The Unheavenly Creatures

The Unheavenly Creatures

Coheed and Cambria’s ninth studio album returns to the narrative confines of the emo-prog titans’ Amory Wars saga, a dense sci-fi conceit involving viruses and anti-terrorist agencies that they took a brief break from on 2015’s The Color Before the Sun. But you don’t need a decoder ring to enjoy the group’s latest, which finds frontman Claudio Sanchez and his virtuosic bandmates applying post-hardcore’s burn and progressive rock’s intricate song structures to epic-sounding melodies and passionate grandeur. “Toys” and “The Pavilion (A Long Way Back)” are as catchy as they are technologically flashy, and the album’s sighing final suite—especially the lush piano skyscapes of “Old Flames” and the plaintive balladry of “Lucky Stars”—serves as a tender and hopeful coda to C&C’s latest opus.

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