With Coheed And Cambria being as popular as they are, whenever I utter anything negative about the act, I am met with the same arguments:
- "Well you must not like his high-pitched voice" - While this is technically true, to me it's not about the vocal range being falsetto or the like. I really enjoy lots of bands whose singer can hit much higher notes then Claudio Sanchez can; Dream Theater, Rush, Styx, Queen (God, think of Queen!), and Manowar (to a point) all have singers that spend their time in the higher vocal range. I love all of these bands, and haven't a problem with one of their lead singers or the high notes they hit. My problem with Claudio Sanchez isn't that he plays in the higher octave, it's that he doesn't do it well. For some reason I find his voice/vocals irritating, I don't know why exactly, I just do, and that is my problem with Coheed And Cambria, first and foremost
- "You haven't given them enough of a chance" - False. I have listened to their entire discography (well not their latest, Year of The Black Rainbow, mostly because I didn't know it was out). I've listened to it all at least twice, and some albums (the first few) more then that! I have done my homework, dedicated the time, I just can't get into it.
- "You obviously don't get the story (or) understand the point" - Another one that is technically true, being not a fan I must be missing something fundamental that others some how see, but I think it is something more. As I said above I love progressive music of all type, so the scope of the story is not daunting to me, nor is all of the side-works and stuff. I listen to tons of bands that pull of concept albums - some that last several albums - they just do it better. Dream Theater, Pink Floyd, King Crimson are all known for their album concepts, and bands like Helloween and Rhapsody of Fire (while not really progressive) have concepts that arc over two, three or four albums. So obviously, scope isn't a problem for me, it's the presentation that bogs me down.
Now, I'm not so pretentious to say, that if given the opportunity to sell out my music for a few millions, a life on the road, and all the pussy I could shake my dick at, that I wouldn't jump at the change. I'm just saying, as an outsider (whom has never had, nor ever will, a chance), that bands that do sell out suck. Being mainstream is not really a good thing, creatively that is.
A side note, that really has nothing to do with the group's music; they look like a group of douchebags. I know, it's a little out of step for me to critique a band based on their appearance, and besides the occasional picture of the group, I don't have a decent representation of the group, but I'm making the claim all the same. Really, it's more about the singer, Claudio Sanchez. I remember a few years ago, when either I was a freshman or sophomore in college and seeing a Coheed And Cambria music video on MTVU in the student cafeteria. I don't know what the song was (based on the time frame it probably was off Good Apollo, Volume One, but again I'm not an avid listener), but the video had something to do vampires or something... they had red eyes is what I recall; anyway Claudio was there, singing his balls-in-a-vice type of vocals, and I remember seeing his outrageous hair (even for metal bands), and what's worse, was his unkempt, curly soul-patch. Now, for those that don't know, a soul-patch is the hair a man grows directly under his lower lip, above the chin. I've got one right now, but it actually grows into my beard, not Claudio. This man had only a soul-patch (if he did have any facial hair it wasn't to the level of the pubes growing under his lip), and it was long and curly and seemed to grow into his mouth. In sort it was disgusting, and I, being a man who can appreciate some decent facial hair, was appalled. Again this has nothing to do with the band or their music, just a personal, facial haired, vendetta I have against Claudio Sanchez, that douche.
So, I ruined my perfectly good conclusion paragraph (the one above the rant), and now need to sum it all up again: On paper, Coheed And Cambria sound like a great band. With their sci-fi background, multiple-album arc stories, and progressive overtones, they should be a slam dunk for a man like myself. But they aren't. I can't stand them, whether it be their poppy-sound, their weird vocals, or even their grotesque facial hair, they rub me the wrong way. I have given them several tries, I even like one or two of their songs, I've heard "Welcome Home" dozens of time from Guitar Hero/Rock Band, and I will probably listen to their newest venture sometime within the next year, but I can't get behind them. Their prog is weak, and I call them out as sell-outs, it's all I can do.