Year of the Black Rainbow by Coheed and Cambria- Review

For those of you that have never heard of the band Coheed and Cambria, it is a progressive rock band that has punk and metal influences. It was formed in 1995 and has released several studio albums and numerous live albums. But enough of the history of the band, you are here to learn about their newest release, entitled Year of the Black Rainbow.
The album starts off with the very quiet, but haunting track “One”, with nothing but ambient sounds and a single piano playing. But after that brief intro, the album jumps off with the song “The Broken”, which, in my opinion, is one of the best tracks on the album. Here is the first time that a newbie to Coheed will hear Claudio Sanchez’s vocals, which will definitely turn off many people. If you are looking for your low-pitched metal growling, you best look somewhere else, because Sanchez has a high-pitched voice that will definitely not be everyone’s cup of tea. Although if you liked the higher-pitched voices in your music, then you will not be disappointed.

The track “We are Juggernaut” is another hard-rocking track with heavy bass and it exhibits some of the punk and alternative rock influences. Another great track on the album, and another one of my favorites. A few tracks later we get the song “Pearl of the Stars”, a softer song which is a refreshing change from the normal high energy playing of the earlier tracks. It serves as a nice “breathing point” before the next track, “In the Flame of Error” picks the pace back up and keeps it up through “Where Skeletons Live”. The final, title track, “Year of the Black Rainbow” is another softer song, in the beginning, before speeding up in the middle and continuing until the end, where it gently fades back into the same sounds that populated the beginning track.
I have listened to all of the Coheed and Cambria albums, and I can say that this is definitely one of their best, in my opinion. They have a variety of songs that draw from different genres, and I think that any fan of progressive rock or metal should find that they like the band. Although I have to say that most Metallica, Dragonforce, or similar band fans would not like this album. They don’t have the extreme technical proficiency of bands like Dream Theater or Dragonforce, but that is to say they are not very talented, just not on the same level as some.
I am not a big fan of screaming vocals, and there are instances of them being used on this album, but do not be fooled, this is not a screaming/growling band. So, if you like Metallica-style singing, then you will be disappointed by Coheed. On the other hand, if you like cleaner vocals like those found in bands like Dream Theater, then you will only be slightly disappointed (although if you like DT’s new stuff, like Black Clouds and Silver Linings, and the vocals in part of those songs, then you will like this).
I think the best thing you could do to see if you will like this band is go out and listen to a few of their songs, since while I can say that it is great, it is certainly not for everyone. You can find the album in your favorite music store, available 4/12/10.

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