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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

3.23 | 82 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
2 stars So far, all the written opinions of this year 2010 album have been limited to more or less glowing fan accolades. As an open-minded newcomer to the soundworld of Coheed and Cambria, I would be interested in reading more of the (sadly, rating only) one- and two-star reviews. Clearly, a contrary opinion from a more detached critical perspective is needed.

The immediate attraction here was exposure to a new group (new to me, at least), indirectly endorsed by Steve Wilson of PORCUPINE TREE. The two bands are currently touring together, but after hearing their latest-to-date album I would have to say these guys sound strictly like a supporting act: hence my scrupulous two-star, fans-only assessment.

The music itself is relentlessly commercial, with a boilerplate metallic edge apparently tailored to fit an audience demographic (instead of rising naturally from anything like an original style, in other words). At their best, the quartet resembles a mainstream reduction of THE MARS VOLTA, minus that group's uncompromising creativity and weirdness.

The lead vocals, by Claudio Sanchez, are in particular a trial, full of calculated heavy metal stridency and enough breathless, over-emotional posturing to make even a microphone ham like NEIL MORSE blush with embarrassment. The album's brief, instrumental opener ("One") raised my hopes for something unique, only to dash them when the singing started. The rest of the album follows the same pattern, in the end being entirely too song- oriented, but without a memorable hook within earshot.

The back-story behind the music is also, at least on this album, completely inscrutable (a synopsis of the companion sci-fi novel, likewise written by Sanchez and included in a separate box set, hardly clarifies the narrative). And as for their claim of being (quoting their bio here at Prog Archives) "the first and only concept band"...well, sorry boys, but CHRISTIAN VANDER and MAGMA beat you to that goal by a good thirty years!

This might not have been the best introduction to Coheed and Cambria. But on the other hand, there's nothing in any other review here to suggest otherwise. Maybe a deeper exploration into their back catalogue is necessary; stay tuned?

Neu!mann | 2/5 |

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