Vaxis - Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures Image
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

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7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Amory Wars epic continues in the self-produced ninth full-length studio release for the progressive rock band.
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Oct 9, 2018
    80
    It feels like eighteen years of history, story and fanbase community are coming together like, uh, some sort of keywork.
  2. Oct 4, 2018
    80
    This return to the Amory Wars concept is welcome. Even the few seemingly out of place moments are deliberate diversions to reward longtime fans. That said, in an era of renewed appreciation for prog metal in general, this offering should draw legions of new listeners.
  3. Oct 3, 2018
    80
    If you're a listener here for the details, this stuff is red meat. Sanchez is giving glimpses of where things sit in his universe at the start of the story and hints that his previous set of heroes didn't actually bring down their galactic oppressors. But if you're a listener who's just here for the riffs, it's pretty easy to ignore the voiceover and just dig the synths as they push directly into the album's typically epic opener "The Dark Sentencer".
  4. Oct 9, 2018
    80
    While its current state still qualifies it for a highly regarded honorable mention and a high degree of critical and commercial anticipation for what's to come on Vaxis Acts II through IV.
  5. Oct 3, 2018
    70
    On a song-by-song basis, Sanchez leans into human moments to ground his bigger ideas in connection or struggle. That helps keep the more galactic concepts well-grounded.
  6. Kerrang!
    Oct 3, 2018
    60
    It's diverting stuff, even for those who don't have even the vaguest idea of the plot. [29 Sep 2018, p.55]
  7. Classic Rock Magazine
    Oct 3, 2018
    50
    Anyone who spends their weekends lurking in the more pungent corners of sci-fi/horror/comic-book shops will lap it up; for everyone else it's less Star Wars, more Space Balls. [Oct 2018, p.85]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Oct 6, 2018
    10
    A spectacular return to form! Couple songs could have been cut but a great album
  2. Oct 5, 2018
    10
    It's almost like the band released a "Greatest Hits" album, where each song is built on the foundation of a classic Coheed and Cambria track.It's almost like the band released a "Greatest Hits" album, where each song is built on the foundation of a classic Coheed and Cambria track. Yet, nostalgia never sounded so fresh. While there are highs and lows, the lows are among some of the more powerful weapons in the band's arsenal. For me, it's the strongest album they've made, and it's not close. 5/7 Perfect score.
  3. Oct 10, 2018
    10
    After repeated listens, I still have nothing but great things to say about the album. If I had to describe the sound, It's definitely a mix ofAfter repeated listens, I still have nothing but great things to say about the album. If I had to describe the sound, It's definitely a mix of the first Good Apollo record, In Keeping Secrets and Color Before The Sun. And honestly, Every track works, It really does. It starts off hard and it ends hard, I really enjoy it and feel it's definitely one of their best albums.
  4. Oct 23, 2018
    10
    An absolute masterpiece. The singles were great tracks that were indicative that Coheed hasn't just returned to form but just crushed it outAn absolute masterpiece. The singles were great tracks that were indicative that Coheed hasn't just returned to form but just crushed it out of the park, but some of the best tracks weren't singles. It felt like all everything they have done up until Vaxis was just leading up to this masterpiece. Toys might be my favorite Coheed track of all time. Just a banger. If this is the direction Coheed is going I already can't wait for the rest of Vaxis. The whole album is worth a listen but here are my highlights:

    Toys
    Love Protocol
    Pavilion
    It Walks Among Us
    Gutter
    Old Flames
    Unheavenly Creatures
    Lucky Starts.
  5. Oct 5, 2018
    8
    If, in your mind, "Year of the Black Rainbow" felt too over-produced and forgettable, if "The Afterman" felt too scattershot, or if "The ColorIf, in your mind, "Year of the Black Rainbow" felt too over-produced and forgettable, if "The Afterman" felt too scattershot, or if "The Color Before the Sun" felt too terrestrial, "Vaxis - Act I: The Unheavenly Creatures" should feel like a return to form for Coheed and Cambria.

    Long-time fans will find a lot of familiar smells, story-wise. Once again, we have a story that seems focused on the progeny of two doomed lovers, and once again the first album is more focused on the tale of the lovers than on the progeny himself (but with four more albums, I'm guessing we'll have plenty of time to get to know the titular Vaxis later on). However, unlike "Second Stage Turbine Blade", which attempted to weave a sprawling and still very much unrefined mythology, "Unheavenly Creatures" focuses more squarely on the relationships of the characters and the story (which I have yet to read the novelization of) seems focused on a straightforward space station prison break. That said, the change in perspective is interesting. Claudio is no longer the lost child trying to find himself. He is now a new father tasked with building a future for his child. In that way, not only does the "Vaxis" storyline seem to have a lot of fresh personal experience for Claudio to mine from, it makes "The Color Before the Sun" even more of a turning point in their discography and makes it feel like less of a diversion. One could even see it as the spark that inspired this new pentalogy.

    As for the music itself, it's definitely some of their most ambitious work in years, but with great ambition comes great risk. Most of the risks pay off in spades. A lot of these songs are some of the best work they've ever done. However, I feel like the cost of all this productive experimentation is that the album feels a little bloated. Not every song feels like it's pulling its weight and earning its spot in the 1.3-hour run-time, and so the pacing of the album takes a pretty rough hit. That said, this doesn't come off as laziness. Not by a long shot. If anything, this comes off as almost too much unbridled ambition, and really, unbridled ambition has always been Coheed's defining feature. Maybe not every song was ready for prime time, but even the arguable failures are more interesting than most other bands' successes This album doesn't feel like it comes from a band that's tired or repeating itself. This is a band that refuses to rest on its laurels and continues to push itself in strange new directions.

    I might not suggest this album as a jumping-on point for new listeners, but if you've already acquired a taste for Coheed, this album will almost certainly satisfy your craving and then some.
  6. Oct 5, 2018
    8
    Excellent album with a couple filler tracks.
    I'd considering the Prologue unnecessary. Black Sunday was mundane overall (has a decent outro
    Excellent album with a couple filler tracks.
    I'd considering the Prologue unnecessary. Black Sunday was mundane overall (has a decent outro within it).

    My most loved tracks are:
    The Dark Sentencer
    Toys
    True Ugly
    Love Protocol
    The Gutter
    The Pavillion
    Old Flames
    Lucky Stars (very cool track!)

    S/N: How is Classic Rock Magazine's review a review? That made no sense at all.... they need to fire their writers and reviewers if that's all they could come up with.

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