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Coheed and Cambria 

Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV: Volume 1. From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness (Columbia)

There's good reason for article after article to describe Coheed and Cambria as "the emo Rush." With 2003's In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3, the New York quartet straddled two divergent demographics to strike gold, drawing big crowds at the Warped Tour and attracting increasing numbers of classic-rock fans to its headlining shows. Whether you prefer My Chemical Romance or Pink Floyd, Good Apollo won't disappoint you.

"The Suffering" revisits the handclap refrains and cheerleader choruses that made "A Favor House Atlantic" a big pop single the last time out. "Welcome Home" updates album rock for the 21st century, replacing Led Zeppelin's blues base with uniquely elaborate emo. Singer-guitarist Claudio Sanchez writes each song as part of an ongoing metafictional space opera. In this installment, the characters meet their author, who, heartbroken from a nasty breakup, decides to destroy the universe he's created, reaching that conclusion after a series of duets, dialogues, a 6/8 blues jam, and an instrumental acoustic stomp. Prog rock is alive and well, but if 20-minute solos make a comeback, let's hope Sanchez puts down his doubleneck Gibson and revisits arena rock with an Illudium Pew 36 Explosive Space Modulator.

More by D.X. Ferris

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