A mere four months after part one of their two part album, ‘The Afterman: Ascension’, comes part 2, aptly titled ‘The Afterman: Descension’, the latest experiment by progressive rockers Coheed & Cambria. To the casual listener, there may be a bit too much going on during the 90 minute round trip, but if you’re prepared to put your brain to the test, you’ll come away very satisfied.
‘The Afterman’ as a whole is an album that needs to be listened to in order. It’s not one that you can zone in an out of as there are many themes and storylines that intertwine, much like a well-written book. Let’s assume that you’ve heard part one. What’s that? You haven’t? Well, the basics are a few characters that are introduced as ‘Key Entities’, and a mysterious AI known as ‘All Mother’. In ‘Ascension’, four characters entered, and so maybe it’s a bit strange that only one more comes along in ‘Descension’: ‘Sentry The Defiant’. If you don’t really care about any of these characters and want to just listen for the music then go ahead, but it’ll be a lot like watching a movie with the sound off.
There’s plenty of experimentation afoot. Take ‘The Hard Sell’, a poppy singalong that wouldn’t be out of place on Top Of The Pops. It just goes to show how diverse Coheed can be when they’re not pissing around trying to confuse the living hell out of you. At time of writing, you the listener will have only heard this song and one other though, ‘Dark Side Of Me’. If you haven’t, then head to YouTube right now and watch the lyric video. If you’re already a fan, then you should be content, but as a new listener don’t take this as what to expect from Coheed. It’s a very basic song on their terms, and they have a hell of a lot more to offer.
Coheed have started early in 2013, so don’t be surprised if you see them popping up on package tours and festivals. Bring along your pipe and monocle and pretend like you know what they’re talking about. Hopefully at their live shows, the All Mother won’t be there to annoy you.
If you want to understand ‘The Afterman’ albums in impeccable detail, you are advised to read along with Coheed‘s self-published book, ‘The Amory Wars’, as you listen.
Written by MG Savage