Review: Coheed and Cambria – The Afterman: Ascension

Artist: Coheed and Cambria
Album: The Afterman: Ascension
Rating: 5/5


1. The Hollow
2. Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute
3. The Afterman
4. Mothers of Men
5. Goodnight, Fair Lady
6. Key Entity Extraction II: Holly Wood the Cracked
7. Key Entity Extraction III: Vic the Butcher
8. Key Entity Extraction IV: Evagria the Faithful
9. Subtraction

Few bands can capture the attention of millions the way Nyack, NY’s Coheed and Cambria do. Not to mention that concept bands usually don’t last long. Coheed is the exception, 10 years and 6 albums later and they are still as alive as ever! The story of The Amory Wars just continues to leave you wanting more and more. The follow-up to 2010’s “Year of the Black Rainbow” is quite possibly one of the most gripping parts of the story so far. It tells the tale of Dr. Sirius Amory, the scientist who is credited with discovering the 78 planets known simply as The Keywork. While taking a closer look in space, he gets hit by the energy source and is transmitted into the bodies of several people known as Key Entities. To read up a little more on those, go to the bands’ YouTube page and watch the behind-the-scenes videos on them. “The Afterman” might end up being my personal favorite by Coheed if the second portion, “Descension” is anywhere NEAR as good as “Ascension” turned out to be. So without further ado, the moment you and I have all been waiting so patiently for, my review of the incredible “The Afterman: Ascension”

Key Tracks:

Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute: This song was chosen as the first single to the album and as such, it fits perfectly to introduce the story. Domino, a world-renowned boxer, gets caught up in the lifestyle that comes with fame. He starts doing drugs and drinking and being promiscuous and it becomes his downfall. “Welcome all to the everlasting all-time low…please put your hands together for the ever-faring one man show: Domino.” This part of the song tells of how he was before he got caught up in it. “Ladies and broken gentleman, the undisputed champ of misery.” He gets completely wrapped in his lifestyle and his boxing suffers for it, his brother, who is a boxer as well tries to get him help and he refuses. They face-off and, naturally, his brother wins. This just goes to show you how damaging the path that he chose can be.

The Afterman: As Claudio will tell you in the behind-the-scenes video for this, it’s a story of Mary Amory, Sirius’s wife, being scared and unsure of what will happen when he goes to explore the keywork. After he leaves, she immediately feels a massive sense of loss, like he already failed and has died. This is easily the most beautiful and compelling track on the album.

Key Entity Extraction II: Holly Wood the Cracked: This tells the story of a woman who is so starstruck, that she wants to become her favorite actress. The only way to do this, is to get rid of the actress. Claudio tells us in the BTS video for this track that she was born from an actual fan who was sending he and his wife crazy pictures and tweets on twitter. It got to be a bit much and he immediately started writing. Thus, Holly Wood the Cracked was born. You can feel how deranged this character is from the tone of this track.

Key Entity Extraction III: Vic the Butcher: Now this track to me screams “Al the Killer” who, as you know, was a character in the “Camper Velourium” series on “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3”. From what I can gather, this track is about a killer and his prey. It is easily one of the heaviest on the album and I was mesmerized by it the first time I heard it.

Key Entity Extraction IV: Evagria the Faithful: Sirius, while in the Keywork, sees a mirage of a woman. Evagria, is a woman who he imagines falls in love with him, saves him from himself, and then disappears. He longs for her to come back, but she never does. This track is my favorite on the album.

Final Thoughts:

While “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3” is still my favorite Coheed and Cambria album, “The Afterman: Ascension” is easily creeping up on that. It has the riffs, eeriness, and captivation that we’ve all come to expect from the band as well as some newer elements which bring this album together so much better. Claudio and the boys never cease to amaze me! Do yourself a favor and go pick up this album and enjoy the ride that it takes you on! Out today on Everything Evil/Hundred Handed records!