The Afterman: Ascension

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The Afterman: Ascension
Studio album by Coheed and Cambria
Released October 9, 2012
Recorded November 2011 – June 2012 Applehead Recording Woodstock, NY
Genre Progressive rock, new prog, alternative rock, progressive metal,[1] alternative metal,[2] post-hardcore[3]
Length 39:29
Label Hundred Handed/Everything Evil
Producer Coheed and Cambria, Michael Birnbaum, Chris Bittner
Coheed and Cambria chronology
Year of the Black Rainbow
The Afterman: Ascension
The Afterman: Descension
Singles from The Afterman: Ascension
  1. "Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute"
    Released: August 28, 2012
  2. "The Afterman"
    Released: November 16, 2012

The Afterman: Ascension is the sixth studio album by progressive rock band Coheed and Cambria. It is the first part of a double album, the second part of which is The Afterman: Descension. The band took seven months to record the albums between 2011 and 2012, released a live acoustic version of "Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant" (which appears on The Afterman: Descension) in February 2012, and announced a release date of October 9 later that year. The first single was "Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute", released in August 2012. It is the first Coheed and Cambria album since 2005's Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness to feature Josh Eppard on drums, and the first to feature Zach Cooper on bass. The album received mainly positive reviews.

The deluxe version of the album was released with a coffee-table book written by band member Claudio Sanchez and edited by Evil Ink Comics' Chondra Echert and Blaze James, intended to give a song-by-song experience of the concept album. The album follows the Amory Wars storyline, and concentrates on the character Sirius Amory.

Background and recording[edit]

Coheed and Cambria began recording the double album in November 2011,[4] and had finished recording by June 2012.[5] It is the first Coheed and Cambria album featuring Zach Cooper on bass, and the first to feature Josh Eppard on drums since Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness released in 2005.[6]

In February, 2012, Coheed and Cambria singer/guitarist Claudio Sanchez released a self-shot acoustic rendition of a new song titled "Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant" via the band's official YouTube channel.[7] The song later turned out to be on the second album, The Afterman: Descension.[8]

On August 7, 2012, Rolling Stone revealed that the first single and music video from the album would be "Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute".[9] Later the same day they played the song for the first time as part of their set in Tucson, Arizona.[10] The single was released digitally on August 28, along with a music video.[11] Two weeks before the album's release, the band premiered the studio version of the title track "The Afterman" on Rolling Stone.[12]

The band released a music video for "The Afterman" on November 16.


The album was released in both digital and physical formats on October 9, 2012; the second part was released on February 5, 2013.[13] The album name and release date were announced on July 31, 2012 via a press release and a YouTube teaser video, featuring a man in a spaceship he refers to as "All Mother".[14] Coheed and Cambria co-produced the album with Michael Birnbaum and Chris Bittner under the label Hundred Handed/Everything Evil and will be distributed by Fontana/INgrooves.[15]

The deluxe version of the album will be released with a hardcover coffee-table book of the album's Amory Wars storyline, the concept all Coheed and Cambria's albums follow. The book is written by Sanchez. The double album will tell the story of Sirius Amory, the namesake of the concept, as he explores the energy source holding together the Keywork (the 78 worlds in which the Amory Wars is set) and finds that it is in fact a horrible afterlife for departed souls.[9] The artwork for the book will be created by Heidi Taillefer and Nathan Spoor, and the book is expected to provide a "song-by-song" experience for the listener.[15]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 74/100[16]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[17]
Artist Direct 5/5 stars[18]
The A.V. Club B [19]
Consequence of Sound 3/5 stars[20]
Kerrang! 4/5 stars[21]
Mojo 3/5 stars [22]
Popmatters 8/10 [23]
Q 6/10 [24]
Rock Sound 8/10 [25]
Sputnikmusic 3.5/5 [26]

The album has received mainly positive reviews, gaining 75/100 on Metacritic from twelve reviews.[16] Artist Direct singled out the album as the band's "best album to date".[18] Allmusic criticized the album for being "a bit of a mess" due to the scale of its ambition,[17] though it acknowledged that this could be forgiven as there is "so much here that works".[17] Both The A.V. Club and Sputnikmusic rated the album as a step forward for the band.[19][26]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Claudio Sanchez and arranged by Coheed and Cambria. Segues written and arranged by Claudio Sanchez and Josh Eppard.

