Sound — 9
As many know, Coheed and Cambria are almost inarguably one of the most unique bands around today. They have created a style incredibly unique to themselves and have an extremely loyal fanbase as well as a extremely loyal hater base. Despite that, Coheed continues to put out albums and Year of the Black Raibow is their latest. The sound of the album is completely different due to the fact that Claudio, the primary songwriter, took a different approach to the songwriting on this release. Usually, he would write based off guitar, but instead, he began with loops and wrote over them bringing a new aspect into the picture. The songs are all intertwined with synths and loops which really help to bring out the other parts as well. Another unique aspect to their music is the story that follows each album, this one being the last of the series, even though it is the prequel. The story definitely takes a backseat to the music on this album, I would say more so than their previous efforts. I think that they did a fantastic job on their 5th release, making something that truly hits hard to a listener.
Lyrics — 8
Claudio Sanchez is one of the more talented lyricists that exists today. It is hard for one to say he doesn't put pure passion into the words he writes. For one, there is the story aspect that comes into play with the words, but he also infuses his own personal experiences into them as well. On some songs, it seems he was striving more for a catchy or powerful chorus (World of Lines, Juggernaut) but it's not always bad. On Juggernaut especially, the chorus really gets a listener pumped, and that takes effort without a doubt. Overall, not the best lyrics he has ever done, but certainly not terrible at all.
Overall Impression — 10
I don't believe that I could compare this album to anyone other than themselves. They have outdone their previous release (No World For Tomorrow) easily, and possibly even their third album (Good Appolo I). There are just so many peices and parts to every single song that every time you listen you can almost hear something new. The addition of Chris Pennie (finally) on drums is evident and he shines throughout. Lastly, the producers really brought out the best in the guitars and bass and there are different and unique tones on every song. My favorites would have to be Guns Of Summer, World Of Lines, and When Skeletons Live, along with the first single The Broken. Coheed backed up all the hype for this release by putting out a fantastic album.