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Review: Coheed and Cambria - Second Stage Turbine Blade
Ever wonder what would happen if you mixed the progressive showmanship of Rush with Dashboard Confessional's emotional escapism? Me neither, but Coheed and Cambria has been described as that exact mix-up more times that I'd like to recall. While it's easy to understand the Rush comparison, with lead singer Claudio Sanchez's high-pitched vocal delivery. The emo label is a little less obvious, the band's sound may fit into the 'emo' genre, but the lyrical content certainly does not.
Second Stage Turbine Blade is a concept album. The album contains the first of 4 chapters of a space-age epic featuring 2 main characters, Coheed and Cambria. The tale begins with the creation of the universe, 3 races are created by the supreme force known only as 'God'; Mage, Prise and Man. Each species was given a certain task, and should they stray from their given trail, God would return and destroy all he created. Soon the lust for power and greed overwhelms the Mages and a war breaks out, many lose their lives and a brutal dictatorship propels the universe into a dark age. Yes, that's right folks, this 'emo' band is singing about a sci-fi epic where the fate of the universe depends on the decisions of 2 beings, each holding the key to survival within their very DNA.
Now before you run away from the sheer absurdity and nerd factor of the concept, you should know this: the music is very accessible and melodic; A blend of progressive musicianship and songwriting, as well as melodic poppy hooks. Most of the songs are driven by Claudio's impressive vocal range, creating a unique sound. The band combines poppy vocal hooks with intricate, progressive guitar work and leaves the listener with a distinct and unique sound that is immediately recognizable.
The album opens with an ambient piece, the 'theme' for the album, and soon drops into "Time Consumer". This sets the stage for the album, solid drumming over sparkly guitars and bass. Slowly the song builds into a heavier, more progressive sound, and sadly this is where the disc's only downfall comes into play. The recording quality and production falls short. The distorted guitars sound thin and transparent, causing the drums to become far too prominent. However, after listening to a few songs you quickly ignore the mix and focus on Claudio's vocals, which are spot on throughout the entire disc.
Songwriting is always overlooked in modern music with the formulaic intro-verse-chorus style of writing becoming more and more common (Thanks a lot Beatles!). C&C very rarely use this formula. While they do keep constrained to the same elements, most songs do have defined verse sections, which then blend into a chorus or hook at some point. The music tends to meander around the same musical ideas during the course of a song. Each track will climax into a hook only to fall into an ambient, feedback laden section. The interesting songwriting makes the entire album sound like a single song. Each piece will flow into the next, and since all of the songs are telling the same lyrical story, you could probably argue that the album is in fact a single track, but we won't get into that here.
If you can manage to get past Claudio's vocals, you will probably find yourself looking for more and more info on this band. They have release a live DVD/CD that you can pick up to see the band in action. Their live disc sounds far better than the production of this one
Chris Elkjar is the founder of 'trust.me' an online music magazine for the enthusiast. He spends all of his spare time immersed in music, be it writing reviews, interviews with leading bands or writing his own music.
For more of his writing, check out Trust-Me.ca - Music for robots
The Post-rock Revolution (Explosions in the sky)
A lot has been said about the 'post-rock' revolution as of late. The rise of instrumental bands such as Explosions in the sky, Godspeed you! black emperor, Maserati, and The Mercury Program has raised questions about the direction that music is traveling. More and more people are looking for something different, something fresh. We are sick of the same pop songs being shoveled down our throats, we are sick of mindless rap, we are sick of mindless rock. We are sick of mindless music. So what happens when you remove the vocal aspect of music? It becomes exceedingly difficult to fall into the 'mindless' category; the instrumental soundscapes allow your mind to apply its own story to the music. It's remarkable what happens when you let the listener dictate the theme of the music.
Does Your Band Need a Manager?
New bands looking to book gigs and establish contacts often start looking for a manager to handle the business aspects of their music. This is especially the case in cities with big music scenes, like New York, Los Angeles and Austin.
14 Ways Musicians Can Increase Their Tips
I was listening to NPR the other day when they did a report on tipping in the restaurant industry. One they had a list of tips on how wait staff can increase their tips.
The Future for Independent Record Labels
Small independent record labels are facing a different fight today to obtain a share of the music industry. The best possible means in which small labels were able to get their CD's sold vanished in 2003 when Southwest Wholesale Records and Tapes closed the doors. The ability to have their music placed in a position to be sold along the same shelves as the major record labels is becoming increasingly more difficult. The absence of competition on the shelves has generated an increase in profits for the major labels. What can smaller more nimble labels do to compete with the major labels?
