Several months ago, in anticipation of the birth of my son, I wrote “Atlas” for him. At the time, I could only imagine the feelings I’d have for him when I’d have to leave for tour. I didn’t truly understand the power and relevance of the song’s sentiment. Now, after having him in my life for almost three months and with Neverender just a few weeks away, I’m starting to feel it. This will be my first tour away from Atlas. And sure, it will be hard, but it’s all for him. I’d like to share that song with you.
As was hinted at last week by Coheed and Cambria, it’s officially announced today: a remastered reissue of their second 2xLP In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3. The 2xLP, as originally released by Equal Vision Records, has been out of print and much sought-after by fans for a few years now. Now just in time for the band’s run of Neverender tour where they will be performing the album in its entirety, a remastered reissue has been announced and pre-orders are live for y’all.
The reissue is available is three different “formats” and variants:
“Direct To Fan” edition in Grey Marble vinyl that can be pre-ordered now here.
Audiophile 180gram on Black vinyl available at retailers on October 21st.
Limited Neverender edition on Peach Marble available only at the Neverender: IKSSE3 shows.
More info and updates can be found at the band’s official website.
Coheed and Cambria keep in adding tour dates to their already-packed schedule with the Rockstar Energy UPROAR Festival and European dates. Now they’re going to headline a few shows across the U.S. with Balance and Composure and I The Mighty along as support.
See all dates after the jump.
Co&Ca have also premiered a video for “Number City” off The Afterman: Descension.
The first time I heard Coheed And Cambria’s The Second Stage Turbine Blade, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. A friend of mine had gotten a copy from Equal Vision not long after it came out in the summer of 2002 and put it on in the car on the way to a Rival Schools show. I was almost exclusively into metal and hardcore at the time, and if I hadn’t been told otherwise, I would have sworn that frontman Claudio Sanchez was a girl based on his near-falsetto voice. What I was hearing was progressive yet poppy, intricately technical yet overtly melodic.
And after a few tracks, I was completely into it.
After I bought a copy for myself, I listened to it every day for at least two or three months (and then every other day for at least two or three months after that). I wasn’t quite sure what the lyrical content was about, but I had gathered it was a concept record about an elaborate sci-fi tale. The more I listened, the more the album revealed subtle nuances buried beneath multi-layered guitars and Sanchez’s impassioned crooning. As an angry 17-year-old kid, the idea that music didn’t need to be heavy to be interesting was a revelation, and over a decade later, it has retained its charm surprisingly well.
Indeed, to this day The Second Stage Turbine Blade continues to serve up one impossibly memorable hook after another. Tracks like the lengthy and appropriately titled “Time Consumer” managed to squeeze prog-rock trappings like an extended intro and a ripping guitar solo (courtesy of Dr. Know of Bad Brains), while its follow-up “Devil In Jersey City” could have been a radio single if the record had ever been given the chance (and I firmly believed Coheed And Cambria deserved to be the biggest band in the world at the time). The album’s flow from start to finish traversed a wide array of textures and moods while retaining a certain punk energy throughout, and it did it in a way that even the band themselves would never duplicate again.
The Second Stage Turbine Blade was a record that hit me at just the right time and place to forever impact my taste in music, which may partially explain why the more the band drifted away from their roots with subsequent record, the less they’ve held my interest. Its follow-up, In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth, was nearly as good as its predecessor and maintained a similar trajectory from its epic opening, somber closing, and mixing up prog and pop-punk cuts in between.
By the time the band hit their third LP, Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV however, their sound had started to drift more toward being a straight-up prog rock band, with all the impenetrable indulgences that come along with the genre. After picking up their fourth LP, No World For Tomorrow, I was so bitterly disappointed that it wasn’t the return to form I was looking for (not to mention pissed off that I paid $13 for a CD that came in a cardboard sleeve with no liner notes; that would have been $7 extra for the special edition that came with a DVD), that I decided I was done with the band forever.
This was a development I would have once thought unthinkable.
In hindsight, that response was also somewhat immature. Although I had perceived Coheed And Cambria’s later records to be dull and lacking the energy and spark that got me into the band in the first place, the reality was that they had grown and I just hadn’t grown with them. What I now realize is that while in the beginning they were an emo / post-hardcore band flirting with elements of prog-rock, the full-blown modern day space opera version of Rush that they’ve become now is probably the band they always wished they could be, but didn’t have the technical skill to pull off.
Maybe that assessment is off-base, but where I got off board, Coheed And Cambria started to pull in a completely new fanbase that swore the new records blew away The Second Stage Turbine Blade. The changes they’ve made to their sound likely would have spelled career suicide for a less confident and capable band, but despite how counter-intuitive it may seem, becoming more musically complex and making the story arc of their records ever more convoluted actually brought them to a wider audience than they had before. It makes accusations of selling out impossible; if anything, embracing the poppier side of their sound likely would have been an easier route to mainstream success.
