Progressive rock has not had a popular band since the ‘70s, when grandiose, virtuosic music about science fiction was cool. However, Coheed and Cambria are looking to change that. The band features a science fiction storyline, frequently incorporates a synthesizer and other toys into its rock music, and, the coup de gras, has a vocalist with a high-pitched voice.
“World of Lines” off of the band’s album, “Year of The Black Rainbow,” shies away from the synthesizers and specials effects for a moment and focuses more on straightforward hard rock. The guitars of vocalist Claudio Sanchez and Travis Stever and the drumming of Chris Pennie are heavy.
The plot, like any other Coheed and Cambria song, is based on “The Amory Wars,” a graphic novel series written by Sanchez. If the listener doesn’t understand the story, it’s all right. Few Coheed fans have even taken the time to make sense of what Sanchez is singing about. What is important is Sanchez’s ability to sing it.
Sanchez’s voice might not be fit for a choir, but he injects so much passion into his vocals that it’s easy to forgive him. His chorus cry of “just leave us alone” wraps the listener up in its defensiveness. The listener doesn’t know who is doing the harassing, nor why, but after listening to Sanchez wail, it’s tough not to have his back.
Coheed and Cambria has never been overt about its political beliefs (politics on Earth, that is) but “World of Lines” seems to hold some commentary. Sanchez criticizes “lines,” which separate the weak from the strong during the first verse while the refrain chastises those who attempt to cross or alter those lines. This might be a commentary on Earth society, or perhaps just a plot point in Sanchez’s story.
Regardless of the song’s intentions, it’s a propulsive number and deserves a fist pump.