Coheed and Cambria abandon their concept album formula for the first time in 10 years on The Color Before The Sun. The New York prog-rockers’ previous releases were based on their science-fiction saga The Amory Wars. But their eighth album displays the band’s energised chemistry and sees lead singer Claudio Sanchez narrate his own personal struggles.
The Color Before The Sun is an infectious listen. Most songs follow the pattern of restrained verses and powerful pop-fuelled choruses. ‘Island’ draws you in with a crescendo of distorted guitars and catchy riffs. Sanchez reflects on the past on ‘Eraser’, another hook-driven anthem with changing tempos, while ‘Colors’ is one of the many slow, heartfelt tracks, providing balance with its subtle touches of piano. The romantic ‘Here To Mars’ is definitely a standout. Sanchez openly sings about love and the chorus boasts some of his best melodies.
The stripped-back ‘Ghost’ offers soft acoustic guitar and whispery vocals before Coheed speed up again with ‘Atlas’, dedicated to Sanchez’s son. First single ‘You Got Spirit, Kid’ sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a teen film and ‘The Audience’ is the closest Coheed get to metal with industrial riffs, dark rumbling rhythms and brief screams. This reworked punk rock vibe is comparable to Fall Out Boy, with crunchy riffs and Sanchez’s vocal stutters. But unlike recent Fall Out Boy material, Coheed does not sound over-produced because each element is carefully arranged.
The Color Before The Sun isn’t such a massive departure from their previous material. Hints of their prog-rock roots are still present such as the unexpected breakdown at the end of ‘Island’ and lyrical references to the universe. Coheed has always written catchy songs, this album magnifies that quality and adds a personal touch. The Color Before The Sun is progressive in its own way, a seamless and engaging album from an experienced band.
Words: Melina Scarfo
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