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On disc: Coheed And Cambria

Year Of The Black Rainbow - Claudia Ehrhardt - 8 stars

Year Of The Black Rainbow

Year Of The Black Rainbow
(Roadrunner Records - 2010)

With Year Of The Black Rainbow Coheed And Cambria present their 5th studio album which is the prequal for the sci-fi story they told on their 4 studio albums. Singer and guitarist Claudio Sanchez wrote the book The Amory Wars which the concept albums are based upon. Coheed and Cambria are the protagonists of this story, but fans of the band will know all that.
The emo prog rockers from New York kick off slowly with One, merely an intro with atmospheric sounds and piano which lead you into the album. The Broken is a heavy, progressive rocker, riff-based and with emotional vocals Coheed And Cambria invite you to join them on this sonic journey. The quartet is obviously influenced by Rush, but they took these influences and combine them with modern sound like post-hardcore. The foursome manages to write songs which are complex and catchy, which combine traditional elements and modern sounds. One of the highlights is Here We Are Juggernaut, this one is quite heavy and spiced up with electronic sounds, but it's the voice of Claudio Sanchez which gives the song the special something. Mr. Sanchez switches between almost whispered words to powerful, melodic parts to screams. An emotional roller coaster ride. The following Far is more a poppy prog rock tune which could get airplay at some open-minded radio stations. Really heavy is Made Out Of Nothing (All That I Am), even if the vocals make it a bit lighter. At the end the vocals are very repetitive and start annoying me, but then the song ends and all's good. Totally different is Pearl Of The Stars which is a slow tune based on the vocals at the beginning, then it slowly builds up and becomes a balladesque rock tune which invites you into reverie. Great guitar leads by Travis Stever. After the disturbing In The Flame Of Error they are back on track with When Skeletons Live. With The Black Rainbow they close this chapter. The closer kinda sums up the album as it has all the different elements you'll find on Year Of The Black Rainbow. When the song stops abruptly, don't stop the player! After a short silence the atmospheric sounds of the opener One are back and so the circle closes.
The New York prog rockers present an album which is like a roller coaster ride, a mix of heavy prog rock tunes and some slow more atmospheric tracks. Highly complex, but also catchy. No genre limits accepted they create songs to tell a story, the story of Coheed and Cambria. Well done!

8 stars

Claudia Ehrhardt


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