House Atlantic,” in which Claudio is on the run from a sniper, also passes for a catchy tune, with its “are you in, or are you out?” chorus.

VERDICT: The album ends as it began, with talk of a world meeting its end. Not very hopeful language, but dammit if half of it isn’t catchy! Imagine 2112 without the endless solos and more of emotional pull and you’ve got Coheed and Cambria and a story that leaves the listener clamoring for the next chapter.

CD Info 

Coheed And Cambria: In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 
Label: Equal Vision Records
The Ring In Return
In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth:3
Cuts Marked In The March Of Men
Three Evils (Embodied In Love And Shadow)
The Crowing
Blood Red Summer
The Velourium Camper I - (Faint Of Hearts)
The Velourium Camper II - (Backend Of Forever)
The Velourium Camper III - (Al The Killer)
A Favor House Atlantic
The Light & The Glass
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