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Coheed And Cambria - Year of the Black Rainbow CD (album) cover

YEAR OF THE BLACK RAINBOW

Coheed And Cambria

 

Crossover Prog

3.25 | 86 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Laurelles
4 stars I tried to be as fair as I could when reviewing this album. Coheed and Cambria have been my favourite band for a while, and being impartial was not going to be easy. In terms of pure musicianship and lyrical concept, this album would have easily scored a 5 from me, but I had to take it all into context.

Meet Coheed and Cambria. For those who don't know, they are a "Concept Band" if you will, all of the songs in their back catalogue corresponding to an important event in a series of comics, graphic novels and, with this one, hardcover novels called "The Amory Wars". This is their fifth album, and possibly the last in the Amory Wars concept. Fear not, however, frontman Claudio Sanchez stated that Co&Ca will continue afterwards, saying "The band always comes before the story."

Year of the Black Rainbow, then. This is a prequel story, which takes place before their debut, Second Stage Turbine Blade. Musically, they've evolved an enourmous deal, yet aren't afraid to take it back to their roots. I would say that this album in particular, blends in all 4 of their albums they had released previously, as well as Shabutie and Prize Fighter Inferno, the pre-band and Claudio Sanchez's side project respectively. It is a flurry of musicianship, much more so than anything they've ever done.

The album starts off with the ambient, creepy intro of "One". It's a gentle, piano led piece which Coheed fans will pick up that it has a little bit of the intro from their debut floating about. After that, it blends straight into a hard rocker, The Broken. This is a typical Coheed song, dual guitars pacing the way for strong basslines and emotion filled vocals. Chris Pennie also makes his debut in this album, and he absolutely murders those drums. The album is a display of some of the most blistering drum parts I have ever heard.

This drumming is carried onto "Guns of Summer", which Rock Band nerds should've bought already. It pounds its way furoiusly into your head and, if you thought anything less of Coheed, shows you their technical side.

Then comes the great single "Here We Are Juggernaut". I say great because, well, it's a great song. It's starts of metallic, and progressively gets more Coheed-like as it moves along. The next few songs also show a more technical and experimental side to Coheed. After that, comes "World of Lines". Any true fan of rock music should be able to respect this song. It just rocks, listen to it.

My personal two favourites are the heavy "In the Flame of Error", a magnificent display of true Coheed-ness and a love for heavy metal, shared by all of the members of Coheed and Cambria. My other one is "When Skeletons Live". This song is, plain and simple, awesome. From the keyboard led intro, to the brilliant chorus, this is one of my favourite Coheed songs of all time.

Now we come to the weaker parts. Although this is a great album, it lacks one thing that I've always loved about Coheed. The big, fat epics in the vein of "In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3" and any of the "Willing Wells". Also, the structure of this album is a bit more generic, more normal than I would expect of Coheed. But, as a wise man once said, is it the taste of a brownie or the shape of the brownie that makes it a brownie?

Overall, this is a fantastic album. Whilst it may not go down in history as a "prog masterpiece", it certainly will please the fans and bring new followers alike.

Laurelles | 4/5 |

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