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Coheed and Cambria: No World ForTomorrow

This, the fifth instalment of the band's oft-misogynistic song collection, sees little musical departure from their now well established brand of progressive metal. The format of a lengthy suite and songs with an overall concept will be familiar as will the brilliant hooks, turn on a dime changes and idiosyncratic vocals. The album is again sheer quality from start to finish with numerous memorable riffs and melodies keeping the music in your head long after the disc has left the player.

A cavernous acoustic guitar among airy atmospherics introduces the tenuous vocal in "The Reaping" before the first power chords crash in over an energetic riff as the opener segues into the title track, a powerful metal vamp with its swinging rhythm and multi layered vocals. Frequent changes in pace and lead theme take place within this 10 minute song delivered in five, including a short guitar solo.

"The Hounds" is more of a traditional rock and roll structure, especially in the chorus, although the Rush element is there in spades in the main riff and spiky guitar work. One of the best hooks on the album emerges in "Feathers" another carefully layered contrapuntal stadium rock anthem. Synths and a simple guitar figure lead into "The running free" a lyrically clever 'discussive' song with another unforgettable chorus delivered with scat and sung words. Another slow single guitar intro is embellished by cello for the pleading vocal in what will surely become one of their classics. "Mother Superior" builds menacingly to a gently swinging guitar and chamber orchestra melody which pauses at verse ends for a suggestion of a more aggressive phase but is held back until the end of the track where it lets loose with a climactic guitar and vocal ending.

"Gravemakers and gunslingers" has something of a Deff Leopard style metal start to it but soon morphs into the typical C&C complicated mix of riffs, juxtaposed light and dark vocals and bass figures with more changes than a fashion show model on a deadline. Few bands do this as well.

Prog-metal fans may miss the extended flashy pyrotechnics of Dream Theater and Symphony X. However if you listen there's plenty of vital guitar solos peppered around but they are never allowed to dominate over the driving principle of great songwriting. There will be "Justice in Murder" sings Claudio Sanchez in a powerful mixed message of suicide and murder, hinting at a broader socio-political statement. Frankly if the album had ended here at about 40 minutes, it would have been as good as anything coming out of today's metal scene. Instead we get the bonus of a 20 minute suite, "The end complete".

Beginning with a majestic tattoo of pattering drums, chants and soaring guitar chords, "Radio Bye Bye" segues in with yet another great hook coupled with a twin rolling guitar figure and opposing bass riff. The way the band manage to deliver intricate polyphonic musical arrangements and cross-rhythms in such an accessible way never ceases to amaze me. The suite's title track has a more commercial feel to it initially but develops into a more aggressive death metal form in the middle before returning to the chorus and chanted vocals over rapid fire guitar. The song concludes with a gentle lullaby, albeit with a message designed more to keep the kids awake than asleep.

The penultimate movement again carries another memorable melody with an anthemic quality, supported by soaring guitar with gentle organ and acoustic guitar in the interludes between the verses. A languorous solo violin heralds the dramatic final part, "On the brink", initially a mournful bluesy lament with orchestral backing. Unable to fade out quietly though this song explodes in an instrumental and screaming vocal frenzy before returning to a few bars of reflective piano, violin and guitar, finally climaxing again in a Gilmour-ish guitar and orchestral outro.

Coheed and Cambria continue to deliver some of the most exciting and interesting prog-metal around as they enter the 2008 Kerrang tour as headliners. What a great change that makes to see something beyond the usual Kerrang guitar/bass/drum mediocrity I bet it stuck in the throats of some of the execs there. Can't wait to see them here in the UK in January.

Track Listing
1. The reaping
2. No world for tomorrow
3. The hounds
4. Feathers
5. The running free
6. Mother superior
7. Gravemakers and gunslingers
8. Justice in murder
9. The end complete (suite)
i. The fall of House Atlantic
ii. Radio bye bye
iii. The end complete
iv. The road and the damned
v. On the brink

Added: December 28th 2007
Reviewer: Richard Barnes
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 2533
Language: english

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» Reader Comments:

Coheed and Cambria: No World ForTomorrow
Posted by Alexis on 2007-12-28 16:25:19
My Score:

This is another masterpiece by C&C. Once again, it takes a few listens for the songs to get a hold of you, but, once they do, they just don't let go!!! These guys are masters at writing amazing songs that are both beautiful and kickass. They don't splatter their songs with thousands of notes, but they do insert their intricacies all around them. This album is as good, or maybe even slightly better, than their last one. Few artists have the ability to make albums that are jam packed with excellent songs and make you listen to them over and over again. Long live C&C!!! If you haven't checked them out, I highly recommend you do. By the way, I love Dream Theater, Symphony X, etc., so don't shy away from these guys thinking that you might not like them if you're a fan of such bands. Give them a try.

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