Coheed and Cambria, "Year of the Black Rainbow"

49 Billboard Rating

Coheed and Cambria have always relied on tightly packed melodies to stand apart from their prog-rock contemporaries. The band's fifth album, "Year of the Black Rainbow," is a collection of more extreme hard-rock arrangements that maintains the group's emphasis on catchy hooks. While the soaring chorus of "Made Out of Nothing" recalls the band's past singalong gems, the gritty speed metal of "The Broken" and sinister guitar line of first single "Here We Are Juggernaut" reach a new level of intensity for the group. Lead singer Claudio Sanchez brings his usual proficiency to the songwriting and gloriously high-pitched vocals, but the technical showmanship of guitarist Travis Stever and new drummer Chris Pennie make them the real stars of the album. Unfortunately, "Year" lacks the grandiose thematic concepts of previous outings as well as an immediate single, like past songs "A Favor House Atlantic" or "The Suffering." But Coheed and Cambria still bring as much head-banging fun to the table as any veteran group.

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