It all started in 2007 and a Guitar World interview with Claude Sanchez and Travis Stever. They just dropped the “No World For Tomorrow” album. The interview mentioned hard rock, progressive song structures, concept album, massive sci-fi story and vocals that on occasions sound like they came from Geddy Lee.
But I still didn’t commit.
Then a few months later I was given a burnt copy of “In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3” by an old band member. I was at work and placed the disc into the CD tray of the PC, grabbed the shitty e-training headphones at work and pressed play. I became a fan for life.
Within the space of a few months, I had downloaded their whole catalogue (which at this time was up to 2007) via The Pirate Bay and then started to purchase those releases and I became a day one buyer for all the albums that came after, like “Year Of The Black Rainbow”, “The Afterman”, “The Color Before The Sun” and “Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures”. I went to watch them live and even today, I would drop a couple hundred to get their super deluxe premium releases for each new album.
But it all started with “In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3” released in 2003 and certified Gold by the RIAA for U.S sales.
It’s their second album about the ongoing saga of the “Keywork” in “The Amory Wars”. It also came with a comic book series and novel. This is how the plot was described in the comic book.
“Ten years after “Second Stage Turbine Blade”, Claudio – the son of Coheed and Cambria, emerges from the depths of Shylos Ten (a barren world located on the edge of the Fence), where the Red Army performs its brutal interrogations and imprisonments.
The Red Army are Wilhelm Ryan’s enforcers, a large force of soldiers and ships he has amassed since the Mage Wars. Claudio finds out that his entire family has been murdered and begins his quest for vendetta. His foes, Supreme Tri Mage Wilhelm Ryan and General Mayo Deftinwolf sense that he is still alive and that he holds special powers.
Meanwhile, Inferno (Jesse Kilgannon) takes up arms against the Red Army in an effort to seek the same kind of vengeance on them. In Claudio’s re-emergence he teams up with Ambellina. The pair along with Sizer, a disassembled IRO-bot, seek out Inferno to find answers as to why his family were killed, but their plans take an unexpected turn in a ship called the Camper Velourium, and a freighter pilot named Al the Killer.”
But you don’t need to be involved in the story to appreciate the album, the music and the melodies as each song stands on its own.
The Ring In Return
A phone rings and a person walks to it. I’m waiting for someone to pick it up and to hear “Mindcrime” on the other line. Fans of Queensryche will know what I’m on about. But the phone keeps ringing, until you hear footsteps walk towards it and eventually the phone is picked up and a woman’s voice says “Hello”. Then some symphony music comes in, sounding hopeful and familiar but it gets dark towards the end, ominous, a forewarning with the words of “Hello Apollo, where should I begin” spoken right at the end.
In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3
How good is that clean guitar intro and the fuzzed lead?
When I watched the band live in Sydney, the clean tone guitar intro was a sing-a-long moment as we hummed and yelled the intro notes.
Then at the 40 second mark, the whole band kicks in and its head banging time.
At 6 minute and 30 second mark, the intro comes back and the songs builds into a massive wo-oh-oh chant, sort of like the chant in “Heaven Can Wait” from Iron Maiden. In the live arena, this was another sing-a-long moment.
Cuts Marked In The March Of Men
I like the staccato like groove to kick off the song.
Three Evils (Embodied In Love And Shadow)
That section from the 3.20 minute mark. Listen to the music and the vocal melody especially when the lyric goes “Pull the trigger and the nightmare stops”.
There is the middle section which is progressive with metal influences.
Blood Red Summer
This is their pop punk song. The best part is the “what did I do to deserve” section. Listen to the riff, the pentatonic lead section
“The Velourium Camper” suite is divided into 3 sections of over 15 minutes of music.
The Velourium Camper I: Faint of Hearts
It starts off like a modern Kansas song.
The Velourium Camper II: Backend of Forever
The intro is a favourite, those palm muted notes over a staccato like guitar riff.
The Velourium Camper III: Al the Killer
“Bye bye world, bye bye world/Die white girls, die white girls.” You get an idea what Al The Killer is all about.
A Favor House Atlantic
Another pop punk song like “Blood Red Summer”.
The words you scribbled on the walls, the loss of friends, you didn’t have, I’ll call you when the time is right
When I look at the words in this verse, I think of this doco I watched on the Columbine School shootings and how the students were hiding out in a closet and waiting for someone to save them when the time was right.
The Light & the Glass
The acoustic arpeggios to start it off make it campfire heartland cut. And throughout its 9 minutes, it rocks and rolls and for the last two minutes, there is a guitar lead and a vocal line that keeps repeating; “Pray for us all”.
It’s got nothing to do with “2112” from Rush even though countless posts would state otherwise. This song reprises two other tracks in “The Amory Wars”, namely “Time Consumer” and “IRO-bot”, both from the previous album “The Second Stage Turbine Blade”. And you need to listen to the section from about 5.15 minutes to about 5.50. I think it’s very Lifeson like.
And because I have some of the super editions from “The Afterman”, the record vault posts for Coheed and Cambria will be single posts for each album.
The standout songs here are the title track and “The Light And The Glass”.