Sound — 8
Coheed and Cambria's 2010 effort is in my opinion a stray from the earlier works but still may prove to be the groups best work to date. CoCa's albums have always been based on frontman/guitarist Claudio Sanchez's graphic novel series "The Amory Wars" which in itself a quirky concept to base your musical career on. Year of the Black Rainbow is a very epic album itself and sets a really good mood for the concept to take over. The production is well-done and features appropriate effects and dynamics when needed such as multi-layering, echoes and reverb etc. The song writing is great and the group has really gone forward with this release, I personally enjoy their music for their variety release after release and Black Rainbow is no exception, it stands alone in Coheeds discography and shows a real progression in songwriting ability and musicianship. Coheed and Cambria's style has been a bit of a question mark, earlier efforts have been called "emo" or "post-rock" as the years have gone so has their sound, which has progressed into something in itself. You hear sounds found in other genres and they mix their influences into their own unique style.
Lyrics — 8
As said before frontman Claudio Sanchez writes the lyrics based on his graphic novel series "The Amory Wars", I personally haven't studied the concept thoroughly so I don't know alot of what's going on with the lyrics and themes. Nevertheless the songwriting and music itself is written well and isn't a massive cheese-fest. This album features memorable hooks and catchy choruses and verses, the multi-layered production also gives an epic feel, so the songs stick in your head and really hits well, I especially love the choruses in "Here we are Juggernaut" and "Far" which are IMO some of the top tracks on the album. Claudio's unique and soaring vocal work really puts an emphasis on the lyrics and brims them with passion and emotion. There's no half ass work here which gives a more personal edge to the whole album, the band sound like they enjoyed making this record and hold it close to them.
Overall Impression — 8
This is very different to CoCa's previous releases, which is good and bad in ways. Good because it shows maturing musicianship and progression, nobody wants the same album 5 times in a row. Bad, because some fans of the early work may feel alienated and uncomfortable with the new edge that's driving them head first through their successful career. I personally and honestly accept this album with open arms and haven't stopped listening to it since I received it. The memorable hooks found in choruses, the great musician-ship, vocal work, the production, it fits well and if this is any indication of where the band is heading then we're definitely in for a ride. The top tracks for me are. (in no order) Far Guns of Summer Pearl of Stars Here we are Juggernaut In the flame of Error Definitely a high point in Coheed and Cambria's catalog, in my opinion their best work to date, hopefully this is motive to drive them further and keep creating amazing music. They have their own sound developed now and all they have to do is mold it correctly and they can achieve great things. Year of the black Rainbow is an indicator of a well-developed and hard working group of musicians.