Sound — 10
This album definately displays Coheed's huge growth and maturity as musicians. It is just more proof that the band can do anything and it will sound good. The record is more produced, which makes sense after their move from Equal Vision to Columbia records, but it doesn't take away from the music at all. This album, like "Second Stage..." and "In Keeping Secrets...", starts off with a short preface to the rest of the album. It's soft orchestra sound leads perfectly into the first full track, called "Always And Never." It sports an acoustic, fingerpicked guitar track, and a couple of Claudio's highest notes on the record. The pace is picked up with the single, "Welcome Home." The record stays as catchy as ever, leading into the second more laid-back song, "Wake Up." The band's musical diversity shines after transitioning into the ninth track, "The Suffering," which will be the second single. Then comes "The Willing Well," the last four tracks of the record. They provide a perfect ending for the record, specifically topping it off with a little southern ditty. Coheed definately didn't waste their time with descent or half complete ideas on this record, and it paid off with another album that can easily be listened to from beginning to end.
Lyrics — 10
Since the lyrics are part of a four part saga, their is no doubt wheather they have meaning or relavence to a subject. Like the music, they are diverse and poetic. They can be as dark as ever, shown in "Always And Never," saying, "I'm still waiting here, to kill all of you," and all of a sudden be enlightening and hopeful, like in "Wake Up," saying, "I've earned through hope and faith... that I'm the one you'll hold forever." Even though words may sometimes be indecipherable because of Claudio's syllabical twists, his amazing voice takes your breath away. He has incredible vocal talent, that is also displayed in their live show. Claudio's harmonies are awesome as well.
Overall Impression — 10
This record is definately one of my favorite albums of all time. Though it is more produced and the sound is a touch different from Coheed's previous albums, it is not any less amazing. It's diversity will never lose your interest. Even though I was able to get it before its release date, I am buying it the day it comes out, and if it ever gets stolen, I will immediately go out and buy another copy. I highly advise you to buy this record.