Coheed and Cambria’s latest album, Unheavenly Creatures is a delightful return to the attitude and swagger that made them famous. The songs are tense and powerful. The tracks are strung together so you can listen to the entire album straight through without a weird break. In my opinion, this is one of the best ways to construct a concept album.
It is no secret that Coheed and Cambria’s music has always been about the narrative woven between the catchy riffs and thunderous drum fills. This album follows suit. The songs are epic and each lyric pushes the story along.
On that note, this album is set in the same universe as the rest of their records, save The Color Before The Sun which has nothing to do with The Amory Wars story line. Consequence of Sound reported that it is unclear where Unheavenly Creatures takes place, although it is certainly after No World For Tomorrow. This was the closing chapter in the Amory Wars before Unheavenly Creatures dropped.
Unheavenly Creatures is a good progressive rock album that features a familiar, though interesting, love story. I think the story is the most interesting part of the record. However, on the music front, I feel like I’ve heard this album before. Sure, the notes and rhythms were a little different, but it all feels similar. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I don’t know if I would call it a good thing either. I do not want anyone to think I disliked this record, nor do I want anyone to think I am bashing it. I really liked Unheavenly Creatures. But, I feel like I’ve heard this album before.
To me, Coheed and Cambria is a band that tries new stuff. The Afterman albums are a good example of this. They were different than the brilliantly titled Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness. While Unheavenly Creatures is a return to the spirit of their earlier albums, it still feels like The Color Before The Sun. Again, I’ve enjoyed all of their albums, however, I feel like the band traded something away when they decided not to experiment a little with their latest record.
Songs Worth Investigating
I will admit that most of the tracks on this album are worth listening to on their own. As you might expect, “The Prologue” is the only song that doesn’t stand on its own. The rest, however, are more than good enough to dig into on their own.
With that being said, the singles are good place to start. And, as it always seems, they are the more radio friendly tunes that are likely to hook people. Even so, “The Dark Sentencer”, “Unheavenly Creatures” and “The Gutter” are great, upbeat tracks to sink your teeth into.
“Old Flames” was the final single, and it is guilty of the same sin as the others, however its a beautiful track. Its light and bouncy, yet tinged with Coheed and Cambria’s trademark style. Claudio Sanchez, the mastermind behind Coheed and Cambria, said this was the track that really helped him visualize the story and concept. From a developmental perspective, this song is key. In addition to this, it is good song.