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The Record Vault: Coheed And Cambria – Year Of The Black Rainbow

Coheed and Cambria had released four albums that covered the story of Coheed and Cambria and their son Claudio against the villain Wilhelm Ryan. On “Year Of The Black Rainbow” you get to hear and read how Wilhelm Ryan became the villain.

This is from the book blurb that came with the deluxe edition, which I tried to get but it sold out so quick.

Welcome to the worlds of Heaven’s Fence, where a lattice of mysterious energy known as “the Keywork” binds and sustains life on a triangular network of planets–from the bleak and hellish Howling Earth to the spare beauty of Bendelesh.

Beneath the Keywork’s glow, under the governance of the twelve grey-skinned Mages and the watchful gaze of the winged Prise, humanity goes about it’s daily life unaffected by the goings-on of the higher powers at work in the universe.

Until the day when the ambitious Wilhelm Ryan, newest member to the brotherhood of Mages, acts on his growing discontent at being branded another ordinary Mage, ruling over one lowly Sector.

Shrewd and silver-tongued, Ryan launches the Mage Wars: a devastating campaign to win control of the entire Fence and take on the legendary mantle of Supreme Tri-Mage, a position likened to God himself.

Dr Leonard Hohenberger, the Fence’s top scientist is summoned by the Prise to stop Ryan. His creations, Coheed and Cambria, are thus born and lead the battle to save Heaven’s Fence.

Released in 2010.

This is the first and only album to feature Chris Pennie on drums and the last to feature Michael Todd on bass, after he was arrested on charges of armed robbery. Claudio Sanchez as usual is on lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards and synthesisers, while Travis Stever does lead guitar and lap steel guitars.

Other songs to come out of this period is a cover of the ZZ Top song, “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers”, for the tribute album “A Tribute from Friends” and a new song “Deranged”, which was released on the soundtrack for the video game “Batman: Arkham City” on October 18, 2011.

“One”

It’s a one minute, soft piano piece, with ambient and creepy noises as you hear the creaking noise of the piano keys when they are pressed down.

“The Broken”

The verses are technical and the Chorus rocks. The breakdown in the middle is as powerful as the band had gotten and the blah blah vocal chant after the Chorus is unsettling but it works.

“Guns of Summer”

This song divided the fans. Drummer Chris Pennie really shines on this. The whole Intro is like a drum solo with vocal melodies and electronica.

It showcases how technical the band can be. The verses are progressive (I saw a comment once that called the verses mind-bending) and the chorus soars.

“Here We Are Juggernaut”

Dark and heavy and progressive metal like.

Listen to the fuzzed out bass in the verses and the addictive vocal melody in the Chorus.

Also the “bodies breaking” vocal melody in the verses always gets me to pay attention.

“Far”

A dreamy electronica influenced ballad. It reminds me of My Chemical Romance and Smashing Pumpkins.

Check out the repeating guitar lick in the Chorus. Simple and effective.

And also check out the fuzzed out lead break from Travis Steer. Neil Young would be proud.

“This Shattered Symphony”

Typical Coheed song which moves between pop rock like riffs and melodies and then switches to those art rock and Metal kind of riffs with frantic vocal melodies.

“World of Lines”

If you like rock music you should be able to get into this song. I was hooked from the intro. And the chorus is one of their best.

“Made Out of Nothing (All That I Am)”

Would not be out of place on “No Word For Tomorrow”. It’s a beautiful mix of pop and hard rock.

“Pearl of the Stars”

Chris Pennie brings some unusual percussion to this song and the guitar work is haunting, yet beautiful. Claudio moves between low pitched vocals to his normal pitch at the right times.

“In the Flame of Error”

Drummer Chris Pennie shines on this track as well. It’s heavy and dark. Check out the riff in the verse.

“When Skeletons Live”

This song is, plain and simple, awesome. From the keyboard led intro, to the brilliant chorus, this is one of my favourite Coheed songs of all time.

“The Black Rainbow”

A cacophony of noise rock, progressive rock and alternative metal. Make sure you check out the outro when Claudio is singing “It’s over” and there’s a fuzzed out decaying lead by Travis Steer with emotive drumming.

For the hardcore fans, the Deluxe edition bonus tracks are “Chamberlain”, “The Lost Shepherd” and the iTunes edition bonus track is “Hush”.

You’ll need to go to YouTube to check them out. The Chorus of “The Lost Shepherd” is worth your time to invest.

The DVD is pretty cool as it shows how the new tools and effects brought in my the producers allowed the guys to be more creative and to express themselves.

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