Co­heed And Cam­bria

Vaxis – Act 1: Un­heav­enly Crea­tures

Classic Rock - - Reviews - Dave ever­ley

Alt.prog nerdlings re­turn to the comic-book source.

Co­heed And Cam­bria have built a ca­reer on geek­ery. When they emerged 20 years ago, the New York band were a Rush for the Nap­ster gen­er­a­tion, weav­ing prog-tinged post-hard­core around a cen­tral nar­ra­tive taken from a sci-fi comic-book story cooked up by main­man Clau­dio Sanchez.

Un­heav­enly Crea­tures, their ninth al­bum, finds them pick­ing up the thread af­ter step­ping away from it for their sole non­con­cep­tual al­bum, 2015’s The Color Be­fore The Sun. For any­one not ini­ti­ated in this self­cre­ated mythos, the lyri­cal ins and outs of the lat­est in­stal­ment might as well be de­liv­ered in Klin­gon.

Un­for­tu­nately, the mu­sic doesn’t pick up the slack. Synth-speck­led near-ti­tle track Un­heav­enly Crea­tures is an early high­light, the stir­ring The Pav­il­lons (A Long Walk Back) floats high on an up­draft of emo­tion, and The Gut­ter is grandiose enough to give Muse a kick in the jet-packs. But at 78 min­utes and 15 very sim­i­lar­sound­ing songs it’s a long and in­di­gestible slog, one made even more tor­tu­ous by Sanchez’s love-it-or-hate-it ket­tle-whis­tle keen.

Any­one who spends their week­ends lurk­ing in the more pun­gent cor­ners of sci-fi/hor­ror/ comic-book shops will lap it up; for ev­ery­one else it’s less Star Wars, more Space Balls.

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