It’s time to discuss one of the most interesting and diverse bands that have ever existed. Coheed and Cambria can’t be summed up in a few words, and that’s a good problem to have. I have been saying for years that they are a modern day Rush…kinda. They are masters of creativity and they have perfected the art of blending genres and styles that no other band has ever achieved. Seriously…think about it. For anyone who isn’t quite up to speed, they are technically a prog rock band that is essentially a concept band. Their vocalist Claudio Sanchez created a Sci-Fi comic titled The Amory Wars and each album (except one) tells a part of the story. This article is a bold attempt to rank Coheed and Cambria’s discography. Let’s jump into it!
8.) The Second Stage Turbine Blade
Let’s be honest, this is a weird album. That being said, this album sets the motion to the rest of Coheed and Cambria’s career. Turbine Blade is their first album and begins “The Amory Wars” story. The only reason this album is at the bottom of this list is the fact that the production is not good. Granted, this was pretty good for the time, but it doesn’t age very well. The tracks themselves are great. My personal favorites are “Everything Evil” and “Neverender” as they provide some of the most memorable moments on the album.
Final Grade: B-
7.) Year of the Black Rainbow
Most people would’ve put this one at the bottom of the list, but I think it’s slightly better than people give it credit for. Tracks like “The Broken” and “Here We Are Juggernaut” are the highlights of the album. They provide attitude in a taunting and ominous type of way. There is diversity in the tracks and the genre-blending is toned down compared to previous releases. “Pearl of the Stars” is another track that proves their ability to write memorable songs. This album is more progressive than their other albums and I think it was almost too much for their fans to handle.
Final Grade: B-
6.) The Afterman: Descension
This was part two of a double concept album. There are some great tracks on this album such as “Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant” and “2’s my Favorite One.” This album is more recent in their discography and their sound is way more defined as well as their album production. At this point, they are at the height of their game, and they prove that they can get only get better with each new album. This album wasn’t as good as the first installment of the double concept, but it’s one of their most impressive albums in terms of songwriting.
Final Grade: B+
5.) Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness.
I know that some or even most of you were expecting this record to be placed at the number one spot, but that would be too easy. I can see the argument as this album has some of their most memorable tracks such as “Welcome Home” and “The Suffering” but I think this was just a breakthrough album that people think fondly of. Good Apollo is a very ambitious album and it’s probably the most metal of their discography. Personally, this album was a gateway album for me and it will always have a special place in my heart.
Final Grade: B+
4.) The Color Before the Sun
Remember earlier when I said that there was one exception to Coheed’s concept discography? Well, this is the album I was referring to. The Color Before the Sun is the first album to deviate from “The Amory Wars” saga and it was a pleasant surprise. They proved they can still be an amazing band without the concept gimmick. Tracks like “You’ve got Spirit Kid,” “Here to Mars,” and “Atlas” are some of the band’s most impressive and well-written endeavors in their musical career. In the past, they were very proactive in writing progressive tracks, but this album focused on their pop/punk/rock roots, and it worked extremely well for them. Check it out for a pretty mellow listening experience.
Final Grade: B+
3.) In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
It was very hard to not put this album in the number one spot, but I had to make the tough decision. Silent Earth is one hell of an album and it’s often overlooked. This album had several different styles, but their emo roots really stood out in this one. Tracks like “Blood Red Summer” and “A Favor House Atlantic” are huge examples of their Emo/Pop roots being the forefront of their musical direction. But Tracks like “Three Evils” and “The Crowing” offer some of Coheed’s harsher and more metallic side. Overall, this album had a clear direction in their storytelling, and it has songs that make you want to listen over and over again.
Final Grade: A
2.) The Afterman: Ascension
This is part one of the double concept albums that I mentioned earlier. Ascension is a damn near flawless offering and it showcases C&C’s true power and might. “Domino the Destitute” pretty much sets the tone for the album and tracks like “Holly Wood the Cracked” and “Evagria the Faithful” continue to provide diversity and atmosphere as the story progresses. This album can only be summed up as one of the weirdest and most intriguing releases they have managed to conjure up in their massive career. This is at the number two spot because I feel this album was the turning point for C&C. They finally reached that mature sound and they weren’t afraid to experiment with different sounds and song structures.
Final Grade: A
1.) Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV: No World for Tomorrow
Sitting at the number one spot is No World for Tomorrow. This was the finale of “The Amory Wars” saga, and this felt like a final album. Now…it wasn’t exactly the last album in the story, but it was technically the final in the series. Musically, this album was catchy and it had an attitude. Several of my all-time favorite tracks such as “Feathers” and “The Running Free” were featured in No Tomorrow. The title track “No World for Tomorrow” was such an awesome way to begin an album. That initial riff comes in and you just knew that it was going to kick all of the ass. “Mother Superior” slowed the pace down, but the impressive part is that that was only the halfway point. This album was long, thoughtful, and was technically very aware of what it was trying to achieve. Once again, this album was trying to finish the story, and it succeeded in doing just that. Give it a full listen and I highly recommend their entire discography. Coheed and Cambria deserve way more than they are given credit for.
Final Grade: A+