It takes a skilled hand to write a long song and make it feel short. There needs to be tension and resolution, building up to stratospheric levels so dizzyingly high that walking away is impossible. With building comes the issue of variety; can the listener be taken that high without getting bored? Are there hooks? Are there sections and recurring themes? Does the song meander? Writing a long song might be difficult, but ones done right make the hair on your arms stand up.
All that considered, ‘Domino the Destitute’ is the definition of a well written long song. It moves between sections with purpose and fluidity, each being hooky enough to get stuck in your head. It builds at all the right moments, lets up just enough to be dynamic without losing energy, and closes out with immense purpose. One of my favorite parts is the call-and-response section at 4:30. The crowd might be chanting an anthem, but Claudio’s chuckling melodic stabs silence them with a certain coldness and throws the song in to a nosedive toward the end. Right from the intro, Coheed has you by the wrists, going from a shroud of mysterious guitars and distant chants to the full band pounding away at your ears as they gallop right in to the song. The grip never loosens.
Oh, and before we’re done here, let me mention that Robert Schober does an amazing job directing this video. The storytelling aspect leaves nothing to be desired and never lost me once. The Afterman: Ascension is released on October 9th, but you already knew that because I got you interested earlier this month.