Album: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 by Coheed & Cambria
Released: October 7th, 2003
Coheed & Cambria is an American progressive rock band that was formed in 1995 in Nyak, New York and released their first full-length album, The Second Stage Turbine Blade, in 2002. Fraught with line-up changes in the mid-late 2000’s, the band currently consists of founding members Claudio Sanchez (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards), Travis Stever (lead guitar, backing vocals), Josh Eppard (drums, keyboards, backing vocals), and bassist Zach Cooper who joined the band in 2011. Coheed & Cambria are known for their use of odd time signatures, concept albums based on a science fiction story by Sanchez, and their rabid fanbase. The band has released eight studio albums; the first seven albums all focus on the Kilgannon family and their role in the war to save the worlds they live on from the evil Tri-mage Wilhelm Ryanwith, while 2015’s The Color Before the Sun is the only non-concept record. The band returns to the sci-fi concept with their upcoming album, Vaxis – Act 1: The Unheavenly Creatures, which will be released on October 5th.
**Spoiler Alert – Story Details Ahead**
The Story and the Songs:
The album begins, much like The Second Stage Turbine Blade, with an introduction track. A ringing phone opens “The Ring in Return” before being answered and the “time-skip” motif is played. Soon an ethereal hum and the sound of a spaceship passing overhead lead into the album’s title track, “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3”. A staple in the band’s live show, “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3” immediately shows the prog-rock influences that come into play on the album. It is a song describing a battle between Claudio’s uncle, Inferno, and the fleet of the Red Army.
“Cuts Marked in the March of Men” is very reminiscent of the band’s previous effort in its use of syncopated rhythms and multiple guitar riffs. “Three Evils (Embodied in Love and Shadow)” comes in as a seemingly upbeat song before screeching into “The Crowing”. The title of the song gets its name from a prophecy in the story that a man would come to either save or destroy Heaven’s Fence. “The Crowing” describes Claudio meeting with his guardian, Ambelina, who tells him of his role as the Crowing, and features some of the most interesting musicianship on the album. “Blood Red Summer”, a single from the album, is a more straightforward rock track that features vocal lines which are easy to sing along to.
“The Velourium Camper I: Faint of Hearts” begins a suite of three songs and introduces the bounty hunter, Al the Killer, into the story. A groovy tune, this song offsets the broken hearted croon of “The Velourium Camper II: Backend of Forever”. The third song in the grouping, “The Velourium Camper III: Al the Killer”, matches the character’s intensity in its use of aggressive guitars and screaming backup vocals. “A Favor House Atlantic” is another single and one of the more well-known tracks from the album. Even more radio friendly than “Blood Red Summer”, “A Favor House Atlantic” is simple in its construction, but will easily get stuck in the listener’s head. “The Light & the Glass” begins as a ballad that slowly builds in intensity, showing the increasing ability that the band has in crafting their songs. “21:13” is a nod to the Rush song, “21:12”, and completes the album with a prog-rock flair and a call back to the hidden track on the previous album.
What can really be considered the band’s breakout album, In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 is a transitional record in that it keeps the punk/post hardcore sentiments of The Second Stage Turbine Blade while growing into more melodic and experimental tones. There is a bit more variety and each song showcases Coheed & Cambria’s ability to shift from an emotional song to a hard-hitting rock jam in a matter of seconds. This is one of my favorites in their catalog and I wrote a review of the vinyl re-release in 2014 that was put out to promote the Neverender tour. The comics that tell the story of In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 were collected in three trade paperback volumes, an Ultimate edition, and are not out of print; they can be read digitally and purchased on amazon.
Please enjoy some song recommendations, a song from the album, and check out the band’s social media accounts below!
Song recommendations: “In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3” , “The Crowing” , “The Velourium Camper III: Al the Killer” , “The Light and the Glass”
Previously: The Second Stage Turbine Blade