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Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through The Eyes of Madness

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Coheed & Cambria Biography - Coheed & Cambria Discography - All Heavy Metal Bands


There’s a lot to be said for continuity and high concept, and Coheed and Cambria have invented an elaborate geeky parallel sci-fi world that spread over four CDs. If you follow the story line, it unfolds like some punk Harry Potter series; equally ambitious and didactic and almost as tightly written as the Moody Blues’ ”Days of Future Passed.” You can also listen to each of the albums without a thought about the story and marvel at the musicianship, the intricately layered guitars, Claudio Sanchez’s overwrought and rather pinched vocals and the sheer imagination displayed by these four musicians whose idiosyncratic emo seamlessly flows into prog rock. Epic, surreal, bigger than life, and utterly unlike anything you’ve heard in decades–even Geddy Lee expounding on free will. — Jaan Uhelszki

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  • Yes C&C is an acquired taste, everything written in other reviews for all the albums pretty much spells out what people like about them. They are just what the current scene lacks, and bring back melodic, powerful, catchy metal in spades… it emo(the stupidest label ever coined bar none) or any other dumb term you want…..these guys simply rock.
    The reviewer below is more interested in the album art, if thats your concern stick with cereal boxes or bazooka joe wrappers, this is rock n’ roll. He also claims “sub par musicianship”, which is an amazingly naive statement by someone who must know little about that which they speak. Grab a guitar and write tunes anywhere near this level. Sub par my a**. These guys are at the top of their game.

    Posted on February 23, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • If you like the sound of Coheed and Cambria in general, you’ll more than likely enjoy this CD. However, many of the early tracks such as ‘Welcome Home’ have a very unique and excellent sound. I think that the band in general demonstrates an amazing amount of variation in their rock sound, they style of rock, and the instrumentals. The lead vocalist has in my opinion one of the best voices in modern rock because of how unique it is. The album itself is a continuing installment in the story that the band chronicles. Though all of the tracks are pretty good, with some excellent ones, there aren’t as many exceptional tracks as there were in ‘In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3′. As a musical work, Coheed and Cambria have done some amazing things in terms of originality. This is a very good and unique musical sound that most rock fans should enjoy, and most C&C fans will likely appreciate.

    Posted on February 23, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV, Volume I: From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness. One word sums it up: Wow. I didn’t think they could do any better than their last album, but they somehow did. This one is most definitely for the fans, though. Whereas the first two albums had songs that could be released as singles and appeal to the averge listener, the entire CD stands on its own as a single piece. Yes, it’s got some catchy tunes, but you need to listen to the whole thing straight through with headphones to really get the full effect. The first 11 songs tell the story of The Writer, the man who is writing the story of C&C. The interesting part is that Claudio Sanchez created The Writer, and The Writer created Claudio Kilgannon, the story’s protagonist. They all have similar characteristics, and are essentially the same person. All of their lives seem to intertwine, and it shows on Good Apollo. Similar lyrics and musical elements reappear on The Writer’s segment as well as on Claudio’s, and even the songs from In Keeping Secrets, to symbolize how events going on in The Writer’s life parallel and affect what happens in Claudio’s story. I usually don’t care much about song lyrics, but the depth of these is staggering. Now as for the music itself, as I mentioned earlier, this is for the fans. After an orchestrated verison of the usual Coheed intro, the first song is actually a light accoustic piece. Then you’re thrusted into the explosive guitar of “Welcome Home”, an epic metal song with guitars remeniscent of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”. The next few songs are difficult to describe, as they are the usual Coheed fare, but much more carefully crafted than before. It might take a few listens to pick up on the intricacy of some of them. Two especially noteworthy tracks are “Apollo I: The Writing Writer” and “The Suffering”. Even if you’re not an avid Coheed fan, you’ve got to love these songs. Finally, we return to the story of Claudio and dive into the final four tracks, which make up the half hour long finale, “The Willing Well”. Each movement is… as corny as this sounds… a rollercoaster ride of emotions, shifting from one style to another. “III: Apollo II: The Telling Truth” is the second half of “The Writing Writer”, which revives the song with a heavier feel and angrier, more brutal lyrics. And just when you think you’ve reached the height of this rock opera (as some have called it), the song abruptly ends, and we enter the last part, “IV: The Final Cut”. This is one heavy song, in the original sense of the word. You’d swear you were listening to Pink Floyd. This goes beyond anything I could have ever imagined Coheed achieving. It’s simply amazing. And when that finally ends, you’re treated to a little hidden bluegrass song, a nice and unexpected finishing touch. As awesome as this all sounds, you’ll appreciate it more if you hear the band’s previous two albums The Second Stage Turbine Blade and In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3 first. In fact, if you haven’t heard them, half of what I said about the storyline probably didn’t make sense to you anyway. But all in all, this is a magnificent album, and perfect for the next step of the journey. I can only imagine what the series’ conclusion will be…

    Posted on February 22, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • A few months ago, one of my friends recommended Coheed and Cambria to me and I took him up on the offer and downloaded one of their songs to listen to. I didn’t like it all, mostly because of Claudio Sanchez’s, the lead singer, very high voice. Then, I gave them a try again about a month ago and I absolutely loved it.

