Album Review: Coheed and Cambria’s ‘The Afterman: Descension’

Maggie Mcginity

A wise man once told me that the point of singing a song is to tell a story. Coheed and Cambria take this idea to the extreme: al of their albums are concept albums, following the storyline of “The Amory Wars,” a saga written by the band’s frontman Claudio Sanchez. “The Afterman: Descension” and its prequel, “The Afterman: Ascension,” tell the story of Dr. Sirius Amory, the storyline’s namesake. 

This musical science fiction novel starts out sounding a lot like Pink Floyd. It’s solid rock throughout, sometimes with a more progressive sound. The band’s admitted influence of Led Zeppelin is especially heard in parts of “Iron Fist,” a refreshingly slow and quiet song which starkly contrasts its intense lyrics. It turns almost poppy at the end, almost seeming to do so in jest. Despite the Artificial Intelligence voices and other sound effects which advance the story of this concept album, the songs are quite relatable to the average person, especially “Dark Side of Me,” the album’s first single (“I gave my everything/For all the wrong things.”)

Musically, there’s little bad or wrong in this album. Coheed and Cambria has a very specific sound they’ve been assembling for years, and their hard work shows on this album. That being said, I would have liked to see them take more musical risks. Parts of the album are repetitive; I often find myself confusing one song on the album for another because of their similar melodic and harmonic structures. There are also a few scream-type vocals which seem out of place, but the way Sanchez modifies his singing voice to portray different “Amory Wars” characters more than makes up for it.

4/5 stars