I first got into New York’s modern day prog heroes Coheed and Cambria with their “Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV” albums; “From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness” (2005) and “No World for Tomorrow” (2007). While I did also appreciate their first two albums they somewhat lost me with 2010’s “Year of the Black Rainbow”. “The Afterman” albums (2012/2013) were better but 2015’s “The Color Before the Sun” pretty much passed me by. Which brings us to their ninth studio album.

For those interested in “The Amory Wars”, the science fiction storyline of front man Claudio Sanchez, “Vaxis – Act I” (the first album in a planned five part series) apparently takes place right after “No World for Tomorrow”, and is as such the first sequel to the original trilogy. After three prequels and one album that didn’t relate to the story, “The Unheavenly Creatures” to my ears also marks a return to that early “IV”-style which I first came to love and expect from the band.

The music here is melodic and varied in classic Coheed-style, mixing Rush-influenced progressive, metal, emo, punk, pop and alternative rock. I can totally see “The Dark Sentencer”, “Unheavenly Creatures”, “Toys”, “Queen of the Dark”, “Love Protocol” and “The Gutter” all becoming live favorites for years to come, along with the closing ballad “Lucky Stars”.

Great vocals and catchy melodies along with riffs and hooks galore pretty much sums this album up. With 15 tracks and a playing time of almost 80 minutes, The Unheavenly Creatures does somewhat outstay their welcome. Still, this is good stuff! You owe it to yourself to check it out!

Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures
Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures

Band: Coheed and Cambria
Title: Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures
Label: Roadrunner
Date of release: 2018-10-05
Playing time: 79:19
Rating: 8/10
Stand out track: The Gutter