I kind of have these underdog bands that I always want to pull through. Usually they're a misunderstood or mislabeled band. Or a band who was indie but got big and now "hip" music people don't pay attention to them, usually resulting in a weird and stupid fanbase. Coheed and Cambria fits the bill on almost all accounts. Metal is only one of the genres that they've been thrust into. Emo, pop punk, progressive rock; some of them more correct than others, but none tell the whole story. The truth is, Coheed has been truly original and ingenious for most of their career. It took me a while, but the style introduced in Second Stage Turbine Blade (2002) grew on me tremendously and evolved smoothly to their third album, Good Apollo I (2005). A strange combination of influences came together to create three perfect records. Unfortunately, No World for Tomorrow (2007) strayed from the path set forth in the previous albums. It was much more commercial and produced, which created a cut and dry, prepackaged feel to the band. Strong elements of what made their style so appealing are definitely present, but stock choruses and uninspired "proggy" sections kill the record. This video pretty much sums up how weird things got after that record came out.
BUT! Coheed and Cambria have a new record coming out on April 13th that I really hope will pull things together for them. Year of the Black Rainbow is the title. It will be a prequel to the Amory Wars saga that was completed in No World for Tomorrow. The one song they've released so far, the Broken, is promising. That is to say, not absolutely amazing, but its in no way offensive. I will definitely be giving this record a chance.
Here are a few shred videos to start out your weekend right.
Here's Chris Impellitteri playing his Screaming Symphony. Chris is most known for his self titled band Impellitteri, who featured, among others, the great Graham Bonnet on vocals.
Next up is a fellow I just found out about not too long ago. His name is Guthrie Govan. This is the song Fives off his album Erotic Cakes.
Of note: the weirdo face he makes as he hits the first chord.
Our last video of the day is an absolute classic. This is Jason Becker covering Black Star at his 1986 high school talent show. I love this video because he obviously doesn't give a fuck about the school function. He's just there to play his guitar loud and scare the norms. He fucks around and screws up, but whatever. This is one of the things that makes him my favorite guitar player of all time.
That's it for today. Have a good weekend and listen to metal.
Pyramids is a screamo/hardcore band from Philadelphia, and as far as I can tell, 2007's Through the Hourglass is their latest full length. As far as mood altering and thought provoking music, Hourglass is one of the strongest albums I have ever heard.
I put it on and was slowly pulled into a confused and unsettled world. Listening to Pyramids brings me back to the crushingly desperate period of my life in which all ideas of past, present, future, self, and reality began to fade into a bleak vagueness... in which all daily happenings seemed unreal. The more I tried to define them, the more my life and self became meaningless. I was overwhelmed by the knowledge that I will never truly know another and I will never truly know myself, just as I will never truly grasp the past or future. If you allow it to, Pyramids confronts you with emotions from which few can truly gain catharsis. The lyrics, while rarely decipherable, chisel away at your superficial exterior, leaving you as bare and vulnerable as vocalist Benn Roe as he shrieks and howls through the record. Helplessness and dull terror pass into serene comfort and back again with the knowledge that "there are no mistakes in time." This album puts me in a state I haven't felt so strongly since I listened to George Crumb's Black Angels for the first time.