Year Of The Black Rainbow review by Coheed and Cambria

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  • Released: Apr 13, 2010
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.7 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.7 (131 votes)
Coheed and Cambria: Year Of The Black Rainbow
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Sound — 8
This album was nothing like I thought it would be. With the prog titans that are Coheed, that was what I expected when first listening to it. But after One and the single The Broken, You're in for a very strange, twisting and turning album at first listen. I wasn't too impressed with the album after my first listen, but it being Coheed, made me press on and re-visit the album. I have to say, that unintentionally I just kept repeat listening to the album since I received the deluxe edition in the mail on Monday. After a while, I have to admit that this is another work of genius. With this album being the prequel to Second Stage Turbine Blade, number 1 for fans of the band, the sound on this album is quite fitting. That is one thing that Claudio and the boys do so well. There is the massive Sci-Fi epic that is the Amory wars threaded throughout all their music, but they're also up to complete interpretation. The sound is pretty epic. The tones that producers Atticus Ross, Joe Barresi obtained add to this production. Their sideways views on recording helped to push the band. If you get a chance to watch the Bonus DVD, do so and you'll see what I mean. Also, this is Chris Pennie's first official recording with the band. His overall style of playing really adds to this album. I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot, but there is just so much complexity in everything this band does.

Lyrics — 9
They lyrics, Not much can be said about the lyrics besides the fact that they are spectacular,. All of the lyrics for Coheed and Cambria have the underlying theme for the story, while also telling Claudio's current frame of mind. This makes for an intriguing album. The way that Claudio molds lyrics around the melodies of the songs also stands out along with his signature voice that love it or hate it, is damned powerful and add to the great mystique that is Coheed and Cambria.

Overall Impression — 9
While it is not my favorite Coheed album, this is most definitely a welcome addition to the family. It sounds weird the first couple of listens, but this is the album that it had to be. For it to be a fitting prequel album, it had to be a little more gritty in sound and song writing. That molded together with the addition of Prize Fighter Inferno elements, really adds to this album. Some of my favorite songs on the album are, Here We Are-Juggernaut, Pearl Of The Stars, and In The Flame of Error. Really, they all grow on me each time I hear them. I've grown to appreciate the varied degree of songs on here, including the metal drumkit played on Far. The only problem I really have with the album is the fact that the Sampling over powers a few parts and sometimes the guitars and bass get lost in that mix. Claudio, Michael, and Travis are all exceptional and very proficient players so that's the only shame about the album. If lost or stolen I would definitely buy another one. Although not my favorite, the album still holds up and this is one band that is too damn good not to own the hard copy of the album.

79 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Eurasian_C
    Awesome album. It's hard to comprehend how much they've changed musically, from songs like "A Favor House Atlantic" to "Here We Are Juggernaut". Great band!
    AdamDK
    I've only listened to the album once on their MySpace, but I'm not as fond of it as I am the other albums. It is a good album, just not quite to the standards of In Keeping Secrets. But I am happy it sounds different to the other albums, because Coheed's sound has continued to evolve from album to album.
    Highwaytohell
    This album took an odd turn for me. After hearing The Broken and Here we are Juggernaut- I was under the impression Coheed would continue the more metallic and awesome direction I saw blooming on NWFT- not the case. Kind of blindsided me. Not what per-se I WANTED- but fans of the band will rave- I see it as an actual return to form with the way the songs are mixed more towards their earlier roots... Kind of sad we didn't get another Gravemakers and Gunslingers- but hey whatcha gonna do - Still a solid album
    grille
    Great album. But i dont like the keyboard effects. they kind of ruin some great riffs.
    TheAmenCorner89
    s7arscr34m wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: s7arscr34m wrote: Wy do people always try to give them a genre? they dont have one. Its called organization. Without it, everyone is doomed. That reason enough, Mr I'mgonnaquestionstuff? >o> Organisation* , Mr icantspellforcrap.
    He's probably American, they seem to like putting in Z's instead of S's :S
    [x]Huffy[x]
    I think this is another quality Coheed album. I'm not a fan of the production though.
    Rampancy
    s7arscr34m wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: s7arscr34m wrote: Wy do people always try to give them a genre? they dont have one. Its called organization. Without it, everyone is doomed. That reason enough, Mr I'mgonnaquestionstuff? >o> Organisation* , Mr icantspellforcrap.
    You just failed. Hard. (Although, no, it isn't how I'd personally spell it)
    s7arscr34m
    EpiExplorer wrote: s7arscr34m wrote: Wy do people always try to give them a genre? they dont have one. Its called organization. Without it, everyone is doomed. That reason enough, Mr I'mgonnaquestionstuff? >o>
    Organisation* , Mr icantspellforcrap.
    wiggit03
    I was really disappointed with the album at first, but its really growing on me.
