Album Reaction: Vaxis - Act I: Unheavenly Creatures by Coheed and Cambria

Oct 10, 2018

Vaxis - Act I: Unheavenly Creatures

Track Listing

  1. Prologue
  2. The Dark Sentencer
  3. Unheavenly Creatures
  4. Toys
  5. Black Sunday
  6. Queen of the Dark
  7. True Ugly
  8. Love Protocol
  9. The Pavillion (A Long Way Back)
  10. Night-Time Walkers
  11. The Gutter
  12. All on Fire
  13. It Walks Among Us
  14. Old Flames
  15. Lucky Stars

DISCLAIMER: This is a reaction blog post which is mostly incoherent rambling and (you guessed it) real-time reactions to the songs. This is not a review.

The last time I did an album reaction was back in 2012. Surprisingly (or not surprisingly), the last album reaction I did was to Coheed and Cambria’s The Afterman: Ascension. It’s fitting that the next album reaction is also Coheed and Cambria. With Ascension, my love for Coheed rekindled and with Unheavenly Creatures, I can see my love for Coheed rekindling for the second time.

I saw Coheed and Cambria live a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been following their singles pretty closely. The singles off this album are all pretty legit. Like most Coheed songs, it took me a while to get used to the singles but they still got me pretty excited about the album.

Because I’ve sacrificed my soul to Spotify, I streamed the album. I had work the day the album was released and at work, some people were talking about the album already. I debated listening to the album while working but no, I wanted to dedicate a solid hour of my undivided attention to this album. And I’m glad I did!

  1. Prologue

    I really like the prologue. I’ve gotten used to the piano bit from the singles and what not. I love how the music builds behind the narrator. It really does transition nicely into The Dark Sentencer.

  2. The Dark Sentencer

    Somehow, because of the prologue, this song sounds even more epic than it usually sounds. I love the beginning riff. I can’t really say much about this one because I’ve been listening to it for quite a while now. It’s a good heavy song which I enjoy. I know some people enjoy Coheed’s heavier stuff and while I do relish those heavy tracks, I don’t mind it when they depart from it.

    Looking at the lyrics now, I never paid much attention to the bridge where Claudio’s voice has some sort of effect applied to it. It sounds like a robot but layered so not quite like autotune. I actually like it.

    A place where the blind truly can see Hear my voice, dearly departed, I beg on my knees

  3. Unheavenly Creatures

    Interesting how the next song is another previously released track. It definitely jumped straight into Unheavenly Creatures without any sort of reprieve from The Dark Sentence. I do enjoy the synth sci-fi sounds in the background. I can probably see why when I saw Coheed and Cambria live, Claudio didn’t bust out his guitar for this song. It’s definitely not guitar heavy, or, at the very least, it’s not the highlight of the song. It’s definitely a poppier song. I’m down with pop so I enjoy it.

    So run, run, run, run like a son of a gun

  4. Toys

    Interestingly named. The intro to this song is very interesting. Wow. Immediate guitar chord. Claudio sounds like an angel. He’s really going up into that falsetto. But I love those guitar chords. Sounds very rock opera-like. It’s funny but once the guitars really kicked in, I was reminded of Green Day.

    They seem to really like the build-up before the chorus.

    One of my friends said that Coheed is really going “Queen” as in theatrical. I could see it.

    I think this song might be lacking lyrically, unfortunately. No lines really stand out to me, yet. But I do find myself bopping my head to it. For some reason, I think “knees” might be the most used word in their lyrics.

    It’s kinda sad but I’m resisting the urge to click to the next song. It seems really poppy, which I don’t mind. But I feel like it’s lacking. This song drags out a bit which is ironic because:

    Oh can’t you see, you’re dragging me

    Also. Fade out. Nice.

  5. Black Sunday

    Oh this starts out pretty promising. I love it when Coheed gets all sinister. Claudio is doing some good vocal stuff in here. The guitar is on point in this one. I love the random sounding licks in the background. Very chaotic. Oof, more power rock-opera elements.

    I wouldn’t call this track heavy but it’s definitely rock.

    W O W. I enjoy the “Black Sunday” chant. I can see this being great to hear live.

    Oh man, they busted out the military-like snare drum. Really reminds me of My Chemical Romance in a way.

    The outro is nice.

    Black Sunday, Black Sunday

  6. Queen of the Dark

    This sounds like a ballad. It starts off with some scarce piano. Then the guitar, drums, and Claudio come in. Definitely not a ballad.

    I don’t know how I feel about this song. It feels like exposition to me. There’s a lot of repetition in this song. I feel like chanting two songs in a row is a bit excessive.

    It has an interesting outro though. Some cool guitar effects. And then another kind of fade out. It doesn’t actually fade out.

