Coheed and Cambria - In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 Record Label: Columbia
Release Date: October 7, 2003
Not since Rush has the music industry seen such a devotion to science fiction laden progressive rock. That is until Coheed and Cambria came into the scene in early 2002 with Second Stage Turbine Blade. Yet, to simply called Coheed and Cambria progressive rock does not really do the band justice. They are a little bit of everything which adds to the obvious appeal of the band.
To put it blatantly, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 is an epic record on scale with any classic rock or metal release of the last century. The combination of metal, pop, punk and alternative rock creates an engrossing atmosphere that is hard to completely swallow with just one listen.
Singer Claudio Sanchez still has those signature vocals but the band is writing far more mature music this time around. In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 brings a refreshing complexity to their genre and a clearer picture of what they are capable of making. The album kicks of with the anthem "In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3" which is as epic as they come. The eight minute tune carries through such lines as "Man your own jackhammer! Man your battlestations!" as well as the ominous "Cut the throats of babies for them. Break their hearts, for they were them." Musically, it doesn't really matter if you have a damn clue what's going on. These songs ooze the quality of instilling euphoria in the listener.
"Cuts Marked in the March of Men" and "Three Evils" are good cuts, with the former being more aggressive than it's punk-esque inspired successor. "The Crowing" goes to show that Coheed is at their best when they utilize multiple parts that are different yet easily connected. "In short, for the murders of those I court. I bless the hour that holds your fall," Claudio sings passionately over impressive guitar work from both himself and lead guitarist Travis Stever. Everyone is at the top of their game here, with drummer Josh Eppard providing sound percussion.
"Blood Red Summer" is the pop sensibility side of Coheed and Cambria. It is catchy, bright and a good break from the heavier handed tracks that precede it. The next three songs are part of a trilogy called "The Velourium Camper". The first song is "The Faint of Hearts", which is somewhat of a "Blood Red Summer" on steroids. The cowbell is a nice touch and of course Beatles references is always fun. "Backend of Forever" and "Al the Killer" are deathly creepy and that only fits being about a racist murderer. Musically, Backend of Forever is not the most impressive rock song the band has created. "Al the Killer" makes up for that with double-tracked vocals and a heavy riff which is interspersed with a crisper chorus which says, "When I kill her, I'll have her. Die white girls, die white girls!". Mr. Sanchez, you have my attention.
Next is "A Favor House Atlantic". If you have not heard it, all I need to say is - high pitched vocals - uptempo instrumentation = radio single. The album closes with the nine minute excursions "The Light & The Glass" and "21:13". The former begins with a slow, down beat intro with sweet crooning from Claudio. By the songs end, Stever is shredding and choir vocals call, "Pray for us all". In a way, it feeds off of the epic direction greater than the album's title track. Finally, hidden "2113" rolls by with a funky riff and and visits from previous Coheed melodies. Although there are no clear indications this is a tribute to Rush, the multiple sections and varied guitar play are at least spiritual brothers.
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 is a brilliant and cohesive record from a talented band. Whether or not they will ever be able to construct such a consistent masterpiece again remains to be seen.