When I was 17 and said that Coheed And Cambria deserved be the biggest band in the world, I never thought they’d ever attain anything remotely close to rock stardom. However, the fact that they have now though strangely feels like my relationship with the band has come full circle. It’s something I wished never would have happened, because I knew that anything they would have needed to do to break out of the underground would likely have to involve decisions that would cause me to lose interest, a devastating thought for a kid that had just discovered what is still as of this writing my all-time favorite album.
The fact that market conditions have allowed rather than prevented Coheed And Cambria from becoming the band they were always meant to be is also a sign that some justice must still exist somewhere in the universe. Everything they’ve attained has been well earned, and for that, I have nothing but respect. For myself though, they’ll never be the same as they were when The Second Stage Turbine Blade first graced my ears, and subsequently changed my entire musical development for the better in the process.
And I can’t thank them enough for that.
Oscar Wilde wrote that to be a critic is to offer an interpretation of someone else’s art, which is itself someone else’s interpretation of whatever it was that inspired them. He went on to say that in being a critic one is incapable of being objective, as they will base their critique on their own interpretation of the work and no two people will have the same reaction to a work of art. In the years I have spent writing album reviews, I have to say that I’ve seen all of this to be true.
The simple truth is that there is no reason my opinion is any more valid than someone else’s, unless it’s that someone else lets me put it on the internet where, just maybe, someone else reads it. I’ve been playing and listening to music for a long time, but I’m no expert. I base my reviews on how things sound to me, what they make me feel, and what they remind me of. I will never be so bold as to say an album is good, or that an album is bad; that’s not my call. I do my best when reviewing to portray what I’m hearing and why I find it interesting, or beautiful, or atrocious, as the case may be. Perhaps I’ll write that I love an album because it’s gritty, fast, and aggressive, and you’ll think of how awful that sounds to you and avoid it like the plague. Maybe I’ll tell you how I think harpsichord sounds awesome with some autotuned vocals and dubstep beats on top, and you’ll agree that it sounds neat and check it out. Who knows.
Every year when I’m asked to make my “Best Of” list, I’m made sharply aware of just how much music is in the world, and how little of it I’ve had the chance to hear. There just aren’t enough hours in the day, or dollars in my wallet, to give everything that comes out the solid listen that it deserves. I hear that the new Hostage Calm album is awesome, but I haven’t had a chance to grab a copy. A friend of mine has told me repeatedly that Foxy Shazam is the best thing on the planet, but it’s yet to find its way to my ears. These are just a couple examples of how things fall through the cracks. There could quite literally be hundreds of albums from the past 12 months that I would love, and I sincerely hope that one day I’ll find them. In the meantime, however, I present, in no particular order, ten albums from 2012 that I fell in love with.
The band released a lyric video to premiere the track to fans. The band also went live with pre-sales for a deluxe vinyl box set edition of The Afterman. Limited to 3000 copies, the set includes silver and gold Afterman vinyl; a hardcover book containing lyrics, art, and song-by-song storyline; and four guitar picks (first 1000 orders will be signed by the band). Order here. Watch “The Hard Sell” video below.
Claudio Sanchez (Coheed And Cambria) has released an acoustic performance video for the track “Elm Street Lover Boy” from his solo side project, The Prizefighter Inferno. Sanchez is set to release the Half Measures EP from The Prizefighter Inferno on iTunes December 4th. Check out the video below.
Cryptic prog-rockers Coheed And Cambria have released the video for “Afterman”. The track comes from the band’s latest effort The Afterman: Ascension, the first release of the Afterman double album. Check out the video below, and be on the lookout for The Afterman: Descension out on February 5th.
Coheed and Cambria have announced plans for a 2013 tour in February and March with Between The Buried And Me and Russian Circles. The tour promises to be hitting most major cities in the U.S. The band has also revealed that the second installment of their new album The Afterman: Descension will be released on February 5th.
Feb 04 2013 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
Feb 05 2013 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
Feb 07 2013 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
Feb 08 2013 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
Feb 09 2013 – Chicago, IL – Congress Theatre
Feb 10 2013 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
Feb 12 2013 – Des Moines, IA – Val Air Ballroom
Feb 14 2013 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
Feb 15 2013 – Salt Lake City, UT – SaltAir
Feb 17 2013 – Portland, OR – Roseland Theater
Feb 18 2013 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
Feb 19 2013 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
Feb 21 2013 – San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theater
Feb 22 2013 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
Feb 25 2013 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
Feb 26 2013 – The Marquee – Tempe, AZ
Feb 27 2013 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theatre
Mar 01 2013 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s
Mar 02 2013 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center
Mar 03 2013 – Dallas, TX – Palladium Ballroom
Mar 05 2013 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle
Mar 06 2013 – Saint Petersburg, FL – Jannus Live
Mar 07 2013 – Lake Buena Vista, FL – House of Blues
Mar 08 2013 – Miami Beach, FL – The Fillmore
Mar 10 2013 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore Charlotte
Mar 11 2013 – Philadelphia, PA — Electric Factory
Mar 14 2013 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
Mar 16 2013 – New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
In classic Co&Ca style, Coheed And Cambria has posted a mysterious video online. The video references the date and time of October 30th at 10AM PST/1PM EST. Check back for details as they surface, and check out the video below.