    All hurt in time gets better

  7. True Ugly

    Hard hitting. There’s some clapping in this song. Interesting. High energy. I like. This song definitely has a more upbeat tempo. Oh shit. Claudio is doing some semi-scream thing and I dig it a lot. Claudio is definitely blab-singing (I have no idea how to describe it) but it’s really interesting. Sounds really happy go lucky in the middle of a song like this.

    I like this song. It deviates a little more from what I expected. It’s a good mix of pop and prog. Sometimes I notice that there are points that seem to drag a bit. The difference is really noticeable in this song.

    And another fade out.

    Break, break, breaking up Break, break, break,follow me Can, can, can you hear me?

  8. Love Protocol

    And another immediate transition! The guitar sounds familiar. I wonder if it mirrors the prologue motif. This song’s like another cheesy Here to Mars type song. A typical love song. But some of the lines really catch me. I also love the name of this song. Are there any protocols to love?

    Oh, I can be your dancer The one you set within your sights When I admit surrender Then maybe goodbye will turn to goodnight

  9. The Pavillion (A Long Way Back)

    Y E S. I love titles with parentheses in them. This is another rock-opera sounding song. Maybe another ballad too? Not sure how I feel about the song itself though. Coheed is really channeling their inner Green Day/Queen/I don’t really know what to compare them to.

    Goodbye for now

  10. Night-Time Walkers

    Hmmm. Zombies are my first thought.

    Okay. The intro is hella cool. I love the sci-fi space effects they’re using on this album.

    Ah. Another power ballad love song. Why is this album so cheesy? Could do with the fact that the two characters are a couple… It’s right there in the album cover. I don’t know why I thought different, haha.

    The Claudio robot comes back. I really like it. But I don’t understand a single thing. But it’s good.

    The thing about this though is that the power chords just slow this song down so much. It does that for a lot of songs. It makes sense here but I’m getting fatigued by it.

    I don’t wanna see you, I don’t wanna believe you’re here But it’s too hard not to when your songs I hear

  11. The Gutter

    They love their hard cuts to the next song. The Gutter sounds really good in the context of the album.

    Okay, I really love The Gutter. I love the pseudo screamy bits. Claudio’s enunciation of “gutter” is perfect. This is probably my favourite song on the record. I would have been really happy to hear this song live in concert.

    On a close listen, I can hear the orchestra in the background which is nice. I don’t know how I never noticed it. It’s pretty good right now. ALSO. Claudio laughing like an evil dude. He does it so well.

    Now if I had my way I would leave you here to waste your final days

  12. All On Fire

    Okay I am gutted (haha) that The Gutter does not go to Old Flames. But this song has a piano intro which kinda makes up for it. Oooh this song sounds like a throwback. Hm. I also don’t know how I feel about this song. I think this is definitely a grower. I could also see some of these lyrics becoming memes among the fandom. “Please bring water” x3. Amazing.

    Come slither, you snake, please bring me back To when life was wonderful

  13. It Walks Among Us

    Another zombie sounding title. I love the intro effects. It sounds like clockwork. And the opening riff is some good stuff. Good synths too. More power chords. I. Think I like this. I’m only a verse into it. I see a trend. I really like the sinister songs. When Claudio gets all kinda angry, haha. Not sure about the mixing on Claudio’s voice in some parts though.

    This song has some really good lines. I changed my most liked lines like three times. It’s hard to pick.

    Okay. Yeah. This is a good song.

    Infected, don’t provoke ‘em Feel free to cock and load ‘em

  14. Old Flames

    Hearing these songs in the context of the album make me appreciate them a lot.

    When the music video of this came out I was little apprehensive. They have a lot of interesting music videos but they never really jive with me. So when they brought out synchronized dance numbers, I was a little weirded out. It makes sense though.

    Ah. I love this song! I’m so torn between this song and The Gutter as my favourite song from the album. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s so poppy that I like it. The outro is also really good. It somehow fits the song. Going out with a bang and then revelling the last peaceful moments.

    “Are you ready?” “As the day we met.” “You’re adorable.”

  15. Lucky Stars

    The closer. I am heavy in anticipation.

    Ooh, an acoustic guitar. Interesting. Another ballad? This is a true ballad, however. I remember reading somewhere about how some people were hoping it wouldn’t end on a ballad. I do prefer ending out with a bang but Old Flames kind of fills that need. This might be another Wake Up for me. Way too cheesy but I’ll end up memorizing the lyrics and singing along to it in concert.

    This could be the biggest mistake we make in this life Chasing as we tried to compete for each other’s time


So I’m slightly disappointed this isn’t an immediate “wow I just fell in love with every single song” record like The Afterman: Ascension was. I might have just been riding the hype of the singles and the concert. I felt the urge to skip a couple songs. There are some songs I already know I like but the others… They might have to grow on me. But I think it’s a pretty good mix. I liked 9 out of the 15 songs (including Prologue). I think that’s a good ratio especially for a first listen.