The Afterman: Ascension
No. Title Length
1. "The Hollow"   2:11
2. "Key Entity Extraction I: Domino the Destitute"   7:51
3. "The Afterman"   3:11
4. "Mothers of Men"   4:11
5. "Goodnight, Fair Lady"   3:23
6. "Key Entity Extraction II: Holly Wood the Cracked"   3:26
7. "Key Entity Extraction III: Vic the Butcher"   5:47
8. "Key Entity Extraction IV: Evagria the Faithful"   6:22
9. "Subtraction"   3:07
Total length:




Coheed and Cambria[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]


  • Heidi Taillefer – cover art
  • Nathan Spoor – interior art
  • Bill Scoville – package design and additional graphics


The Afterman: Ascension debuted at #5 in the Billboard 200 on October 17, 2012.[29] It also reached #11 in the Canadian Albums Chart[30] and #5 in the UK Rock Album Chart.[31]

Year Chart Peak
2012 Billboard 200[29] 5
2012 Canadian Albums Chart[30] 11
2012 UK Rock Album Chart[31] 5


  1. ^ "Preview: Progressive band Coheed and Cambria keeps sci-fi concept going through seventh album - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". 2013-02-07. Retrieved 2013-10-07. 
  2. ^ Alex Mar (2005-09-28). "Disturbed, Bon Jovi Rule the Chart". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-04-04. 
  3. ^ "Coheed and Cambria Overview". Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  4. ^ Bryan VanGelder (2011-10-18). "NYCC Interview with Claudio Sanchez Of Coheed And Cambria". Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  5. ^ "Coheed and Cambria Finish New Album - News Article". Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  6. ^ "Coheed And Cambria announce new double album 'The Afterman' and UK tour – ticket details | News". Nme.Com. 2012-08-01. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  7. ^ Ableson, Jon (2009-08-20). "Coheed And Cambria Perform New Song "Sentry The Defiant"". Alter The Press!. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  8. ^ "Nathan Spoor – Products". Nathan Spoor. Retrieved 2012-09-27. 
  9. ^ a b Greg Prato. "Coheed and Cambria Ready Two More Installments of Career-Long Saga | Music News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  10. ^ "Coheed And Cambria Perform New Single "Domino: The Destitute" In Tucson, AZ | – Metal, Hardcore And Rock News, Reviews And More". Retrieved 2012-08-21. 
  11. ^ "New Coheed Single/Video". Sputnikmusic. 2012-08-28. Retrieved 2012-08-28. 
  12. ^ Rolling Stone (2012-09-26). "Song Premiere: Coheed and Cambria, 'The Afterman' | Music News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-09-26. 
  13. ^ "Coheed and Cambria Announce New Double Concept Album "The Afterman"". The Audio Perv. 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  14. ^ "Coheed And Cambria Announce New Double Album And UK Tour! | News | Rock Sound". Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  15. ^ a b "> News > COHEED AND CAMBRIA - The Afterman: Ascension Album Trailer Posted; New Double Album Details Revealed". Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  16. ^ a b "The Afterman: Ascension". Metacritic. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c Jurek, Thom. "Coheed and Cambria: The Afterman: Ascension: Review". Allmusic. Retrieved October 9, 2012. 
  18. ^ a b Florino, Rick. "Coheed and Cambria "The Afterman: Ascension" Album Review". Artist Direct. Retrieved October 8, 2012. 
  19. ^ a b Heller, Jason. "Coheed And Cambria: The Afterman: Ascension: Review / The A.V. Club". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 9, 2012. 
  20. ^ Coplan, Chris. "Album Review: Coheed and Cambria – The Afterman: Ascension". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved October 21, 2012. 
  21. ^ Paul, Travers (October 2012), "Coheed and Cambria: The Afterman: Ascension", Kerrang! (1435): 54 
  22. ^ "The Afterman: Ascension review", Mojo, November 2012: 103 
  23. ^ Blum, Jordan. "Coheed and Cambria: The Afterman: Ascension < PopMatters". Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  24. ^ "Coheed and Cambria – The Afterman: Ascension", Q, March 2013 
  25. ^ Hidden, Chris (November 2, 2012), "Coheed and Cambria – The Afterman: Ascension", Rock Sound (167) 
  26. ^ a b Sowing, Season. "Coheed And Cambria – The Afterman: Ascension (staff review)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved October 12, 2012. 
  27. ^ "INgrooves/Fontana – CD and vinyl releases". INgrooves/Fontana. Retrieved 2012-08-26. 
  28. ^ "The Afterman: Ascension – iTunes Preview". Apple Inc. Retrieved 2012-10-05. 
  29. ^ a b "Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Score Top Billboard 200 Debut, Mumford Still No. 1". Billboard. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2012-10-22. 
  30. ^ a b "Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Score Top Billboard 200 Debut, Mumford Still No. 1". Billboard. 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2012-10-26. 
  31. ^ a b "2012-10-20 Top 40 Rock & Metal Albums Archive". Official Charts. 2012-10-20. Retrieved 2012-10-26.