With "The Dark Sentencer," Is Coheed and Cambria Finally Taking A Stance Politically?


#1

I’ve been a fan of Coheed and Cambria for nearly 15 years now, drawn in first by their gorgeous guitar work and then hooked by the overarching speculative fiction storyline that has underpinned all of their albums except one. The band’s focus on fiction (and on their one non-concept outing, personal struggles like family, homesickness, etc.) has kept them relatively apolitical, though frontman Claudio Sanchez and his wife did release a standalone EP last year with proceeds benefiting Unidos Por Puerto Rico in the wake of Irma and Maria.

(I should also note, for the sake of full disclosure, that there are serious issues with earlier chapters of Coheed’s story, which contain some pretty violent misogyny…fortunately, this seems to have vanished–at least in my perception–as the band has grown older and wiser.)

But in listening to their new track The Dark Sentencer, released last week as the precursor to a new album scheduled to drop later this year, I can’t help but read some of the lyrics as barely-concealed shots at our current commander-in-chief, his administration, his followers, and perhaps even at those of us who didn’t see Trump’s America coming. To wit:

Here, dig me a grave
And toss in the lives that you can’t be bothered to save
With their blood on your hands
You enjoy the sun while you shit in the purest sand
Kiss your lover with that filthy mouth you fucking monster
Here as evil now gropes
It’s caught us off guard with its hand reaching for our throats

And from the bridge:

I fear we’ve got all we had wanted
Close your eyes and believe it didn’t happen
Now shut your mouth beyond your lies
The world knows to stay away from you

Lines like “Here where the light only dies to remember / In a place where the blind truly can see” further paint a picture of a broken, post-truth America. And perhaps most significantly, on the fictional end of things, this song is set in a privatized, for-profit galactic prison for the galaxy’s worst criminals.

So I’m curious how the rest of you would read this, Waypoint fam. (I’d be lying if I said I didn’t also want to know how many of you are fellow fans.) Chime in, y’all!


#2

I think your reading is sensible, if for no other reason that political turmoil usually tends to shake artists into doing more politically explicit work. I’m not very familiar with C&C outside of “Welcome Home” and that absolutely spine tingling lead guitar line, that I think is just one of those pieces of music that you hear once and never really forget.


#3

Very interesting take on this new track. I heard the lyrics, and read them like you and also felt they were being politicized. I’m hoping the group can become a bit more political, and with a song this song tied to prison, I’m curious to see what else will happen during this new album.

I stumbled upon Coheed at a concert back in 2002 where I got to see them open for Taking Back Sunday. I was hooked at that very moment, and have been listening to them. My batte tag for Blizzard is “Coheedic” :slight_smile:

Glad to see another fan on the forums. My favorite album is still Second Stage Turbine Blade, but IKSSE3 is right there next to it.


#4

They’ve done little bits of politics before, though this may be their first more serious attempt at it. But we can’t forget these for Funny or Die:



#5

Thank you, Jordan, I’d completely forgotten about these! Great point and I totally agree. Seems like maybe the themes in Dark Sentencer might just be a logical endpoint of a road they were already headed down with this considered.

I have my fingers crossed that they will really lean into this on the new album and make their new chapter a dystopia that reflects what’s happening in the country right now, as this track seems to indicate.