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Old 11-30-2015, 06:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
The Identity Matrix
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The Second Stage Turbine Blade - (2002)

Album by Coheed and Cambria

The studio debut of Nyack, New York Prog Rock outfit Coheed and Cambria. Previously known as Shabutie, Coheed and Cambria formed in 1995 under the Shabutie Moniker until changing their name to Coheed and Cambria. Named after main characters from lead singer/guitarist Claudio Sanchez's Amory Wars story line. A space fantasy epic similar in scope to Star Wars or Star Trek. The band is working with multiple genre influences to create a style that is unique to Coheed. Post-hardcore, progressive rock/metal, and pop influences are all seen throughout this record. Coheed and Cambria generally do a good job in not overstaying there welcome by avoiding any prog jams in the longer tracks and in fact every moment is well spent on these longer tracks. Time Consumer and Junesong Provision both provide substance without sacrificing the creative flexibility of having longer tracks. Coheed also successfully create some much more direct tracks in 33, Delirium Trigger, and Devil in Jersey City that involve more of the post-hardcore and pop rock elements that are catchy but also provide some weighty lyrical contents. In fact the biggest irony of the whole album is that the upbeat tempo and style that is used throughout the tracks are combined with very heavy lyrics about depression, suicide, death, and other negative ideas. It works. Which is what makes the album so enjoyable. It keeps you from spacing out while listening, it keeps you engaged. Something I love about the album.

Now its not all thumbs up for this record as there are a couple of major issues that stand out. First of these is the production quality. It can get to be very raw, especially when this band needs the production to really bolster their sound rather than take away from it. In their later albums (which are not being considered with the scoring of this record) they use production effects to their advantage to create walls of sound that bolster the sound of the band. Certain songs on the record just doesn't sound good when played at a lower quality. The production does not hurt all of the songs as Time Consumer, Delirium Trigger, and 33 all are not affected by the production quality at all and in fact sound great. The songs that are hampered by the production are Junesong Provision, Hearshot Kid Disaster, and Neverender. My other issue with the album is that I feel that the story is much better told in the front half of the album than the latter half. You are able to digest it a little easier in songs like Everything Evil where some of the big events in the story, the Monstar virus is introduced which is the virus I mentioned earlier, unfold in a way that allows the story to be told. But in the end God Send Conspirator does not really rap up the whole project. It instead leaves one hanging with more questions, and not the intriguing ones either.

The album is not perfect, but it is one of the better concept albums released in the 2000s, (soon to be beaten by its own sequel). The tracks themselves, for the most part, stand on their own. All of the tracks remain in rotation hear in the Domain, my main playlist, and are hardly skipped. But the production on the album is the overriding issue that keeps me from giving this album a top tier rating.

The Second Stage Turbine Blade gets a 7.6/10

-Songs are engaging with lyrical content
-Tracks stand on their own
-Sets up the story well

-Rough production quality
-Latter half of the album isn't great in telling the story

Standout Tracks: Time Consumer, Everything Evil, 33, Devil in Jersey City

Weaker Tracks: Neverender, God Send Conspirator

Does this review make you want to listen to the record? If so how would you rate it?

Thanks for reading!
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Last edited by The Identity Matrix; 11-30-2015 at 08:30 PM.
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