Chances are you won’t be hearing the latest Coheed and Cambria single on DC101 anytime soon…unless there is a huge push to start playing 8 minute songs during rush hour traffic. If you’ve become annoyed at the lack of rocking rock music being released, this album should get you excited. They mix elements from classic rock, metal, and pop-rock goodness into toe-tapping, steering-wheel drumming madness. The first thing that you notice is the song titles; equally as lengthy as the songs themselves, but also hint that the album is going to be quite a journey. Tracks include: The Velorium Camper I: Faint of Hearts, The Velorium Camper II: Backend of Forever, The Velorium Camper III: Al the Killer (quite a mouthful), and 11 blank tracks before the twenty-third and final track 2113.
The intro track The King in Return starts off with a ringing telephone, then a spacious piano passage backed by a booming timpani. The sound deteriorates until it feels like we’re traveling down an endless cave. The second track begins with a droning guitar riff, distorted guitars, and then lead singer Claudio Sanchez’s high-flying voice belts out the lyrics. It took me a while to get used to the pitch of his voice, but thank goodness it’s in tune, and not whiny. All seems to be over about 3/4 of the way through the 8+ minute track, until the original droning guitar riff starts it all up again with what seems like an army of backup vocalist chanting the melody of the song. Despite the generally upbeat songs, the lyrics don’t follow suit, some are even downright disturbing. The squeamish should cover their eyes when reading the lyrics from Three Evils…: “Sever the limbs off his torso in sleep and burn what remains so the world may now see.” There are many more examples of lyrics like this, but the music overpowers what the words are trying to say. Although I could’ve done without the mindless screaming in a few of the songs, the driving guitars, melodious riffs, and big drum sounds were satisfying enough for me. Tracks that stand out: Cuts Marked in the March of Men, Three Evils (Embodied in Love and Shadow), and Velorium Camper I: Faint of Hearts. And for those of you who enjoy clap tracks (who doesn’t?) check out Blood Red Summer.
In the interest of keeping this review short, I give this Coheed and Cambria’s – In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 an 80. I dug hearing the hard hitting guitars, dynamics of each song, and espcecially the clap track on Blood Red Summer. Overall, there aren’t many weak points on the album (not counting the 11 blank tracks). If you’re a downloader, get tracks 2, 3, 4, 6, 7…I just hope you have a broadband connection!