Few names invoke as much majesty in the world of melodic death metal than Swedish …
The first part in a brand new pentalogy, The Unheavenly Creatures the latest studio album from Coheed And Cambria, and marks the next movements in the famed Amory Wars arc.
With the saga set to be a lengthy journey, frontman Claudio Sanchez says of his creation, its story is ready to be told, even if the music isn’t yet there. “I chose the pentalogy format because every Coheed album with the Amory Wars has some sort of numeric value to it,” explains Sanchez. “Everything has its own place in the chronology of the concept.
“This time I chose to use the number five in several different ways within the concept and the way we arranged the album. The number five lends itself a lot in the conceptual side of what we do.
“I had this story in mind – The Unheavenly Creatures really just cracks the surface, introduces us to a new set of characters, a new set of rules, so I figured instead of trying to tell on story in one record, let’s break it up – the number five, because of its significance, just made sense.”
And what an introduction. Breaking out with as much boldness and brashness as Coheed have ever done, The Unheavenly Creatures cries out as being more than just another concept album and a new addition to this ethereal world – this is as much a continuation of a saga and the accompanying visual art as it a personal reflection and emotive offering from Sanchez. “I’d be lying if I said it was all just sci-fi, laser beams and whatever have you,” admits Sanchez. “All of these characters are very much a reflection of myself, my wife, reflections of encounters I’ve crossed. I think Xaxis (character name) is an echo of my son.
It is very personal – all Coheed records are personal – I just feel like when I created the idea in 1998 I had a hard time conversing myself in song, it wasn’t easy for me to be that person and that’s why the concept existed. It was a way to disguise my feelings.
Creating concepts ultimately became a part of Sanchez’s DNA. He liked caking his story and embellishing it to a point of fantasy. “The Unheavenly Creatures is as much about me as it is the characters who are on paper,” he says. Sanchez’s world of fantasy
“When I think of songs made in the typical song structure of the song preference of a particular writer. It’s really a reflection of what genre you want to tell your story in. most people choose an auto-biographical perspective. I choose to tell my story in a sci-fi or fantasy genre.”
Though he’s created a world into which he can escape, Sanchez offers the same escape for the listeners, for those that want more than just a personal experience, who want something a little bit more fantastic. The Unheavenly Creatures speaks in a way other albums don’t.
It possesses a power to influence your imagination, putting you in situations that are not of this world. The overwhelming intricacies of audio and visual art in which Sanchez dwells isn’t one needs to follow completely in order to understand. Anyone who wants to escape into this world, can. “There’s so much history behind Coheed And Cambria it’s hard to think of Coheed as a band without that sort of counterpart,” says Sanchez. “Y’know when you think of Coheed And Cambria you think ‘Oh yeah it’s the comic book band,’ but really it’s not. It’s personal, these songs, and I think there’s something for everyone in them you know a song like luck stars that song to me doesn’t scream sci-fi concept. Y’know a song like concept these songs don’t scream, like you said earlier spaceships and laser beams it just doesn’t do that.
“It’s really up to you as a listener how you relate to this band. If you just want to listen to it for the music there are a lot of universal themes that I think everyone can relate to, and you could never know there was a concept, and I think you can swallow this. But the concept is there should you choose to want more of an experience. Y’know, I don’t think it makes it better, it’s just different.”