Sound — 9
First off, I'd like to say that I've been a Coheed and Cambria fan for a long time, and I've been listening to this album for a good while now, so I think it's time I wrote a review on this masterpiece. My impression of the band itself, is that it's nothing short of spectacular, revolutionary, and ingenious. In a generation of music, where everything is cloned, and cloned again, Coheed and Cambria stands in a league of it's own. They should seriously have their own genre of music. If you're a fan of rock, at all, Coheed and Cambria has something for you. All of their albums have something to offer to every little niche of music, except rap, 'cause it sucks. I'm serious, they cover everything! They cover Heavy Metal, Classical, Orchestra, Acoustic, etc. I don't know how they pull of such complicated, and beautiful music. Right from the beginning of the album, they shocked me with an entire intro song, Keeping The Blade, which consists entirely of Piano, and Violin. And it's absolutely beautiful, sounding like it came from the mind of Beethoven, or Bach. And keep in mind, this is coming from a fan of speed metal, and 80's rock. The rest of the album doesn't disappoint, either. My favorite song on the entire album, Welcome Home, begins with an awesome acoustic solo, then out of nowhere, hits you with an absolutely kick ass compilation of rock guitars. As if that wasn't enough, the lyrics are haunting and morbid, but not vulgar. From what I interpreted, it was about a cheating wife, or girlfriend, whom he kills, simply because if he can't have her, nobody can. Coheed never ceases to amaze me. I'm not sure about the story behind this particular album, but from all the Coheed albums I've listened to, they play out like intricate novels, with twists and turns that will leave you saying "What the f--k? I have to listen again!" As I stated above, Welcome Home is about a guy who kills his cheating spouse, or girlfriend. And as morbid, sick, and twisted as some Coheed songs may be, it is always done very tastefully, with nary a cussword uttered during the entire album, save for once or twice. Again, as I said above, I love speed metal, and '80s rock, both of which are full of foul language, sex, and drugs. And I see Coheed's music as a refresher from the normal, that doesn't involve all the sex, drugs, and riff raff of rock, but can rock just as hard, or harder than the rest, but turn around and bring a tear to your eye with a beautiful violin solo, or something. Coheed gets my vote here, too. Pretty much everything is used. There's not much I can type here, that will actually give you a taste of what Coheed is capable of. The amount of genres covered is absolutely stunning. Sorry for being vague here, but I really am at a loss of words, you just have to listen for yourself.
Lyrics — 10
Like I said earlier, the lyrics portray a messed up story, but do it with class and sophistication. Morbid as they may be, they're enjoyable to listen to, and flow like butter. The lyrics flow in tune with the music 100%. There's never any wailing during a violin solo, and there's never any soft, fuzzy lyrics during an ear splittingly bad ass guitar solo. It's melded perfectly, and the entire song is enjoyable to listen to, not just one part, like a lot of other songs by other artists. To a first time listener of Coheed, there will be confusion. At first, the lead singer sounds like a transvestite, but soon, you realize that he couldn't be a better singer. His voice is haunting, and fits the music perfectly, as does everything else.
Overall Impression — 9
Coheed And Cambria is like nothing you've ever heard before, and probably won't ever hear again once they're gone. This is revolutionary, people. And it works. As much as this hurts me to say, I can't recommend that anybody listens to Always & Never. It is extremly stupid, in my opinion, and this album would have been better without it. But it doesn't even put a dent in the other fantastic tracks. I might die, due to lack of Coheed and Cambria while on my way to buy another copy of it. It's that vital to my daily routine. But truthfully, yes, I would in a heartbeat. Then I would track down whoever stole it, and disembowel them with a soup spoon. Buy it. If you're having second thoughts, don't. Trust me. If you don't enjoy this album thoroughly, I'll buy it back from you for full price.