AudioHammock's Top 20 Coheed and Cambria Songs


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Starting this week, Coheed and Cambria will embark on their 10 year anniversary Neverender Tour for their Sophomore album In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3. For some of you, you're probably thinking, "Who cares, that guy's (girl's?) vocals are terrible and I hate that band," while others of you are beyond stoked that the band will be playing the entire album from front to back on twenty-five dates around the US. In an effort to honor and celebrate this tour, I've developed what I claim as the Ultimate Fanboy Top 20 list for Coheed. Some of you hardcore fans might not agree with the list, but please remember, this is just one person's opinion. If you don't agree, I welcome you to share your list in the comments section below. This list is also discussed in it's entirety on AudioHammock Podcast #25.

20-12

#20 - Three Evils (Embodied In Love And Shadow)
Album: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
Year: 2003

This is the epitome of where Coheed started from at its core. There is a punk element with a tinge of pop here. There is so much space happening on this track that you can hear everything production wise that is going on. I especially like Josh's drumming style in this song because it pops but there is so much air between hits. It might be because he isn't playing anything too crazy, but its one of his best drumming performance during the early stages of Coheed.


#19 - The Willing Well III: Apollo II: The Telling Truth
Album: Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One
Year: 2005

There is some abrasiveness on this track, but what cause this track to be on the list is all of things that are going on in the background guitar-wise. There are some pretty slick riffs going on and Mic Todd's bass line is actually audible for most of the song. There are some rising and falling riffs in the middle of the track that work so well, and the cymbal hits by Josh work so well in the open space.


#18 Gravemakers and Gunslingers
Album: Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two
Year: 2007

This is a fast paced barn-burner of a song. The opening riff sounds more like an opening solo which I absolutely dig. Claudio harmonizing with himself is also a cool touch. Also, those guitar riffs around the three minute mark are smokin' before the track plays out probably the best solo on the album No World for Tomorrow.


#17 Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry The Defiant
Album: The Afterman: Ascension
Year: 2012

I fell in love with this song when the initial acoustic version was released and dug it even more when I heard it amplified. Such a deep message. There is so much restrained pain in the song. Such a great capture of raw emotion in the song.


#16 Iron Fist
Album: The Afterman: Descension
Year: 2013

From the newest album, what I really like about this song is that you can actually hear new bassist Zach Cooper all over it. I admit that there are times that it was extremely hard to hear former bassist Mic Todd on some Coheed songs. I am a huge Pearl Jam fan and that bass tone is reminiscent, to me, like Jeff Ament and I love it for that. In addition, it is nice to hear Josh Eppard providing harmonies with Claudio. Their voices work very well together.


#15 Far
Album: Year of the Black Rainbow
Year: 2010



There is so much of Atticus Ross all over this song, and frankly, the rest of Year of the Black Rainbow. I know that it pisses people off too, but I can't get over the "OH" in the vocals around the minute mark., etc. There is a lot of self-identification in this song, especially a lot of personal stuff that comes up with this song. Musically, the drums sound a bit too manufactured, but the textures and layers are so pleasing. Not to mention, like always, Claudio kills it vocally.


#14 God Send Conspirator
Album: Second Stage Turbine Blade
Year: 2002

Man. This song. Seriously. This song is where you can hear where Coheed is now. There is some cool things going on guitar wise. Though the bass is a bit more muted, the song writing mechanics are there. There is a slow build to the track that I like a lot as well. As stated from before on the Second Stage tracks, there is such a sense of openness, like you can actually stand in the space created by the music. Its such a pure form for the band. The riffing is fantastic here too.


#13 The End Complete V: On The Brink
Album: Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two
Year: 2007

Such a cool intro to a really great song. Its somber, and allows you to know that the album is slowly coming to a close while also reprising some of the sounds that you've heard from the band before. I also feel like this is Coheed's Pink Floyd track. The strings included are well thought out and the guitar tones used are very hypnotic. This is something I would expect to hear from Gilmour and company, actually.


#12 The Velourium Camper III: Al The Killer
Album: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
Year: 2003

One phrase: Die white girls.


11-6

#11 Welcome Home
Album: Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One
Year: 2005

Some of you might be upset that this song is appearing here. Let me tell you why: It is a song that EVERYONE knows if you mention Coheed. Its been used in movies. They close every show with it. While I don't disagree that it is a good song, it isn't their best, in my opinion. Honestly, I thought about leaving it off the list, but didn't only because it truly has some great composition to it. The solo melts faces. It is a great song, but, at this point in the band's discography, there are better songs, thus its placement here.


#10 Elf Tower New Mexico [B-Side]
Album: Second Stage Turbine Blade B-side
Year: 2002



Yeah. It's a B-side, but who cares? This is a long one from Second Stage Turbine Blade that has some cool elements even during the infancy of the band. There are a lot of layers happening here that we hear on later Coheed albums. There are a lot of cool, deep bass parts on the track as well and Claudio's voice really shines here as well.


