Album: Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow by Coheed & Cambria
Released: October 23rd, 2007
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.
The Story and the Songs:
Slow, finger-picked guitar begins “The Reaping”, a song similar to “Always and Never” from the previous album, with lyrics of regret and the distant sound of explosions that fade into ethereal howling. “No World for Tomorrow” blasts in with its striking guitar riffs, introducing elements of aggression previously unheard by the band. The song’s title refers to Claudio’s choice to become the Crowing and destroy Heaven’s Fence in order to rid the galaxy of Wilhelm Ryan. “The Hound (Of Blood and Rank)” showcases synthesizers in its intro with Stever’s guitar pull-offs that move into chugging guitars. “Feathers” brings a bit more pop into the mix with its bouncy tempo and catchy chorus.
The lead single off of the album, “The Running Free” is a bit more radio-friendly than many songs of the previous album due to its hooks and pop-rock tone; the upbeat tempo juxtaposes the next track, “Mother Superior”, which spends much of its time as an acoustic ballad that builds gradually before hitting home with a heartfelt ending. There are guitar solos and stomping tempos galore in “Gravemakers & Gunslingers”, a powerhouse track that is reminiscent of classic rock and conjures images of the occupations in its name. “Justice in Murder” is a similar song to its predecessor, relying in heavier riffs and a more straightforward use of percussion and rhythm that is a testament to the band’s ability to craft a catchy song.
Like the previous albums, No World For Tomorrow features a suite of songs and “The End Complete I: The Fall of House Atlantic” begins this album’s version with a stirring, epic instrumental that only lasts for a few short minutes. Fittingly named, “The End Complete II: Radio Bye Bye” is a radio-rock song that could easily get play on the FM waves. It is followed by “The End Complete III: The End Complete”, the song that most sounds like their previous effort in its complexity and movement. This track makes use of Sanchez’s version of guttural vocals while voicing the denizens of Wilhelm Ryan’s abode. “The End Complete IV: The Road and the Damned” slows the tempo a bit and waltzes in reflection as Claudio thinks back on all he has done and what he must now do. “The End Complete V: On the Brink” begins with a sort of jazz/blues fusion before a stomping army and repetitive shouts sound to lead into a call back to “The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut”. The album cycle of Coheed & Cambria is complete as Heaven’s Fence is destroyed and the Crowing’s work done.
No World For Tomorrow marked a period of transition for the band; they had signed a new drummer, but he was contractually unable to play on the record, so they went into the studio with Taylor Hawkins from the band Foo Fighters. There was uncertainty as to what would happen in the story, in the band, and the future of both. This is the only album whose story has not been divulged, so many of the plot points are inferred from the song titles and lyrics. After the release of this album, the band put together the Neverender event; four nights in four cities where the band played each of their albums in sequence, one album a night. With the completion of the story cycle, it was now time to look back into how Wilhelm Ryan rose to power, how Coheed & Cambria were created, and what would set these cosmic events in motion.
Please enjoy some song recommendations, a song from the album, and check out the band’s social media accounts below!
Song recommendations: “No World for Tomorrow” , “Mother Superior” , “Gravemakers & Gunslingers” , “The End Complete III: The End Complete”