Release Date: Oct 16, 2015
Record label: 300 Entertainment / Atlantic / Elektra / Warner
Genre(s): Emo, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Post-Hardcore, Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal, Punk Metal, Neo-Prog
The Color Before the Sun, Coheed and Cambria's eighth album, is the post-hardcore power prog group's first outside the Amory Wars saga. These records -- appended by an impressive series of comic books -- are rock & roll's equivalent of space opera. Until now, they've been the focal point of the band's -- and composer/guitarist/frontman Claudio Sanchez's -- identity.
Formed out of the ashes of several other projects (such as Toxic Parents, Beautiful Loser, and Shabütie) roughly twenty years ago, New York quartet Coheed and Cambria fuse styles like progressive rock, post-hardcore, pop, and folk into relentlessly catchy and complex amalgams. Their trademark blend apocalyptic guitar riffs, frantic percussion, contagious hooks, and theatrical vocals have cemented the band as one of the most thrilling, reliable, ambitious, and idiosyncratic acts of its era. Of course, a major reason why so many fans are drawn to the quartet’s discography is the Amory Wars storyline, an overarching sci-fi saga that links each of Coheed and Cambria’s previous seven LPs (in fact, the group is named after two if its central characters).
Emo’s nerdiest drop the concept for album eight. It’s really no insult to call Coheed And Cambria the dorkiest band in recent memory. With their seven previous albums inexorably linked to The Armoury Wars sci-fi saga, the concept was king and they wore their Dungeons & Dragons kinship with pride. .
After exploring the rich, extensive science fiction saga of The Amory Wars for seven albums, prog rockers Coheed and Cambria are finally ready to make it personal. Where their previous works focused on a fantastical story created by frontman Claudio Sanchez, they lift the sci-fi curtain and shine a spotlight directly onto Sanchez with their eighth album, The Color Before the Sun. No longer hiding behind his creation (the protagonists of which gave his band their name), Sanchez is finally unafraid of how fans might react to a Coheed and Cambria record inspired by the story of Claudio Sanchez of New York rather than Coheed and Cambria Kilgannon of Heaven’s Fence.
The Amory Wars are over. Band visionary Claudio Sanchez called a cease-fire on Coheed and Cambria's seven-album sci-fi sprawl, and now dips into more emotionally grounded territory. Pop rock rather than space prog, The Color Before the Sun is akin to his beloved Rush's permanent wave goodbye to fantasy epics in favor of radio-friendly AOR. Only "You Got Spirit, Kid" feels like vintage Coheed, Sanchez's trademark spit and growl over a jaunty but jagged riff.
Coheed and Cambria is finally addressing the real world. After a long series of proggy science-fiction concept albums, Claudio Sanchez, the band’s singer-songwriter, writes about his own life: new fatherhood, self-doubt, and recent moves around the country. There’s more to like than dislike, but this is by no means the masterpiece some early reviews suggested.