If you are a fan of progressive rock based around full storylines and conceptual albums, then you will already be more than familiar with Coheed and Cambria. However, if you are not familiar with them they band are at the forefront of the genre. The majority of their albums based around The Amory Wars story which front man, Claudio Sanchez and his wife have also turned into a series of comic books.
Back in 2015 they released The Color Before The Sun, the bands first album not dealing with The Amory War vision. Whilst keeping to the bands progressive stylings it was a break from the concept. It was somewhat of a breath of fresh air and gave the band a different focus for a period of time, clearing their heads and regaining focus.
With their latest album, The Unheavenly Creatures, we are thrown back deep into the original concept; much the joy of many a fan around the world. The short break has given fresh vigour to the original ideas bringing with it a new perspective that will no doubt envelope the listener back into their world.
The series of albums can be viewed somewhat as a soundtrack to the story, brining in elements that enhance the experience and tell parts of the overall tale depicted through the takes and comics of frontman, songwriter and author Claudio Sanchez.
The concept on this album picks up The Amory Wars storyline sometime after 2007's No World for Tomorrow and the band say is the start of five album cycle in this story arc with this chapter focusing on two lovers and their journey through the burnt out remains of our planet Earth.
Musically, this is classic Coheed and Cambria, beautifully written progressive riffs with Claudio's majestic vocals featuring throughout, telling the tale of his Unheavenly Creatures. The opening 'Prologue' lavishly dripping in magical keyboard tones as we are re-introduced to the world. Through 'The Dark Sentencer', the albums title track and 'Toys' you can hear we are definitely back to a style where the band feel most at home. New and ground breaking this album is not, but classic, almost perfect, progressive wonderment it delivers in droves.
Light, meandering riffs throughout the album dance and depict Sanchez' tale of woe. Each of the 15 tracks rarely drops below the five minute mark as the images of the story come to focus in your mind as you lose yourself in the music.
For Coheed and Cambria fans, this album is a return to form, a return to the popular concept and a return to where they feel safe. For progressive music fans this is the almost perfect example of a concept album. And for the casual listener, this can be the introduction into a world they may never leave.