Coheed And Cambria

The Color Before The Sun

Written by: TL on 04/11/2015 15:54:47

After twenty years and seven previous albums, the biggest storyline that hangs on Coheed And Cambria's eighth full-length, ironically is that there is no storyline. And as it turns out, that is a good thing. Although the band has built its name around its albums' conceptual connection via "The Amory Wars" - the epic space-opera all C&C's music revolved around until now - all but the most hardcore fans of the bands have likely felt some fatigue from trying to keep up with the saga's plots within plots, while the cohesion between music and manuscript felt increasingly forced.

So while frontman Claudio Sanchez has supposedly always written the events of "The Amory Wars" with inspiration drawn from real life experiences, it's actually nice to listen to the new album "The Color Before The Sun" and feel like C&C has come back down to earth a bit. Largely the record maintains the band's trademark style of catchy, proggy rock on the lighter and more theatrical side, yet particularly the brighter end of their expression gets some extra attention here, starting right at the beginning with Island". The sunny tune opens the album on a good note with catchy chords, lively bass patterns and an infectious chorus that gets you singing along rather quickly.

The softer touch generally suits C&C well, for even while the band is known for some rather striking and forceful guitar histrionics, they have always walked a thin line in terms of balancing this with Sanchez' soft, child-like singing voice. And while this continues to be the case even here, Sanchez' melodic qualities end up being showcased better, on an album that is ripe with hooks that grow on each listen. "Eraser" and "Color" lack a bit of the opener's contagious energy perhaps, but the triumphant single "Here To Mars" heralds a great second half to the album. The trip through the song is great from the very first bar and all the way building up to the chorus, which, although arguably not quite on par with C&C's very best, is strongly recognisable nonetheless.

Further down the tracklist you find more good tracks, with "Atlas" for instance making its mark with a warm, descending signature riff and one of Sanchez's trademark dramatic choruses. "You Got Spirit, Kid" soon impresses with a similar quality to it, before "The Audience" darkens the mood, simultaneously being the most like the C&C that fans have known on past albums, and promising the most drama of the album. It sets off with an eerie and engaging beginning, yet sadly meanders a bit off course, however, before making it all the way through its six minutes of length. "Peace To The Mountain" then closes in the lullaby-ish territory that the band has occasionally settled down to, here sending the album off with the solemn and singalongable refrain the song is named after.

To sum up things up, "The Color Before The Sun", refreshingly, is not a manuscript from Coheed And Cambria that requires intense scrutiny to open up. Instead it meets the listener in a relatable place, gives the band's more muscular side a rest, and focuses on getting back to writing catchy, wholesome songs where the quirky riffs and sweet vocal melodies that do most to endear the listener are firmly in frame. There are a few tracks that leave you colder than others, and the album displays a mildly annoying habit of adding seques to the end of songs which would perhaps sit better as intros in the next, but overall, while it is the least epic C&C album to date, "The Color Before The Sun" is simultaneously also perhaps the most catchy, most accessible, and most consistent record the band has released since 2006's "Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV".


Download: Here To Mars; You Got Spirit, Kid; Atlas; Peace To The Mountain
For The Fans Of: Icarus The Owl, I The Mighty, My Chemical Romance

Release date 16.10.2015
Everything Evil Records / 300 Entertainment

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