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Album Review: Coheed And Cambria’s ‘Year Of The Black Rainbow’

In 1998 Claudio Sanchez conceived an idea of a science-fiction called the Bag.On.Line Adventures which would go on later to become known as The Amory Wars. In 2002 Coheed And Cambria released their first full length, “The Second Stage Turbine Blade”. This album is know as part two of a five part story concept. Today Coheed And Camrbia have finally released “Year Of The Black Rainbow” the long awaited prequel of The Amory Wars.

Read on for the review! The album opens with an intro track titled “One” which is a little predictable and has a dark/ominous but doesn’t last too long to where you’ll get annoyed. It leads into the album’s single “The Broken” which is a fantastic way to describe the album’s feel both lyrically and musically. It’s angry and heavy and with the way Claudio sings there’s almost a hint of fear in his voice and also sounds like it could of been a song on earlier albums such as “Second Stage Turbine Blade or even “In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth: 3”. The next two songs that follow, “Guns Of Summer” and Here We Are Juggernaut” do have potential to be great radio singles but there is substance lacking, the songs are catchy and have pretty cool keyboard parts in them but nothing more.

The Broken

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The middle of the album I feel is where the gems are. “Far” slows things down a bit in a really good way. It continues with a more keyboards and slowly starts to build up into the next song “This Shattered Symphony”. This song is lyrically honest, brutal and even a little violent and transitions perfectly into the next song “World Of Lines”. “World Of Lines” is hands down my favorite song on the album, it’s got a great pace it’s catchy and even a little too poppy. 

The album plays out a lot like a movie with a lot of ups and downs. But rightfully so it is a concept album that is built around a lot of terrible things happening. “Made Out Of Nothing (All That I Am)” and “Pearl Of The Stars” is definitely a down part of the album. “Pearl Of The Stars” is a desperate song and is layered with awesome guitar and keyboard textures that make you not want to skip over it and kind of get bummed out.

Finally we have the end of the album has come. All the emotions of this album come out best in the last three songs of the album. “In The Flame Of Error” and “When Skeletons Live” are what you would expect towards the end of an album faster, catchy and layered with some fantastic drumming. The last song “Year Of The Rainbow” is what you’d want to end on. It has a slow build and has some awesome guitar parts but they don’t make the song too long. They keep your attention while reminding you this is the end and even more so this is where it all started.

It was extremely hard not to give away details of the albums lyrics but out of respect for our readers/Coheed and Cambria fans I didn’t want to spoil anything about this album. It’s not a perfect album but I must say I enjoyed it and I’m glad that they didn’t make it as “prog” as their last two albums. I feel having Chris Pennie is a great addition to the band and it’s kind of humorous at time’s when you listen to the album how the guitars have to keep up with the drumming. This album has been a long time coming and I personally feel that the fans will appreciate it and enjoy it. I am sad to see this Coheed And Cambria universe put to rest but I am extremely excited to see where things go from here.

I also wanted to add that I was fortunate enough to get the deluxe version of “Year Of The Black Rainbow”, if you’re a fan of the story this is something I’d suggest trying to pick up if you can. The deluxe version comes with a lengthy novel of the album and is prepared in a really cool box with additional art as well as a DVD of the albums production. I hope those of you who pick this album up enjoy it and if you can let me know what you think of it.

4 out of 5 skulls



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