Coheed & Cambria
Wednesday 17 April 2013
New York’s Coheed and Cambria return to New Zealand after a five year absence, during which dynamic prog-punk fusion has become some of the most acclaimed music of this era.
The band’s albums all tell an evolving story called ‘The Armory Wars’, a science-fiction epic of stunning complexity and power. Lead by singer/guitarist Claudio Sanchez – whose soaring voice is a big part of their appeal – Coheed and Cambria have established an unparalleled reputation for bringing together diverse genres in the service of one stunning narrative.
‘The Armory Wars’ similarities to 70s classics like ‘The Wall’ and ‘Quadrophenia’ are not merely a function of welding fiction to exploratory music – it has also proved as adaptable as those classics. The story has inspired a novel, a series of comic books, and now a forthcoming film, produced by Mark Wahlberg.
Since their beginnings, inspired by Texas post-punk legends At The Drive In – who went on to form the like-minded The Mars Volta – Coheed and Cambria have had ambitions far beyond those of the average band. Sanchez is a detail-obsessed workaholic – he writes every song, and had a key role in the comic books and novel – and the obsessive nature shows in his sprawling, dense albums.
After five albums, the core narrative of ‘The Armory Wars’ was complete. Sanchez moved to flesh out other elements to the story, in a manner more reminiscent of filmic ‘prequels’ than contemporary music. Their current project is a two-part album named ‘The Afterman’, exploring the world of a character within the saga named Cyrus Armory. Part one, ‘Ascension’, came out last year, and experience Sanchez describes as “really crazed but really rewarding”.
The album’s second half, ‘Descension’, was released this week, meaning their upcoming Powerstation show is a perfect time to catch this most visionary band in full creative flight.