Music & Emotions: Can Music Really Make You a Happier Person?
How many times have you turned to music to uplift you even further in happy times, or sought the comfort of music when melancholy strikes?
Music Industry Insider: Tess Taylor of NARIP and LAMN
Members of LAMN (founded in 1988) and NARIP (founded in 1998), are able to more quickly gain the insight, knowledge, and contact information they need for career development and career enhancement.
How to Start Your Own Band
Every once in awhile a guitar student will express a desire to be in a band someday.If this is your ambition too, then read on. Whether you're a guitar player or not doesn't really matter. If you are a talented singer or musician then the question is, do YOU want to be in a band? In this article you will find some helpful ideas on how to get started in that direction.
Six Reasons to Play New Age Piano
Here are six very good reasons to learn how to play piano in the New Age style:
Bono: From Music To Fashion To Helping The Poor
U2s lead singer Bono isn't content with being part of a top band. Fashion and Music ? well I'm sure they can mix! Bono was born Paul David Hewson in 1960 in Dublin Ireland. His stage name is Bono.
The Acoustic Guitar
The steel-stringed acoustic guitar is usually credited with being developed by C.F. Martin and Company sometime during the 1830s. Although other "gut-stringed" acoustics were around at that time, it was the Martin Company that introduced the idea of crossbracing underneath the soundboard which enabled the guitar to support the heavier steel strings. Because there is approximately 160 lbs. of tension created by the use of steel strings, they should never be put on a classic guitar, for it is not strong enough to carry them. But thanks in part to C.F. Martin's new design, the use of steel strings on acoustic guitars became fairly common by the end of the 1800s, and by the 1930s it became a standardized component.
The Open Position Piano Chord
Chords. They're amazing. There's no doubt about it. Especially when it comes to piano playing and the Open Position Chord. Here we can use both hands to create music with. The chord is broken up into its main elements and its voicing is spread out which gives it a nice open sound. The sound that's perfect for the New Age style.
Top Rap Song
After months of email and posts, we've finally compiled and rated what you submitted as the top rap songs of all time. At first we tried to rank these, but we realized that due to the diverse nature of these songs it seemed unfair to do so. Depends on personal opinion, right? Wrong!
Chords or Melody First... Which is Best?
There are basically two ways you can compose a piece of music. The first and most traditional way is to write out the melody and then harmonize it. Some call this working from the top (as opposed to the chords on the bottom.) The second approach is where you create some kind of rhythmic harmonic pattern and improvise (or compose) the melody on top. Now, which one is best for New Age music?
Lori Nuic Sparkles
A soulful vibe along with an amazing voice is what Lori Nuic is gifted with, she got the crowd grooving as she performed at Launch Pad at the Cameron House for the first time.
Patriotic Music: Surprising Secrets About Those Flag-Waving Sounds
Whether played by a marching band, an orchestra, or a rock group, there are patriotic tunes that everyone in America finds familiar, exciting and uplifting. But how much do you know about how these songs were created? And what do you know about the people who wrote them?
Making Music As A Lefty
Author Interview with Ryan Thomson, seacoast New Hampshire resident, and author of a new book advocating left handed violin playing by lefties. - Playing Violin and Fiddle Left Handed.
George Winston and New Age Piano Playing
The first time I heard George Winston play back in the early 1980's I was blown away. I didn't know why I liked this music. All I knew was that it made me feel good and that was enough. I didn't even play piano back then but something about this music seeped into me almost haunting me. The way he let the notes ring out and wasn't concerned with pop flavorings. A new sound for the time.
Play The Piano Like A Pro
Meet the 12 Major Notes:
How to Create an Original Melody
Here's a method I use that works. First, sit down at your piano or keyboard and just improvise. I suggest improvising first because music that is created in this way is at its freshest. It's not adulterated or thought up. It is pure inspiration. Now, there will come times during improvisation where you may say to yourself, "this is nice and I'd like to develop it." You see, now you have an original melody to develop.
5 Sure Fire Ways to Get Radio Play for Your ?Independent? Music!
You have to find radio airplay time if you're going to be heard and we're not just talking the local college campus. The trick is called promotion. Now that doesn't mean you just put your press kit in an envelope with a demo and hope they take pity on you. Perhaps you call a station and they give you the standard pitch of, "Send it and if we like it we'll put you in rotation." After a few months of never hearing your music, you automatically think you're not worthy.
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