    TCTJonny
    i think everyone should stop hating on some of the most creative musicians in existance. this new album is different, but is definitely awesome.
    iro-bot31
    I just saw the live stream of Coheed playing Coachella, and (besides being pumped they played Al the Killer and No World for Tomorrow, plus ended with Welcome Home accompanied by the USC marching band) the thing that stuck out was how amazing their new stuff sounded. Maybe production did mar it a little.
    slipperymess
    n8blake wrote: they have a song called "one"? seems like thats copying metallica. the songs probably dont sound anything alike though. i will need to listen to this.
    Your'e stupid. No. Anway, I gotta say a couple of the songs here sounded a little too poppy. Other than that and the production, this album is the shit. I'd love to see them play this live.
    n8blake
    they have a song called "one"? seems like thats copying metallica. the songs probably dont sound anything alike though. i will need to listen to this.
    travislausch
    BriGuy7727 wrote: benonbass1 wrote: I think the album itself is ridiculously over-produced, making the tracks muddy and Claudio's vocals have waay too much reverb imo. I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels that the production sucks royally. All the levels are out of balance, Claudio's vocals overpower everything & the keyboard sound effects drown out any instrumentation going on.
    Ditto. The music itself isn't that bad, but the production is so muddy and saturated that it's almost insulting to the listener.
    EpiExplorer
    s7arscr34m wrote: Wy do people always try to give them a genre? they dont have one.
    Its called organization. Without it, everyone is doomed. That reason enough, Mr I'mgonnaquestionstuff? >o>
    iro-bot31
    I agree with you iKill_Audio. For me Second Stage will always be the best, but this album at least is tied for second with IKSSE:3. As amazing as Claudio's falsetto is, nothing can top what he did with it in the earlier days. I like how they opted for a little more traditional vocals, and turned up the intensity of the instrumentals (bass/drums especaily. Usually it takes me a while to get into their albums, and I'm sure this will grow with time, but as far as I can remember this is the first Coheed album I didn't skip a couple songs on. YOBR may be a little more radio-friendly, but is drawing in more listeners a bad thing? 9/10 for me.
    iKill_Audio!
    I guess I'm the only one that thinks this album is up to par with In Keeping. Alot of people get stuck in the mindset of "This is the best. There is no topping this album." but you can't really compare the two; they're incredibly different in many ways. I like how the drumming has stepped up, the technical prowess on guitar and bass has as well and Claudio has realized that he doesn't have to sing in Falsetto to make something sound good. Overall just a very good album
    Lohnanmilitia
    Of course there are elements of Prize Fighter Inferno on here. This is album number 1 technically, the origin for all of the characters.
    EpiExplorer
    TheAmenCorner89 wrote: s7arscr34m wrote: EpiExplorer wrote: s7arscr34m wrote: Wy do people always try to give them a genre? they dont have one. Its called organization. Without it, everyone is doomed. That reason enough, Mr I'mgonnaquestionstuff? >o> Organisation* , Mr icantspellforcrap. He's probably American, they seem to like putting in Z's instead of S's :S
    No, English. I just like the Z key a bit too much... >.>
    tank shadows
    While I don't have the patience to read every comment I'm not sure if anyone pointed out the fact that the amazing solo in Pearl of the Stars is actually Travis' not Claudio. While Claudio is a great guitarist alot of the solos are played by Travis
    pnkhrdwndr
    I liked all their previous albums but this didn't catch my attention.. I've listened to it a few times and I think it's a step backwards
    Gorgutz
    Honestly, so far I'm not terribly impressed. The album ins't necessarily bad, but I'm kind of underwhelmed. Not that it doesn't have its good parts, as said in the above reviews. Often with Coheed it takes a while to grow on me before I really start to appreciate a new album. I'll just have to wait and see if its the same with this one.
    one x
    Atrus11 wrote: Calusio? TYPO! I meant Claudio.
    i was gonna laugh so bad but you acknowledged your mistake...good job lol. anyway i think this album is good i had to listen to it like 3 times and now i love it just as it was when i first became a fan i was iffy about it but i like it....wondering whats next already.
    Fatally Jon
    I've let this album soak in for two weeks before reaching my conclusion: While a definite departure from their previous albums, this album is amazing. Each song is at least catchy, if not mind-blowing. I personally miss the epic 7 minute songs but the album is still remarkable. Unfortunately when bands change their style, some people are going to love it and some people are going to hate it.
    Solar321
    This album, this band, kick SO MUCH ASS. Coheed is definatly one of the most under-rated bands of all time. I'm so happy this album was way better than No World For Tomorrow. Everyone needs to hear this shit!
    gtrplyr54
    can't say i'm too impressed, their previous albums had not one bad song! this though just doesn't add up to the previous cd's, too much "epic" heavy drum driven songs unlike their previous albums
    Atrus11
    abacus! wrote: Yea I thought it was really overproduced too. It was still a pretty good album, but I was definately disapointed. "Far" sounded like it should be a Prize Fighter Inferno song. I think my favorite song was "Made out of Nothing". I've only listened to it 3 times so far, so hopefully I'll like it more in a few more listens. Also, I didn't like how all the songs were so short and were repetetive, but most of them were good. I'd give it s 7/10.
