Record Review - 3 November 13 2003

Feel free to call Coheed and Cambria "emo." Just make sure your frame of reference is more along the lines of Cap'n Jazz rather than Taking Back Sunday. The Nyack, N.Y., quartet has paid its dues on the saturated modern emo circuit that has spawned groups like Thursday, but its lush compositions and prog-tinged sound clearly sets them apart from their contemporaries.

Bandleader Claudio Sanchez has a voice high enough to earn him a prime spot on the Viennese choir circuit, but his melodies are so powerful that his unique vocals really become something to cherish. The perky guitar lines swim fluidly with the solid rhythm section, through chunky metal sections into exultant lead lines that tastefully border on the indulgent.

In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3, the group's second full-length, can best be exemplified by "Light and Glass," its closing number. Clocking in at over nine minutes, the track explores a host of dynamic and melodic changes, all executed tastefully — peppered with organs, a dramatic choral section and an eerie music-box outro. It's a solid song, but when all is said and done, "Light and Glass" is wholly unmoving and unmemorable, a fact that is further embellished by its excessive running time.

Similarly, In Keeping is a good album with no glaring flaws. However, upon hearing gems like "The Crowing," a brooding masterpiece and the most mature song the band has written thus far, we get a glimpse of just how great of an album this could have been.