#9 Key Entity Extraction I: Domino The Destitute
Album: The Afterman: Ascension
Year: 2012

The opening riff for this song immediately hooked me the first time I heard it. Not to sound too punny about it, but it rocks you like a boxer punching your lights out. While there is a bit more production behind this song than earlier Coheed releases, it fits where the band is at the time and the song writing by Claudio allows the listener to experience the pain and disgust that Claudio felt regarding the incident that transpired with one of the former band members. Sonically, there is a darker side to the band on this track and the guitar work just blazes from the first note to the last.


#8 The Black Rainbow
Album: Year of the Black Rainbow
Year: 2010

A song that came out from a studio session during Year Of The Black Rainbow, there is a lot of producer Atticus Ross on this track. There are tons of layers happening, and while there really isn't a lot of lyrics, that is okay in that, sonically, the band really seemed to be working well together as this is the first record that Chris Pennie, the band's former drummer really got to play on. In addition, the band effectively uses the crescendo they've used so many times before to start out soft and evolve the song to make some really killer tones.


#7 Delerium Trigger
Album: The Second Stage Turbine Blade
Year: 2002

I wish I could say that this was the first Coheed track that I ever heard, but unfortunately, I was a little late to the game. That said, the first 15 seconds of the song are some of the best in the Coheed discography. The listener really gets a sense of some of the story that the band is based on with this song as well. There is also some really cool guitar work between Claudio and Travis on this song, and it really goes to show that the band had a lot of potential even on such an early album. I also really like the fact that the bass is audible on this song, unlike later Coheed albums. Production-wise it is one of those songs that you feel like you might be able to stand in since there is so much space within the music. Everything is able to breath and all the tones aren't compressed like some rock records. While Coheed doesn't sound like this anymore, especially with their production, there are certain spots within the song that you can hear later songs that had evolved from this 5 minutes of musical genius.


#6 Pearl of the Stars
Album: Year of the Black Rainbow
Year: 2010

Ultimately, this song appears here because of the song textures that are contained in the track. It starts of gentle and slow, and rises to a really awesome guitar solo at the end. I must also say that it appears here because of a personal reason, but that's not to say that it would appear lower if there wasn't a personal reason behind it. The soft violin parts that are layered within the song really tug at me and the solo washes over the rest of the stringed section extremely well. Though a lot of people don't like this album as a whole, perhaps because of the Atticus Ross connection, there are some really cool sounds happening on the record and on this song.


5-1

#5 Gravity's Union
Album: The Afterman: Descension
Year: 2013

The swell on this song is what gets me every time. It is similar to what we've heard from the band in the past, and though some will say that they use the crescendo too much in their songs, it really fits well here. I can't help but belt out the final lyrics of the song each time I hear it, that's for sure. Though there are a lot of things happening in the production that buries Josh Eppard's drum parts here and there, you can still hear the pop of his drums in spaces where it really needs to be there. The composition and the arrangement of the song are what causes it to make it to number five as well as the chunky electric and bass guitar riffs happening throughout.


#4 Mother Superior
Album: Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two
Year: 2007



This song appears here, mainly because of the Nervous Energies version that came out a couple of years ago. That said, just because I said doesn't mean that it doesn't deserve to be at number four on it's own. This is another one of those Coheed songs that I can't help but sing along to when I hear it. (Russ, please post the nervous energies version within the list, please)


#3 The Light & The Glass
Album: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
Year: 2003

This song starts out extremely sweet with some soothing acoustic picking that we've started to grow accustomed to from the band. Claudio sounds very contemplative in the beginning of the song as well I can't lie - the song makes me smile just thinking about the fact that it sounds like Claudio has a huge smile on his face when he is singing it. As the song continues, there are some nice spots where the bass comes through really well before evolving from acoustic picking to chugging guitars. There is also a cool organ sound on this song that translates extremely well live. This is also the first time we really hear Travis use the talk box effect on his guitar before the cool mini solo comes through. This song is so good because of the evolution that it goes through from start to finish. A true masterpiece.


#2 In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
Album: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3
Year: 2003

This is the best song to see live. I dare say that this is the anthem for all those that call themselves Children of the Fence. There is that killer crescendo that gets me every time. If I was an athlete this would be the song that would get me amped up before a game, but, instead, I am a DJ and this is the song that I listen to before I start every radio show. It's a call to all those that should prepare for battle. Man your own jackhammer. Man your battle stations, my friends.


#1

The Willing Well IV: The Final Cut
Album: Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One
Year: 2005


Now, some might say that this is way too ironic or that I planned the list his way. I promise you, that I did not have any preconceived notion that this song would end up at number one, but by golly, it did. What gets me on this song is the instrumentation. Lyrically, it sounds cool, but the guitars are what get me. While listening to the album version, there is a hint of longing in the vocal that really captures the emotion that Claudio might have been feeling when writing the song. The bass tones here are awesome as well, as they sound deep and beefy. I've said it before throughout the list, and I will reiterate it here: the band knows how to write solid compositions. All the space here is full, yet there is so much space throughout the song as well. That said, ultimately, what gets me is Travis's use of the talk box on the live version from The Last Supper show and the fact that it seems like all the members are having a conversation with their instruments.


Anthony Saia

Co-founder

Anthony Saia helped co-found AudioHammock in the summer of 2013 and is the acting AudioHammock audio engineer and host of the AudioHammock Podcast. He also happens to be one of the world's biggest Deftones fans.
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