The Afterman: Descension

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The Afterman: Descension
The Afterman Descension album cover.jpg
Studio album by Coheed and Cambria
Released February 5, 2013
Recorded November 2011 – June 2012 Applehead Recording Woodstock, NY
Length 43:24
Label Hundred Handed/Everything Evil
  • Coheed and Cambria
  • Michael Birnbaum
  • Chris Bittner
Coheed and Cambria chronology
The Afterman: Ascension
(2012)The Afterman: Ascension2012
The Afterman: Descension
The Afterman (Live Edition)
(2013)The Afterman (Live Edition)2013
Singles from The Afterman: Descension
  1. "Dark Side of Me"
    Released: January 14, 2013

The Afterman: Descension is the seventh studio album by progressive rock band Coheed and Cambria. It is the second part of a double album, the first part of which is The Afterman: Ascension. The band took seven months to record the albums between 2011 and 2012, and announced a February 5, 2013 release date.

The deluxe version of the album was released with a coffee-table book co-written by band member Claudio Sanchez and writer Peter David, giving 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,[5] and had finished recording by June 2012.[6]

"Iron Fist" was debuted in 2010. The song was also featured in the acoustic set during their "Neverender: Second Stage Turbine Blade" dates in 2011.

In February, 2012, Coheed and Cambria singer/guitarist Claudio Sanchez released a self-shot acoustic rendition of a new song titled "Sentry the Defiant" (later retitled "Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry The Defiant") via the band's official YouTube channel.[7]


The album was released in both digital and physical formats on February 5, 2013; the first part (The Afterman: Ascension) was released on 9 October 2012.[8] 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 speaking to an AI he refers to as "All Mother".[9] 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.[10]

The deluxe version of the album was 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 co-written by Sanchez and writer Peter David, who worked together on the book which accompanied Coheed and Cambria's previous album, Year of the Black Rainbow.[10] 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.[11] 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.[10]

The song "The Hard Sell" was released on December 18, 2012 as part of Guitar Center's Fresh Cuts Vol. 8 compilation CD. A lyric video of the song was later put on the band's official YouTube channel.[12] "Dark Side of Me" was later released on January 14, 2013, along with a lyric video, on the band's Facebook page.[13] The band also played the song on the January 21 episode of Conan.[14] Similarly, "Number City" was released exclusively on on January 30, 2013,[15] and "Iron Fist" was released on the official Coheed and Cambria Tumblr Account the following day.[16]


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 75/100[17]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[3]
Alternative Press 4/5 stars[18]
Classic Rock 4/5 stars[17]
Consequence of Sound 3.4/5 stars[19]
Kerrang! 4/5 stars[17]
musicOMH 4/5 stars[1]
PopMatters 7/10[17] 3.5/5 stars[20]
Sputnikmusic 2.3/5[21]


The album has received 4/5 ratings from Allmusic, Alternative Press, Kerrang! and musicOMH.[3][1][18] The overall rating on Metacritic is 75/100.[17]


The Afterman: Descension debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 albums chart on its release, selling around 41,000 copies in the United States in its first week.[22] It also debuted at No. 3 on both the Billboard's Top Rock Albums and Alternative Albums charts.[23][24] The album has sold 91,600 copies in the United States as of October 2015.[25]

The album debuted at number 64 on the UK Albums Chart[26] and number 3 on the UK Rock Albums Chart.[27]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Claudio Sanchez, except "Away We Go", "Iron Fist" and "Dark Side of Me" composed by Claudio Sanchez and Travis Stever[28][29].

