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Coheed and Cambria
Second Stage Turbine Blade
Equal Vision Records

The instrumental opening to the CD doesn't exactly prepare you for what you are about to partake in. I wouldn't exactly call it misleading, but it does deliver an unexpected, but pleasant, twist.

With trickles of piano transitioning into a bluesy beat with a guitar that sounds as if taken from the softer highlights of a hard-core album, it isn't until about 70 seconds into the second track "Time Consumer," that the unrivaled Coheed And Cambria experience begins. Claudio Sanchez's vocals invade your ears with Cyndi Lauper-esque appeal. Well, actually it's a bit more of a testosterone driven version of Lauper.

While at times the male sex may run from a voice that derives from a prepubescent boy, Sanchez whole-heartedly embraces it. And for that, we thank you. It's the uniqueness of the vocals on this album that makes Coheed And Cambria such a commodity, or at least a commodity yet to be significantly noticed.

As for the rest of the band, instrumentally, they manage a sound that is completely complimentary to Sanchez's words, style and range. Categorizing Coheed And Cambria's mode of expression isn't definable by just one genre per se. Despite the fact Coheed And Cambria plays along side punk, indie and hard-core bands, you can't justify lumping them into one type or the other. It's a complete rock infusion of all three.

Travis Stever (guitar/vocals), Michael Todd (bass) and Joshua Eppard have an undeniable understanding of their instruments; an understanding which undoubtedly coincides with the Sanchez's highly evolved voice. On "Hearshot Kid Disaster", the song begins with hard-core elements with riveting guitar, only to be reinforced with signature hard-core growls. Yet if you skip to tracks such as "33" and "Junesong Provision," it's those sounds that allow Coheed And Cambria to play alongside bands such as Good Charlotte and Face To Face.

Read the songs beginning to end and top to bottom, but until you're in tune with the mind from which the words came, the meaning may be meaningless. The thoughts, visions, dreams or whatever original form they began in, have been reincarnated as songs. The ten songs on the album encompass a beauty and a frailness, yet can also be deemed courageous, all in the same breath.

In "God Send Conspirator", Sanchez sings of what we could interpret to be the thought process he partook in to get his words on paper. Don't change your mind when allís been won. Your words in time with the loss that you'd let them go. Don't let them fall if you're grips not strong. In time decide...with the words you should let them go.

Advice: Embrace the album for it's lucid sound and pure meaning. A sound that's compact and steers clear of being over manufactured. A true diamond in the rough.

-Lycia Shrum

Track Listing:

  1. Second Stage Turbine Blade
  2. Time Consumer
  3. Devil In Jersey City
  4. Everything Evil
  5. Delirium Trigger
  6. Hearshot Kid Disaster
  7. 33
  8. Junesong Provision
  9. Neverender
  10. God Send Conspirator

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