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  • Writer's pictureConny Chavez

Album Review: Coheed and Cambria – Vaxis — Act II: A Window of the Waking Mind

Updated: Nov 16, 2022


A masterpiece of emo adventure

Coheed and Cambria recently released their 10th studio album, Vaxis — Act II: A Window of the Waking Mind. The 13-track album is another concept album that continues The Amory Wars storyline, an ongoing series of science fiction created by Coheed and Cambria’s frontman Claudio Sanchez and is narrated through the band’s lyrics in every studio album. The album is the second part of a five-chapter story arc, following the 2018 album Vaxis – Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures. Following the band’s longest pause between albums, Coheed and Cambria have gifted fans another masterpiece.

The progressive rock band was formed in 1995 in New York. Coheed and Cambria consist of vocalist and keyboardist Claudio Sanchez, vocalist and guitarist Travis Stever, bassist Zach Cooper and drummer Josh Eppard. All of the band’s albums, except for 2015’s The Color Before The Sun, are concept albums forming part of The Armory Wars series. Sanchez expands his science fiction comics through the band’s passionate albums.

Vaxis— Act II: A Window of the Waking Mind begins with “The Embers of Fire.” Though the song is less than two minutes, it is the most climactic track from the album. A soft piano melody accompanied by a child’s gentle voice lures the listener in, suddenly a heavy drum shatters the peaceful sound and is accompanied by intense strings and a child’s scream creating a climactic scenery. “Beautiful Losers” continues the intensity, but quickly settles into a classic alternative rock emo rhythm that seems all too familiar yet pleasantly new.

The space opera adventures are vividly illustrated in the hard-hitting track “Shoulders.” The catchy drum beat and guitar riffs are quite hypnotic. The electropop track “A Disappearing Act,” is a bit more electronic than previous work and is one of the best dancing beats from the album. Things slow down with “Our Love,” a short, stripped track but deeply sentimental. “Ladders of Supremacy” and “Rise Naianasha (Cut The Cord)” are perfectly connected through gripping guitar riffs complementing heavy percussions composing great progressive heavy metal tracks. The album closes with the near 9-minute title track which is a journey all on its own. The heavy metal rhythm slows down every minute for narrations taking listeners deeper into the storyline. “Window of the Waking Mind” is the icing on the cake with various ups and downs that perfectly tie everything together.

Coheed and Cambria take fans on a new journey, not only with The Armory Wars series, but through the various genres within Vaxis — Act II: A Window of the Waking Mind. The album touches on emo, switching to progressive heavy metal, electropop, alternative rock and more. Vaxis – Act II: A Window of the Waking Mind is a musical and emotional journey that will have fans soaring through Heaven’s Fence – a planetary system and setting of The Armory Wars. Coheed and Cambria follow the release of their 10th studio album with A Window of the Waking Mind Tour, visiting major cities such as Miami, Atlanta, Boston, and many more.


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