No. Title Length
1. "Pretelethal" 3:21
2. "Key Entity Extraction V: Sentry the Defiant" 5:45
3. "The Hard Sell" 5:10
4. "Number City" 3:49
5. "Gravity's Union" 6:46
6. "Away We Go" 3:55
7. "Iron Fist" 4:46
8. "Dark Side of Me" 5:03
9. "2's My Favorite 1" 4:55
Total length: 43:24


Coheed and Cambria[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]


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


Chart (2013) Peak
UK Albums (OCC)[31] 64
UK Rock Albums Chart[27] 3
US Billboard 200[32] 9
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[33] 3
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[34] 3
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[35] 3
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[36] 3


  1. ^ a b c Headon, Martin. "Coheed and Cambria – The Afterman: Descension". musicOMH. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Preview: Progressive band Coheed and Cambria keeps sci-fi concept going through seventh album - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". 2013-02-07. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  3. ^ a b c Jurek, Thom. "Coheed and Cambria: The Afterman: Descension: Review". Allmusic. Retrieved February 2, 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Afterman: Descension". Tone Deaf. Retrieved February 5, 2016. 
  5. ^ Bryan VanGelder (2011-10-18). "NYCC Interview with Claudio Sanchez Of Coheed And Cambria". Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  6. ^ "Coheed and Cambria Finish New Album - News Article". Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  7. ^ Ableson, Jon (2009-08-20). "Coheed And Cambria Perform New Song "Sentry The Defiant"". Alter The Press!. Retrieved 2012-08-19. 
  8. ^ "Coheed and Cambria Announce New Double Concept Album "The Afterman"". The Audio Perv. 2012-07-31. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  9. ^ "Coheed And Cambria Announce New Double Album And UK Tour! | News | Rock Sound". Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  10. ^ a b c "> News > COHEED AND CAMBRIA - The Afterman: Ascension Album Trailer Posted; New Double Album Details Revealed". Retrieved 2012-08-08. 
  11. ^ Greg Prato. "Coheed and Cambria Ready Two More Installments of Career-Long Saga | Music News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 
  12. ^ Coheed and Cambria - The Hard Sell (Lyric Video) on YouTube
  13. ^ "Coheed And Cambria "Dark Side of Me" - Exclusive Video Premiere @". Retrieved 2013-01-14. 
  14. ^ "COHEED AND CAMBRIA To Perform On 'Conan'". Blabbermouth.Net. Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  15. ^ "Coheed And Cambria stream new track 'Number City' exclusively on NME.COM". Retrieved 2013-01-30. 
  16. ^ ""Iron Fist" Song Premiere!". Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  17. ^ a b c d e "The Afterman: Descension". Metacritic. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b Freeman, Phil (February 2013), "Coheed and Cambria: The Afterman: Descension", Alternative Press, no. 296, p. 87 
  19. ^ Freed, Nick. "Album Review: Coheed and Cambria – The Afterman: Descension". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved February 6, 2013. 
  20. ^ RENALDO69. "Coheed And Cambria – The Afterman: Descension (staff review)". Retrieved February 18, 2013. 
  21. ^ Hanson, John. "Coheed And Cambria – The Afterman: Descension (staff review)". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
  22. ^ Keith Caulfield (February 13, 2013). "Josh Groban Earns Third No. 1 Album on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. 
  23. ^ "Rock Albums". Billboard. February 23, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Alternative Albums". Billboard. February 23, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on October 1, 2015. 
  26. ^ "2013-02-16 UK Albums Chart – Archived". Official Charts. 2013-02-10. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  27. ^ a b "2013-02-16 Top 40 Rock & Metal Albums Archive". Official Charts. 2013-02-10. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  28. ^ a b "iTunes - Music - The Afterman: Descension (Deluxe Edition) by Coheed and Cambria". Apple. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  29. ^ The Afterman: Descension (CD booklet). Coheed and Cambria. Hundred Handed/Everything Evil. 2013. HHI007. 
  30. ^ Archuletta, Lauren (26 March 2016). "Coheed and Cambria on Getting Less Progressive but More Approachable". 
  31. ^ "Coheed and Cambria | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.
  32. ^ "Coheed and Cambria Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  33. ^ "Coheed and Cambria Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard.
  34. ^ "Coheed and Cambria Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard.
  35. ^ "Coheed and Cambria Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard.
  36. ^ "Coheed and Cambria Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard.