Coheed and Cambria
The Color Before The Sun


4.0
excellent

Review

by TooManyFriends USER (20 Reviews)
October 13th, 2015 | 275 replies


Release Date: 10/16/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: We’re just not visiting Claudio Sanchez’s fictional world anymore; we’re in his real one.

It seems too ironic, but at this point, the most out of the box step Coheed and Cambria could take in their career is stepping back entirely. Since their inception, the band’s music has always revolved around frontman Claudio Sanchez’s Amory Wars concept. Comic books, art books, and novels have played almost as integral a role in the Coheed lore as the music itself; but not anymore. Not with The Color Before the Sun. For the first time, Sanchez and co. have written a collection of songs completely independent of the fiction, and the result is undoubtedly Coheed’s most personal, heartfelt album to date.

Even within The Amory Wars, Sanchez’s lyrics have always been loosely based on life experiences, but without the story’s backdrop to mold them around, he’s opened up more than ever. He sings about everything from the anxiety of living in a big city, (“Island”) to the vandalism of his country home by renters, (“Young Love”) and most prominently, fatherhood (“Ghost”, “Atlas”). The chorus of the sugary “Here to Mars” (“It’s in the stars, and you’re my everything from here to Mars”) is a far cry from the lyrics of the past (“die white girls”, “if I had my way, I’d crush your face in the door”), but now 37 years old and a first time father, it would seem almost disingenuous for Sanchez to write with the same spite and biting anger that drove albums like Good Apollo.

The intimate nature of the lyrics also spills over into the music, and the pop influence that has been a constant over the band’s career is especially pronounced on Sun. The progressive rock influence has been toned down to a degree; even the longer cuts generally revolve around singular motifs and choruses, resulting in an album that’s much more “Blood Red Summer” than “The Crowing”. “Island” and “Atlas” strike with bright leads and immediate vocal hooks. “Ghost” and closer “Peace to the Mountain” are much more subdued with Sanchez crooning over lush acoustics, and in the case of the latter, bells and orchestration. If there was any song on here that could be seen as a throwback to the progressive sound of old, it would certainly be “The Audience”. Fuzzy, menacing guitars twist and turn over booming drums and sinister vocals, sure to satisfy those clamoring for the “heavier” side of the band.

Drummer Josh Eppard is his usual electric self, never getting flashy enough to overshadow his bandmates yet continually driving the songs forward with unpredictable, high energy drum beats. Bassist Zach Cooper receives a much bigger spotlight here than on The Afterman, this time both clearly audible and wonderfully interesting. Sanchez and lead axe-man Travis Stever compliment each other perfectly throughout, crafting memorable chord progressions and guitar leads that play well off the energy of the rhythm section. Sanchez remains more or less the same singer he’s always been. He explores his lower register briefly in the introspective “Ghost”, but his usual high pitched wail dominates the record.

Despite cutting out The Amory Wars, one of the most integral parts of the band, impressively, The Color Before the Sun still sounds so much like a Coheed and Cambria album. While the songs are exponentially more straightforward, nothing’s really been compromised. The songs are as immaculately performed and well written as ever. We’re just not visiting Claudio Sanchez’s fictional world anymore; we’re in his real one.



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user ratings (367)
Chart.
3.2
good
other reviews of this album
Green Baron (3)
The album's personal topics are bogged down by an overall lack of energy....

knight1908 (4)
Coheed are back with excellent and diverse songwriting!!...


Comments:Add a Comment 
TooManyFriends
October 13th 2015


2539 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

stream here: http://www.pandora.com/station/play/1411412518987239135/41370228494047

RivalSkoomaDealer
October 13th 2015


1603 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Good review even if I disagree with your rating.

Toondude10
October 13th 2015


11727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that was fast



good review btw, this is definitely their weakest imo but it's still pretty good.

Digging: Machine Head - The Blackening

PostMesmeric
October 13th 2015


703 Comments


Yeah, this is weak...for Coheed. Still solid overall, though. Pretty much what I expected going in.

AtomicWaste
Moderator
October 13th 2015


2722 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3 | Sound Off

Good review. Have a pos.



I just don't think there's anything that interesting about this album. "Atlas" is cool, and the biggest standout, and I can dig YGSK and "Here to Mars," but the rest is just... I dunno, they don't give me a reason to get excited. There's nothing that pushes the boundaries for Coheed here. It's a safe record to top all safe records. I would dig a full on "Blood Red Summer" album, but this falls short.



