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Coheed And Cambria | In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3 | review | alternative | Lollipop

Coheed And Cambria

In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 (Columbia)
by Eric Chon

Man, these guys must be metalheads. Really. If you listen closely, it's obvious that they've spent their youth digesting Rush, Dream Theater, and Zeppelin. They pull bits and pieces from the masters and combine them into a head rush of emo, bubblegum pop, and progressive rock and that should be enough to turn most away in disgust. But the combination works. And it works amazingly well.

I remember listening to their previous album, Second Stage Turbine Blade, and being completely enamored with the music, but baffled by singer Claudio Sanchez. Much like Rush's Geddy Lee, it took me quite some time to get used to it (I actually thought it was a chick the first time I heard him open his mouth... but I realize how ridiculous that is now), but it's worth it. Sanchez has a great range and is extremely emotive in his delivery. You can't help but hang on every word.

Bolstering Sanchez's honest and earnest vocals is a band more than up to the task. Mic Todd (bass, vocals) and Josh Eppard (drums) forge an impressive rhythm section with beats usually reserved for the super-technical post-punk something-core. But the real stars of this show are Sanchez's and Travis Stever's blistering guitar work. Power chords melt into the blazing riffs and fiery solos that clued me into their spiked-armband inspirations. If it weren't so damn catchy, you'd be headbanging instead of head-bopping.

And that's the best thing right there. Here we have lyrics of the most depressing and despondent variety, sung and played with souls bared, accompanied by some of the greatest pop music this side of the '80s. Songs like "Blood Red Summer" and "Three Evils (Embodied in Love and Shadow)" are so catchy and easy to digest that you might miss all the intricate instrumentation and lyrics like "Pull the trigger and the nightmare stops" amongst the glorious hooks.

What we have here is an album that slowly peels away and displays more layers with each listen, and a band that embraces musical artistry in a world of simple power chords and 1-2-3-4 rhythms. Coheed And Cambria is a genre-blending band unafraid to take risks, and In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 shows them at their best.

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