Album: The Second Stage Turbine Blade by Coheed & Cambria
Released: March 5th, 2002
Coheed & Cambria is an American progressive rock band that was formed in 1995 in Nyak, New York and released their first full-length album, The Second Stage Turbine Blade, in 2002. Fraught with line-up changes in the mid-late 2000’s, the band currently consists of founding members Claudio Sanchez (lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards), Travis Stever (lead guitar, backing vocals), Josh Eppard (drums, keyboards, backing vocals), and bassist Zach Cooper who joined the band in 2011. Coheed & Cambria are known for their use of odd time signatures, concept albums based on a science fiction story by Sanchez, and their rabid fanbase. The band has released eight studio albums; the first seven albums all focus on the Kilgannon family and their role in the war to save the worlds they live on from the evil Tri-mage Wilhelm Ryanwith, while 2015’s The Color Before the Sun is the only non-concept record. The band returns to the sci-fi concept with their upcoming album, Vaxis – Act 1: The Unheavenly Creatures, which will be released on October 5th.
**Spoiler Alert – Story Details Ahead**
The Story and the Songs:
The album begins with “Second Stage Turbine Blade”, an instrumental introduction that set the tone for the opening songs of subsequent albums. The story of these albums concerns the Kilgannon family and the tragedy that comes about in their lives. Drums kick in to start “Time Consumer”, an initially slow tune that soon jolts in with fuzzy guitars and Sanchez’s signature high voice. The lyrics of “Devil in Jersey City” describes the sexual assault of the main character’s sister, Josephine, over-top a propelling punk background. “Everything Evil” begins with a high hat and the platter of palm-muted guitars while “Delirium Trigger” is a sneaking, creepy tune that makes lyrical reference to the 1979 science fiction horror film, Alien.
“Hearshot Kid Disaster” continues the trend of introducing a riff before abandoning it for the remainder of the song, along with more post-hardcore screams and harmonic guitars. “33” packs on a faster pace and is reminiscent of pop-punk with its pinch harmonics and catchy melodies. “Junesong Provision” chugs in with a heavier amount of direct references to the concept behind the album as the main character, Claudio, writes a letter to his girlfriend explaining that he cannot see her again. “Neverender” is a fan favorite song that gave its name to a concert series in 2008 where the band played their first four albums for four nights in a row at four venues. “God Send Conspirator” is the most prog-rock song on the album due its length and use of more clean guitars. It finishes the album with the hidden track, “IRO-bot”, which consists of acoustic guitar, Sanchez’s singing, and a shifting siren reminiscent of a spaceship’s alarm going off.
The Second Stage Turbine Blade made Coheed & Cambria stand out for many reasons: Sanchez’s high voice, the song arrangements, the musicianship, and blending of genres. It is difficult to match the events of the story on a song-by-song basis, but it effectively sums up to the married couple, Coheed & cCambria, being duped into murdering three of their four children by the evil dictator, Wilhelm Ryan. Their son, Claudio, escapes the slaughter and goes into hiding. After this, a virus is released in their blood to destroy the 78 worlds in the galaxy known collectively as Heaven’s Fence. This is thwarted, however, and only nine planets are separated from the rest (breaking off to become our solar system). That is a very simplified overview of what happens in the story, and if you would like to find out more the comics that tell the story of The Second Stage Turbine Blade were collected in an Ultimate edition that was originally released in 2011; they can be read digitally and purchased on amazon.
Please enjoy some song recommendations, a song from the album, and check out the band’s social media accounts below!
Song recommendations: “Everything Evil” , “Delirium Trigger” , “God Send Conspirator”