    Coheed and Cambria is now my favorite band, and I sometimes can’t believe that I didn’t like them. Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV was the first Coheed CD I bought because most of the songs I liked from them were on that album. I can’t begin to describe how awesome the music on this CD is.

    The album starts off with a quaint instrumental theme, Keeping the Blade, progresses to Always and Never which at first appears to be a love song before the twist ending. Afterwards, we go to one of the most amazing songs on Good Apollo, Welcome Home. The whole CD can be attested to being a prog rock opera, but Welcome Home definitely can be called this. The guitar playing in this song is only surpassed, in my opinion, by one other song on the CD and it ends with an awesome guitar solo by Claudio Sanchez.

    From there on out, the song quality does not decrease but only at some times gets better. Ten Speed (of God’s Blood and Burial) is the most metal the band has ever gotten and is also one of my favorite songs they’re ever made. After that, we go to Crossing the Frame, which is has the same musical melody as Ten Speed except it’s toned down a bit. Apollo I: The Writing Writer is a great song, but what I really like about it are the amazing lyrics in this song.

    Once Upon Your Dead Body also has some great lyrics, though not as much as Apollo to me. Wake Up is probably my least favorite song on the album, mostly because it has a soft tone and I was really in a rock tone by the time I got to this song. The Suffering has more of a pop tone and is the closest to a G-rated song we get to on this CD, besides Wake Up. Lying Lies and Dirty Secrets of Miss Erica Court, is one of the least memorable songs on the album, although it has a gigantically long title. In no way is it a bad song, I just liked most of the songs better. Then we go to Mother May I, which holds the prize for best lyrics on the CD for me.

    The finale of the album is the four part series of the Willing Well. Each song is over seven minutes in length, and Fuel for the Feeding End is a great start to the quadrilogy. It has good, thoughtful lyrics with a catchy musical tone. Fear Through the Eyes of Madness is probably my least favorite of the four, though it has an exceptional ending. Apollo 2: The Telling Truth is essentially the same as Apollo 1 with slightly different lyrics and a remix of the musical tone. Still an awesome song even if it is part of a rehash.

    Finally we have the grand finale of Good Apollo, and oh what a finale it is. With some of the best guitar playing I’ve ever heard in a song before, The Final Cut tops all the competition on this album as the best played. There aren’t many lyrics, though the infamous “I’d shut your face in the door” is in this song. The lack of lyrics is doubly made up for with the amazing guitar solo between Travis and Claudio at the end of the song and the “nature” ending is quite a surprise.

    If that’s not enough to convince you to buy this wonderful CD, then Good Apollo just isn’t for you. Even if you don’t like this album somehow, you should try the other two, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 and the Second Stage Turbine Blade, as they are very different from Good Apollo, musically.

    Posted on February 22, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • A while back, a good friend of mine recommended that I give Coheed and Cambria a good listen. Knowing my penchant for progressive rock and my fondness of thematically unified materials (i.e., the frequently maligned “concept albums”), he thought that the C&C albums would be right up my alley. So I took his advice and purchased a copy of IN KEEPING SECRETS OF SILENT EARTH: 3. To my delight, this was a satisfyingly complex and technically brilliant production. To my ears the band sounds like a mix of The Mars Volta , Dream Theater (both of whom I love!!!!) and some of the better bits of Rush. This CD got pretty regular play and I always enjoyed the music, but for no reason I can put my finger on, it never became one of my favorite albums.

    Then came GOOD APOLLO….I saw it for sale and decided it was worth a listen. What an experience!!! I feel as though I’ve won the lottery! This is a brilliant album that transcended all of my expectations in every way. The music opens with a lush orchestral intro leading into the deceptively mellow, acoustic song KEEPING THE BLADE. It sounds almost like a love song until you listen to the lyrics that sweetly proclaim “I’m still waiting here, my dear, to kill all of you!” Then the album really starts to move with driving rhythms, stunning musicianship and simultaneously compelling yet inscrutable lyrics that propel the multi-album story line even further. (I haven’t quite figured this unique world all out yet, but it’s fascinating to study and ponder.)

    Claudio Sanchez’s vocals have been toned down a bit, losing some of that Geddy Lee quality that I occasionally found to be an irritant on the previous album. It seems to me that the already stunning craftsmanship of the song structures and musicianship has been taken up another notch to a consistently high level. This is an excellent album on every level. I have formed a new appreciation for the previous SILENT EARTH, and I have ordered the first album, THE SECOND STAGE TURBINE BLADE, so that I might put all the pieces together and get a deeper appreciation for this massive musical adventure. I regret that I didn’t start at the beginning – but as I said, I finally get it.

    To conclude, I’ll just mention the beautiful artwork found throughout the booklet and jewel case covers. Artist Christopher Shy has produced some absolutely stunning paintings that are as much of a delight for the eyes as the music is for the ears. This is a must buy album for any fan of progressive rock music!

    Posted on February 22, 2010 - Permalink - Buy Now