Reviewed by Chris Render
This latest album from baffling prog-metal group Coheed and Cambria is exactly what fans have come to expect. For those familiar with the band’s conceptual oeuvre, Year of the Black Rainbow acts as a prequel to Second Stage Turbine Blades. For everyone else, it forms another part of the band’s almost incomprehensible science fiction storyline that pervades every album they have released. However, none of that is particularly important. What is important, however, is that Year of the Black Rainbow is awesome. Screaming guitars, pounding drums and Sanchez’s characteristic high pitched vocals combine to make an epic, cinematic and powerful album. Single release Here We Are Juggernaut is singularly impressive, and an album highlight. Though maybe not quite as good as previous albums like Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness (and with a substantially more concise name), Year of the Black Rainbow shows Coheed and Cambria on top form.
The special edition of the album also includes a full length novel by the same name, written by band frontman Claudio Sanchez and author Peter David, and whilst some may consider this a somewhat pretentious move, it is indicative of the band’s dedication and the expansive nature of the world Sanchez has created.