A Minstrel of Modern Day – Master of the Keywork


The Afterman: Ascension – Premium Sci-Fi Brilliance.

I’ve been listening to music for a long time.  Now, when I say a long time, I mean that my father used to play classical music records when I was a baby to get me to fall asleep.  I’ve been exposed to just about every type, genre and sub-genre of music there is, thanks to my family, and so far in life I have been inspired to create art and write by artists too numerous to name.  But, you see that picture up there?  That incredible feat of artistry that basically breaks boundaries and shatters preconceived notions of what art really means?  That’s Sirius Amory, and he’s going to clean your effing space clock.  The artistic genius behind his story, his conception and his musical execution?  Claudio Sanchez, of the great progressive-rock outfit, Coheed and Cambria.

Without downplaying the musical talent of the rest of the band, which is extensive, Sanchez’ story-telling and artistry are the glue that holds all of those pieces together.  His compilation of comic books, graphic novels and novels, The Amory Wars, are the basis and conceptions for all of C&C’s studio albums.

Some of you may already be familiar with Sanchez and his and his band’s work.  It doesn’t matter, I’m still going to go on about it.  I mean, look at this guy:


His GUITAR says he’s gangsta.  A friggin’ bad ass, much like Vegeta – but on a whole different level.  Claudio Sanchez is a real live dude who could be called a modern day “minstrel”.  The guy imagines these amazing stories that dwarf my literary schmutz in comparison, and then what does he do?  He writes a damn song about it, one that doesn’t sound like a Miley Cyrus junk track (because I’m sorry that stuff is junk.  You know, like the stuff that clutters up your garage?  It kinda makes it look good and you can’t really bear to part with it, but really it has no use?  Yeah.  Junk.)  Sanchez and his band write good, damn music.  In fact, I would go so far as to say it is exceptional music, given their instrumental propensities.  You can teach anyone to use an instrument, but it takes real talent to play one, and do it with finesse.

By the way, did you look at his hair?  Fabulous.

There are rare occasions where I am so inspired by an artist that I am literally compelled to keep creating.  The most recent C&C album, The Afterman: Descension, is the sequel to the one you see above and I still have not gotten to it because I literally am not done listening to the songs on Ascension yet.  Each one of the songs evokes a different emotion in me, and though I know the stories behind each one from doing extensive (probably obsessive) research regarding the comics/graphic novels/books associated with The Amory Wars, I am still inspired by the music and the artistry involved to go and create my own universes and characters.

Listen, if you haven’t heard of this band or had a chance to read any of The Amory Wars yet, I recommend you do it as soon as possible.  Any wordsmith, of which I’m sure there are many around here, can appreciate the pure genius of Sanchez’ work.  He is my literary role model.  If I could sit down with this man and pick his brain for a mere fifteen minutes, it would be one of the greatest moments of my life.

Then, I would schedule my fifteen minutes of brain-picking with the fantastic Ms. Joan D. Vinge, and my life would be complete.

Visit their website here, and if you really feel inclined to take my advice (which you absolutely should do), take a look at the Wikipedia article detailing the universe of The Amory Wars.  You’ll be mesmerized beyond your shit, if you know what I mean.

Do it – Claudio Kilgannon would be proud, and may even let you bear witness to his assumption of The Crowing:


Good God, there is a DEMONIC TEN SPEED BICYCLE in this story.  Need I say more?

Just–just go check this out before the world ends.