Coheed And Cambria - The Unheavenly Creatures Album Review

Next up is title track “Unheavenly Creatures”, opening with a synth riff which wouldn’t be out of place in an 8-bit video game before kicking into the chorus, the first of the album’s many great hooks. It’s one of the safer tracks on the record, with a fairly standard structure and leaning into the band’s slightly poppier side, but is an absolute earworm nonetheless. “Toys” is one of the weaker songs on the album; the lyrics get a bit too repetitive by the end, although some strong guitar riffs save it from being a flop.

“Black Sunday” is where the band begins to play around with song structure a bit more; softly sung verses lead into a heavier chorus, before taking an about-turn at the midway point into a slower, more triumphant-sounding bridge. “Queen of the Dark” suffers similar problems of repetitiveness to “Toys”, but the sombre guitar riffs, pounding drums and emotion-laden vocals expertly craft an ominous and dramatic atmosphere that makes it all worth it.

coheed cambria guitar
© Daniel DeSlover/ZUMA Press/Corbis

This is followed by “True Ugly”, a fast-paced, punkish number, and then “Love Protocol”, another pop-ish track with a soaring chorus which acts as one of the strongest hooks on the record and demonstrates Sanchez’s superb vocal range. “The Pavillion (A Long Way Back)” starts off as another slow song with a lovely repeated background riff, before building into another soaring chorus, and gradually adding violins to create a sweet, hopeful melody.

“Night Time Walkers” brings in more synths and distorted vocals, leaning into the sci-fi setting, and is another example of Coheed going back to the tangled, non-conforming structures of their earlier records; around the midway point, the crashing drums cut out, replaced by simple synth and guitar melodies as the previously dark lyrics are replaced with a lighter refrain. “The Gutter” follows with a quiet open that quickly crashes into a slow, heavy number where Sanchez shows off some more aggressive vocals.

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History graduate, metalhead and bad pun enthusiast, freelancing in Newcastle.

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