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Nelson's Dustin Stashko reviews Coheed and Cambria

Nelson's music guru, Dustin Stashko, returns to his "hardcore" days to review Coheed and Cambria.
Nelson's Dustin Stashko reviews the latest album from Coheed and Cambria.

We all do stupid things to impress somebody that we’re interested in – some more than others.

One time I had the bright idea of jumping into the mosh pit at a Coheed and Cambria concert to show these two girls that I was hardcore*.

Then again, I think hardcore is when I touch the railing on escalators and/or drink milk on the day it expires.

Needless to say, I was destroyed in the mosh pit, and couldn’t walk for days. Since then I’ve left the hardcore to Coheed and Cambria.

Hardcore isn’t really a fair term to describe this band. This band is epic, this band is heavy, and this band is smart.

Every album that they come out with tells a story and after six albums that story is still going.

It’s called The Armory Wars; a sci-fi prog-rock epic. Yeah, that’s a thing. Not only are sci-fi prog-rock epics told through music and comics, but soon enough you’ll see it on the big screen.

Mark Wahlberg has attached himself to getting them made, which should show you just how popular they are and how awesome Marky Mark is, even without the Funky Bunch.

Anyways, if I talked about the rich, engrossing stories that lead singer, Claudio Sanchez has webbed through previous albums, we’d be here for days so we’re going to focus on the music.

Admittedly, listening to a Coheed album can be daunting at points.

With some songs clocking in at almost eight minutes, and roman numerals complicating the insanely long titles of songs, it’s hard to take in all of it.

Trust me when I say this, you’ll want to listen to The Afterman: Ascension from front to back. It’s progressive, punk, metal, basically everything except rap; although that would be interesting. This album needs to be listened to very loud.

Things get on track with the tune “Domino the Destitute;” Sanchez’s shredding guitar and falsetto voice (I hate myself for using this comparison) that sounds eerily similar to Geddy Lee from Rush, settles you in for a ride. In true Coheed fashion, there’s some gnarly tracks on here.

“Key Entity 3 Vic the Butcher” has a chorus that will have you shouting “hang em’ up now! hang em’ up now!” and “Mothers of Men” sounds like a straight-up rock anthem.

One thing that you should never forget about this band is that they have the undeniable ability to write a great ballad and we see that on two great songs, “The Afterman,” and “Subtraction.” They trade in their pounding guitar for some mellow vibes that are welcomed into the Coheed and Cambria universe.

Every Coheed album has a tune that is accessible to everyone, and on this one we have “Goodnight Fair Lady.” It has a fantastic stop-start vibe to it that sounds like it’s from the ‘80s.

Coheed and Cambria’s The Afterman: Ascension is a great new addition to The Armory Wars story, and to their catalogue.

If you’re hardcore and into drinking milk on the day it’s expired or even, dare I say, the day AFTER, try this one out.

*Times Hardcore is mentioned in this article: 5