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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

3.10 | 106 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Kempokid
1 stars After a string of great albums, particularly the excellent Good Apollo duology, it's honestly slightly amazing how much worse this album is compared to anything Coheed and Cambria has made before or since. The vocals aren't anywhere as good as normal, with Claudio sounding somewhat strained whenever trying to be dramatic, and the instrumentation is considerably weaker, with no moments that stand out to me, which is a hugs letdown after previous albums, even the fairly average 'Second Stage Turbine Blade' had many parts which sounded simply excellent. By far the biggest issue with this album is the production, which is horribly muddy and washed out, further reducing any impact that the instrumental sections have, along with just sounding outright bad all around.

The songs are also quite weak for the most part, with many of them sounding very similar to one another, with only a few songs that actually stand out in any way. The most notable example is an outlier in the band's entire career, the divisive 'Guns of Summer', which utilises a great deal of electronics sounding almost like breakcore in sections, being extremely energetic. While the instrumentation here is actually quite interesting, the vocals bring it down to some extent, making it a song I have quite mixed feelings about it, which is an issue since it's one of the better tracks here. Other than this, there are two songs on the album that are genuinely decent, 'Pearl of the Stars' and 'This Shattered Symphony'. 'Pearl of the Stars' is quite a nice, emotional ballad, that while not of the same quality as 'Mother Superior' or 'Once Upon Your Dead Body', is still fairly decent. 'This Shattered Symphony' is by far the best song here, with a dark, slightly oppressive atmosphere that actually sounds more suited to the muddier production, with the chorus being especially high quality, along with being the only song with some really great riffs.

The rest of the songs have very similar issues with them, with poor production and composing them in such a way to have them try and seem epic, but failing horribly. Along with this, I find myself often finding songs to drag slightly, despite only being around 5 minutes or less. The worst example of this is 'Far' which has the drums pushed forward in the mix, so you constantly get distracted by them, also bringing far too much attention to the simple beat. This causes the song to become dull very fast, as nothing else is of any interest either, making this 5 minutes feel more like 10.

Overall, this is the weakest Coheed and Cambria album by quite a large margin, with only two songs being of any major merit, with the majority being brought down by a combination of poor production and bad songwriting. I really can't recommend this album at all, as I can find very few good qualities in it besides the two high quality songs and the interesting experimentation in 'Guns of Summer'. Stay away from this album until you've heard some of Coheed's earlier work, or just stay away from it in general.

Best songs: This Shattered Symphony, Pearl of the Stars

Weakest Songs: Far, Made Out Of Nothing (All That I Am), In The Flame of Error, Here We Are Juggernaut, The Black Rainbow

Verdict: Really bad album by a generally high quality band. Listen to the best tracks, as they're quite good, but stay away from everything else or at least listen with low expectations.

Kempokid | 1/5 |

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