Year of the Black Rainbow (Deluxe Version)
Year of the Black Rainbow serves as a concluding prequel to The Armory Wars, both a comic-book saga and a five-volume conceptual album series birthed by Coheed and Cambria’s frontman Claudio Sanchez. But enthusiasm for the sci-fi workings of Sanchez’s fantastical chronicles is not a prerequisite to enjoying the monolithic music contained within. The instrumental “One” sets the stage with stark eye-of-the-storm atmospheres while tension subtly swells until “The Broken” bursts through the calm with chaotic aplomb as it throws the listener in the middle of an intergalactic battle. Coheed and Cambria narrate this war with dramatic and progressive rock underscored by drummer Chris Pennie’s unpredictable rhythms that approximate cannon blasts one moment and rapid artillery fire the next. The triumphant-sounding “Here We Are Juggernaut” gets anthemic in the ascending chorus as Sanchez’s singing soars skyward to combat the emotions and repercussions of his protagonist’s forbidden love.