Coheed and Cambria
Year of the Black Rainbow


4.0
excellent

Review

by John weathered old reviewer Hanson STAFF
April 2nd, 2010 | 537 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Don't let the god-awful album title deter you, Year of the Black Rainbow is another solid outing for the rock quartet.

So, in the process of writing this review, I wrote at least 4 different introductory paragraphs TRYING to come up with something epic enough to represent how incredibly badass Year of the Black Rainbow is, but the best I came up with was an image of Claudio Sanchez holding up a machine gun guitar and blasting apart Nazis that may have been zombies. Seeing as how I am not a skilled enough artist/photoshopper to actually put this mind-blowing picture together, this could very well be totally worthless. However, all is not lost: just imagine that picture in your head, and you’ll find a pretty good place to rest your thoughts as to how Year of the Black Rainbow sounds.

In all honesty, you can also find a pretty easy sketch of the album by thinking back to his solo project, The Prize Fighter Inferno. A lot will be made of the album’s more electronic/industrial sound being caused by Chris Pennie’s input, but a lot of the sounds can be traced back pretty definitively to that side projects sound. In A+ B = C terms, it’s In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 plus My Brother’s Blood Machine. For fans of the hair-metal of No World For Tomorrow and who were expecting even more bombastic arena-filling riffs and choruses, this may come as a slight disappointment. To older fans of Coheed…well, at least there isn’t a song like “Justice in Murder” here. The shift to a more pop-industrial sound is probably going to be just as controversial as either of the Good Apollo’s shifts in sound.

For fans who just love Coheed or newcomers though, it really isn’t any sort of deal. The album kicks off with the duo of “The Broken” and “Guns of Summer” which in their own ways display the new sides to the band. “The Broken” features the penchant Coheed still has for writing epic, off kilter metal songs. The transition from the groove-metal verse to the almost post rock atmosphere of the chorus is sublime, and the weird “blah blah blah” after the chorus add some flair to the whole affair. Meanwhile, “Guns of Summer” is easily the craziest sounding song they’ve ever written, and a point where you could absolutely say Chris Pennie definitely helped out in a big way. The song constantly shifts between mathy-rock and soaring choruses, but it never sounds forced, something Coheed have had problems with in the past.

And that’s how much of the album progresses. “Far” is a dreamy electronic ballad that conquers its cheesiness by sublimely changing its tones, even if its goes on a bit too long still. “This Shattered Symphony/World of Lines” bring back some of that NWFT sound, but without all the stupid guitar solos and voice modulation. “The Black Rainbow” is an incredibly odd closer, eschewing the previous standards set for Coheed epics and simply progressing through a macabre, melodic first couples minutes till the concluding wails of “it’s over, it’s all fallen apart…”, never exploding into some great climax but instead transitioning perfectly into what would be the next chapter in the ’story’ of Coheed & Cambria.

There’s a lot of goodness to be found here (with only a brief mention, “Here We Are Juggernaut”s chorus could be one of the defining moments of the bands career), and that’s good considering that it’s biggest weakness is it doesn’t really feel like an evolution. The sound is different, but it doesn’t deviate from the formula that Coheed have established. It’s mostly all the same pieces from the bands previous records put into a different context. While it’s sort of a fresh take on their musical canon, it could afford with more new songwriting techniques and maybe less vocal effects. Still, Year of the Black Rainbow is a consistently great album that may have required just a bit more panache, and certainly lives up to its predecessors.



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user ratings (1205)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2010


16088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Been almost 5 months whats up sputnikmusic.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2010


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nm whats up with you emeritus

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2010


16088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nm keeping myself safe from elimination etc. have you listened to this again yet

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2010


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

to be perfectly honest with you




i have not

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
April 2nd 2010


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this album is better than their last two albums

jimay333
April 2nd 2010


433 Comments


"Hehe, shabutie!"

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2010


16088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

whereabouts would you rate it then ryan. 3-3.5?

Nikkolae
April 2nd 2010


4847 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sweet review john, i think the reason for the shift in the sound of coheed is cos of the whole "prequele" to the armory wars thing, the story wasnt as well developed in the begining and those dark moments in In Keeping Secrets or From Fear Through The Eyes Of Madness were still not present, none the less amazing album

Digging: Pallbearer - Foundations of Burden

Romulus
April 2nd 2010


8434 Comments


First paragraph is pretty awesome

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
April 2nd 2010


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

3.5-4, I'll listen again sometime this week

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2010


17213 Comments


postin in an iluvatar review

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

Ire
April 2nd 2010


41779 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice intro. I think this is on par with Good Apollo.

Phantom
April 2nd 2010


8930 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

their second worst album


still have it at a 4 though sooooooooooo

Enotron
April 2nd 2010


7695 Comments


They were so lame at lollapalooza. Same pace, same sound the entire time....however I have yet to really get into their records. *goes to mediafire*

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2010


16088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

they were awesome at lolla when i saw them.

but tbh there were three people on acid right next to me that i paid a lot more attention to

ninjuice
April 2nd 2010


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this album is better than their last album

Fixed

Yazz_Flute
April 2nd 2010


18783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Better than both Good Apollos.

Seriously World of Lines is their catchiest song ever.

Digging: Battles - Mirrored

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 2nd 2010


17213 Comments


Better than both Good Apollos.
this

TheSpirit
April 2nd 2010


17819 Comments


i still need to get around to hearing this

Digging: Emarosa - Versus

cjmenard
April 2nd 2010


15 Comments


World of Lines is pretty incredible, yeah.



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