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Year of the Black Rainbow
Coheed and Cambria
Year of the Black Rainbow
Genres: Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

The eagerly awaited prequel to "The Amory Wars" tetralogy, Year of the Black Rainbow provides the long awaited prelude to the band's four previous inter-related concept albums -- The Second Stage Turbine Blade (2002); In K...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Coheed and Cambria
Title: Year of the Black Rainbow
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Original Release Date: 1/1/2010
Re-Release Date: 4/13/2010
Genres: Pop, Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 886975209521


Album Description
The eagerly awaited prequel to "The Amory Wars" tetralogy, Year of the Black Rainbow provides the long awaited prelude to the band's four previous inter-related concept albums -- The Second Stage Turbine Blade (2002); In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 (2003); Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness (2005) and Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume Two: No World for Tomorrow (2007) - which comprise "The Amory Wars," the conceptual narrative driving the band's lyrics, penned by Coheed and Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez. Year Of The Black Rainbow is also likely to be the final installment of the narrative of "The Amory Wars." Year of the Black Rainbow is produced by Atticus Ross (Nine Inch Nails, Jane's Addiction) and Joe Baressi (Queens of the Stone Age, Tool). The new record also features the studio debut of Coheed and Cambria drummer Chris Pennie, who has been playing alongside Sanchez, guitarist Travis Stever and bassist Michael Robert Todd since 2007 and was featured on Neverender: Children of the Fence DVD.

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CD Reviews

Full Circle
Gerald Cyranoski | Grand Rapids, MI | 04/22/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"To give a point of reference, I am a huge fan of this band. I am not a fan who knows the story like the back of my hand, but I am someone who appreciates the talent, creativity, and innovation they have displayed to this point. The music has always been where it's at for me. Their first three albums have forever placed them among my top three favorite bands.

That said, this one has been a bit of a rollercoaster for me. My first taste was "The Broken", via their myspace page, and my first couple listens through that song left me nervous about the forthcoming album release. If that was the direction, I was not sure I was interested. I know I am not alone in this sentiment, and like many others, I decided not to let that doubt prematurely ruin this album for me. I reserved judgment until I could take in the album as a whole. I am glad I did.

It took longer for this one to "sink in". Probably because of the wall of sound surrounding the real music beneath. That is my biggest gripe with this release, and it is really unfortunate. I listen to Good Apollo vol 1 and enjoy the bits of production and sound effects. Here it all seems a bit too much. I cannot help but wonder how this is going to sound live.

However, after a little over a week of listening to nothing but YotBR, it has grown on me considerably. Without too much searching I have been able to find the Coheed that I love. Part of that is in the progression of their sound, but I can hear parts of all of their work in this album. I truly enjoy this album and am very relieved that my first impression of "The Broken" was not upheld. I have even grown to like that song quite a bit.

Overall I would liked to have given a 3.75, but since I cannot, I rate it a 4. I don't see it as a "4 star" album, but it is better than a 3 or 3.5. I am disappointed by what I see as over-production. I am in love with the evolution of their sound and continued push forward, while not letting us forget who they are: a very talented band who consistently puts out excellent music. If you cannot find what you love about Coheed in your first few plays through YotBR, I encourage you to keep listening, it's in there."
This is the Year of the Black Rainbow
Brett M. Holden | heaven's fence | 04/14/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Coheed & Cambria have been through a lot since their inception at the turn of the century. They have grown and matured so much and this album is a real treat for the fans who have been there since the beginning. It is easy to get lost in the idea that they should stick to their roots but this band has always been about progression. No album has sounded alike with these guys.

This is a rock album and a thumping good one at that. From the creepy opening track, to the proggy The Broken, atmospheric Far and heavy handed In the Flame of Error, this album is perhaps the best example of what this band is. It contains noticeable elements of their previous work and at the same time finds a new sound which may open it to a wider audience. However, this is not a sell out. This is a band doing what they do best which is adapting after the loss of their original drummer and the addition of ex-Dillinger Escape Plan's Chris Pennie. These guys have risen up and written a masterpiece."
Year of the Masterpiece Album
Matt W. | NY | 04/19/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There are some people out there who simply don't like Coheed. Maybe it's Claudio's high-pitched singing, maybe it's his huge frizzy hair, but something about the band turns them off. Other people are obsessed with the band. These people tend to love pretty much everything the band releases, and these are the same people who have religiously read the comics that tell the story of the music.

On the other hand, I fall in between these two extremes. I think Coheed is a great band. In fact, I think that if history is fair, they would be regarded in the future as one of the premier bands of this era, much the same way that classic bands from the 60's and 70's are thought of now. I particularly liked Coheed's second and third albums, but I think their first exhibited "Debut Syndrome" where a band hasn't quite reached its potential, and their fourth release exhibits "Mid-Career Rush-To-Release Syndrome", where a talented and successful band pushes a release out the door without taking the time to make sure it's up to the standard of their previous releases.

Year of the Black Rainbow, however, is everything I've ever wanted in a Coheed album, for the following reasons:

1) FOCUS: A fair criticism of the band's past releases is that they lack focus. Sure, there is a cohesive story, but I'm not talking about that. What I mean is, everything from album titles, song titles, song lengths, and consistency indicate that the band tries to do too much. Compare the two Good Apollo volumes (for example, the first had a title with 15 words in it, and the second had a 5-song way-too-drawn-out closing epic), versus YOTBR. The album title, song titles, and song lengths on YOTBR are symbolic of the new focus of the band. Sure, you might say "Who cares about titles? And isn't it good when a band stretches out and frees itself of the conventions of radio-length songs?" To that, I say sure, titles don't matter much, but they can be symbolic of the band's approach to the underlying music, and "stretching out" can be great but only if it's done well, and Coheed has been guilty of doing it poorly in the past.

2) MELODIES: Melody in music is a funny thing. I like certain melodies, and I dislike others, and it's hard to explain why. On YOTBR, nevertheless, there are TONS of great melodies. Specifically, Claudio's vocals are very catchy and melodic throughout the album, and that makes it an addictive listen. Just the simple fact that there is so much melody on the album is great by itself; Coheed can be described as a metal band, although they certainly are a multi-genre band, and a lot of metal is often terrible because of its lack of melody.

3) DRUMS: As I get older, it takes more for music to keep my attention. I look more and more for technical proficiency, even though the most important quality in music, in my opinion, is good songwriting, which generally has pretty much nothing to do with technical proficiency. Finally, Coheed is moving towards combining the best of both worlds. They've always had great guitar work, a trend that continues on this album, but drumming has IMHO been weak up until now. Enter Chris Pennie. YOTBR is his first album with Coheed, and the guy is a freakin' virtuoso. I love his work on this album and can't wait to hear what he does on future Coheed albums. He was an excellent addition to the band and gives them exactly the kind of rhythm-section power they needed, much in the same way that Keith Moon and John Bonham made their bands exponentially better than they otherwise would have been. Just listen to Pennie's work on Guns of Summer and prepare for your mind to be blown.

BOTTOM LINE: If you have never liked a Coheed album, chances are you won't like this one either. But if you have liked anything they have done in the past, or if you have never heard any of their music, you need to give this album a chance. Also, VERY IMPORTANT: when I first listened to this album, I was disappointed. As I listened to it more, I realized that it truly is a masterpiece. If you don't like it at first, be patient with it, give it multiple listens, and I guarantee you will not be disappointed in the end."