But goddamn do I dig "Atlas."

Digging: Benjamin Clementine - I Tell A Fly

jtswope
October 13th 2015


5686 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I like some old Coheed, but I'll probably put off listening to this for a while.

Voltimand
October 13th 2015


716 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"I would dig a full on 'Blood Red Summer' album"



I was thinking something similarly, if every song was as powerful-yet-poppy like "Island" and "Atlas". Still, it's a very diverse album and I like most of the songs, though they all flow well together as a whole. To me, it's a 4; probably a 3-3.5 compared to their whole discography.



It's mostly Claudio's songwriting here, I'd love to see how the next album is molded with everyone's input, especially Travis with some Davenport Cabinet influence/lyrics.

Digging: The Artificials - Heart

OwMySnauze
October 13th 2015


1684 Comments


Haven't liked any of the tracks they've released, especially the forced profanity in the first single. Might be a grower I guess

Ocean of Noise
October 13th 2015


9818 Comments


this is bound to be a 3 at best

Digging: Orbital - The Middle of Nowhere

Voltimand
October 13th 2015


716 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

But seriously, ZACH-motherfucking-COOPER!

TooManyFriends
October 13th 2015


2539 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ye he absolutely kills it

MonotoneMop
October 13th 2015


570 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

There's some pretty cool stuff here. Peace To The Mountain and Island are pop gems, while Young Love is criminally underappreciated. Some people on other sites have said that this record is well-suited to sunrise listening as it was mostly written at that time. I tried that out this morning and definitely saw what they meant. I do see a lot that I don't like here, but I knew that would be present. Eraser is boring and musically vapid to my ear, Here To Mars is absolutely crippled by some truly braindead lyricism that isn't really present elsewhere on the record, and The Audience feels like an incredibly phoned in, heavy false prog track tacked onto the penultimate spot for pop detractors. I really wish they had clung a bit tighter to the airy pop that dominates the record and allowed the more obtuse elements to fit into that mold in a way reminiscent of the more upbeat sections of Fuel For The Feeding End or Junesong Provision. In any case, this is a good album, but I tend to skip a lot of it. I'll probably throw up a review later on since this is my childhood standby band, but it won't be as good as yours, man. This was great.



Also, does anyone think Atlas sounds like a Yellowcard track from Paper Walls or WYTTSY? I can't figure out what melody it is that is reminding me or what track it was from.



robotore
October 14th 2015


30 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Ghost and Young Love are the only songs that are mildly tolerable. The rest is pretty painful.

AtomicWaste
Moderator
October 14th 2015


2722 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3 | Sound Off

@Monotone - basically my exact feelings, except I like "Here to Mars" and YGSK.



Not sure why everyone seems to think YGSK is forced profanity when Coheed has similar profanity throughout their catalog, especially in their earliest albums. It's really nothing new.



"The Audience" may be the worst track Coheed has ever made.

samsuels
October 14th 2015


15 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I quite like the album - that being said, on repeated listens it kinda feels like one of those albums you can just put on and ignore - Not sure what on here would take my "Coheed Spot" when making playlists -



I do like it tho, I really do Oo

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 14th 2015


25161 Comments

Album Rating: 3.3

This was a good review and a very easy read. I'm intrigued by the theme of the album straying from the comics (I never followed them or cared to) but I'm less than enthusiastic about you indicating that they've curbed their aggression. This will be an interesting experience for me because it sounds like there's aspects I'd love and hate.

Digging: Belle and Sebastian - How To Solve Our Human Problems Pt. 1

Toondude10
October 14th 2015


11727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is pretty much the softest, most poppy album they've ever done. If you like their more aggressive style than this probably isn't for you.

Toondude10
October 14th 2015


11727 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"'The Audience' may be the worst track Coheed has ever made."



You're kidding me, that's one of the best tracks on here

BigTuna
October 14th 2015


5223 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Dat bass doe





MonotoneMop
October 14th 2015


570 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I hate The Audience more than anything here except maybe Here To Mars for more petty reasons. One thing I love is the rhythm guitar tone in Peace To The Mountain's chorus. Really subtle and warm. This band is so bipolar with good guitar tone.



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