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

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  • 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