Once upon a time, New York's Coheed and Cambria was an uncommon gem: quirky and odd, with the piercing falsetto of singer/front man Claudio Sanchez backed with thick guitars, strange time signatures and rhythmic, syncopated drums.
While listening to early Coheed, you got the idea that these guys listened to Rush, Pink Floyd, Thin Lizzy and other progressive-rock bands many young musicians were afraid to admit to liking. By their second major release, it became sickeningly clear, and the band confirmed that all its records are concept albums that, when combined, "tell a story."
The saga continues with this latest release, and it falls so short of any glory, it should inspire an entire generation of prog-rock fans to disavow knowledge of Coheed for decades to come. A few of the songs sound like honest, well-written rock tunes. The rest feel like a trick. When a rock band comes up with an "idea" before they have "written a single note," you should be wary. Remember Styx?