    It actually was a Prize Fighter Inferno song. Calusio mentions it in the accompanying 'making of' DVD.
    cotton3434
    Good album. Didn't like this one much at first, but it really grew on me, unlike NWFT...
    Paullyo
    I've listened through it 6 or 7 times now and still haven't skipped any songs. At the same time I haven't listened to any song more than another. No stand outs but nothing even close to bad. A little overproduced but overall a great album.
    10pound
    MegaRon wrote: wicked_hobbit wrote: When I first listened to 'Pearl of The Stars' I immediately checked the CD sleeve to find out who was the 'guest vocalist'. Couldn't believe that the low vocals are all Claudio's. Same here. That just threw me for a loop.
    Ditto, did the same thing. I was kind of stoked thinking that Travis had nabbed himself some vocal lines (I like his solo work) and was confused until it dawned on me that it was Claudio. Can't wait to tell him that line when I see him in a few weeks.
    Dankscarver
    I'm pretty sure I'm the only person on earth that downloaded this album for Ratio purposes only. I haven't bothered to listen to the album yet (and I don't plan to, as Coheed and Camberia have just been getting worse since their Shabutie Days), but I do know that people who do have taste in music, rather disliked this album. I honestly just put on Caseopia on repeat if I feel like blowing off some steam on how much coverage this album is getting. I guess I'll just have to listen to the album even though I think CoCa was only good in the ninety
    MegaRon
    wicked_hobbit wrote: When I first listened to 'Pearl of The Stars' I immediately checked the CD sleeve to find out who was the 'guest vocalist'. Couldn't believe that the low vocals are all Claudio's.
    Same here. That just threw me for a loop.
    DomSpazzirri
    benonbass1 wrote: DomSpazzirri wrote: Yeah...they have five albums. It's forgiveable though, as up till now they have done NO bad songs at all! Which for 4 albums, is amazing. Their 4 previous albums...
    Yeah that guy I quote it from said they only have four albums..when there is five. and a bunch of live cds.
    Ulalume
    Coheed's music always gets better after a few listens, especially after you start to get into the lyrics and singing along. One thing I have always said about this band is even a mediocre Coheed song is far better than songs by most other bands. For this album, its hard to like it as much as some of their past work (for me In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3); but regardless this album is growing on me.
    benonbass1
    DomSpazzirri wrote: Yeah...they have five albums. It's forgiveable though, as up till now they have done NO bad songs at all! Which for 4 albums, is amazing.
    Their 4 previous albums...
    wicked_hobbit
    I've been anticipating for this for too long. I was a bit disoriented during my first listen since their sound has definitely changed, in a direction I wasn't expecting. But now I'm starting to really enjoy each song. It's one of those albums that grow on you. Personal favourites are 'World of Lines' (a really powerful straightforward rocker) and 'When Skeleteons Live' (real fun to sing along to). And I can't wait to watch 'Guns of Summer' live.
    Silent Coheed
    yea it is over produce but it still kicks ass i listen to sstb iksose3 good apollo 1 nwft and yotbr in order and u can so tell how much they have grown! its an awesome album and if u listen to the bonus tracks of yotbr its like a preview of their six album and they sound really cool
    lespaul2112
    Honestly, i don't think that anything that coheed has or will make will ever compete with SSTB. However this album, imo, has come very close and is an amazing album. My favorites are definetely "Pearl of the Stars" and "World of Lines". This is a definite great addition to the coheed saga.. I just hope this isn't the end of them making music
    BriGuy7727
    benonbass1 wrote: I think the album itself is ridiculously over-produced, making the tracks muddy and Claudio's vocals have waay too much reverb imo.
    I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels that the production sucks royally. All the levels are out of balance, Claudio's vocals overpower everything & the keyboard sound effects drown out any instrumentation going on. There's only 3 or 4 songs on the album I like. I couldn't even get through the title track, I had to skip past it because it's sooo repetitive. Most of the other ones are as well, but this one was particularly bad. It's missing those progressive elements that makes Coheed & Cambria an awesome band.
    DreykeB210
    My favorite CD of theirs to date! I wouldn't want another SSTB or IKSSE as great as they were. Each one of Coheed's Cd's are different and this is definitely the next level for them
    Eurasian_C
    wicked_hobbit wrote: When I first listened to 'Pearl of The Stars' I immediately checked the CD sleeve to find out who was the 'guest vocalist'. Couldn't believe that the low vocals are all Claudio's.
    Hahahaha same here dude. That caught me way off guard
    Bassin Fingers
    I would definitely agree that this one may have been a bit overproduced, but after a couple listens, I'm on board. Musically, it's fantastic...can't wait to hear it live.
    wicked_hobbit
    When I first listened to 'Pearl of The Stars' I immediately checked the CD sleeve to find out who was the 'guest vocalist'. Couldn't believe that the low vocals are all Claudio's.