The second part of The Afterman double album from Coheed and Cambria is a ripper. Building on The Afterman: Ascension, this follow up (less than half a year later) with the predictable sci-fi metal, prog rock, post-hardcore or whatever you want to label it as. To be a long-time fan of C&C and to hear this album makes me content with knowing that they’ve still got it. The storyline that no one fully understands apart from Claudio Sanchez bewilders me as the telling of each album keeps me intrigued every time I pick it up. The album bears upon themes of homecoming, space, time, survival, loss, and desire.

A slow intro leads in to an epic album keeper, ‘Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant’ making me want to pick up a guitar and learn the lead outro for the track. ‘The Hard Sell’ features the same heavy riff that you’d want to hear to pump you up. ‘Gravity’s Union’ features a backup choir to go along with double kicking.

The album tends to drop off a little towards the end, but ‘Away We Go’ references “Jersey girl” from their first record (11 years old) taking you in a time warp to where it all began. ‘Dark Side of Me’ is a slower ballad but my favourite on the album really harmonising Sanchez’s singing and highlighting his unique voice.

Perhaps the most surprising album note is that it’s their first album to not have a track longer than seven minutes. The best part of every album by Coheed is that they sound so much like a soundtrack to a game or movie, that I can only wonder if it’s time they explored that option. I can’t recommend this album enough for fans of C&C’s music, and for new listeners it’s a strong way to introduce their sound to your library.
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