Oh, Coheed and Cambria. What can I say about who are probably my favorite band of all time? Almost all of their albums are classics that I’ve listened to more times than I’d care to admit, and even their one less than stellar offering Year of the Black Rainbow is an underrated, ambitious album. The only comic books I’ve ever bought are those connected to the story of their albums, The Amory Wars. Today I’ll be writing about their first album after the completion of that epic tale, The Color Before the Sun.
Released in 2015, this is Coheed’s least progressive album to date. There are no several track long passages on this album, there are no 8 minute epics. Everything here is very straightforward while still being signature Coheed. From the first track “Island,” we’re introduced to the album with a classic Coheed and Cambria beautiful riff and vocalist Claudio Sanchez’s inimitable voice.
Maybe after 13 years of pushing the boundaries of where their blend of punk, progressive, and classic rock could take them these guys decided to tone it down a bit musically, and I think it pays off fine. Instead of sweeping passages like “The Willing Well” series on Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV, Vol. 1, we’re treated punchy riffs and bombastic choruses. If the chorus on “Here’s to Mars” doesn’t get stuck in your head after hearing it, you may have some issues.
The album is still as emotionally potent as they’ve always been, too. “Atlas” may be their most powerful song to date, written by Claudio for his newborn son. A friend told me it hits much more strongly when you become a father, and while I’m not one it still hit me when I first heard it. “Peace to the Mountain” is another track that will hit your emotions like a ten ton truck. But Coheed and Cambria have always excelled at that, so it’s no surprise they still do here.
The Color Before the Sun is not Coheed’s best album. If I had to scale with their catalog, it may be 4th or 5th best for me. What it is, though, is a refreshing album filled with memorable riffs, strong choruses, and everything you love Coheed and Cambria for. If you already love the band, this is a must listen. If this is your first introduction to these modern legends, I would maybe start with In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth 3 first, but this is an excellent jumping off point as well.
The Color Before the Sun gets a 5/5 from me.
Check out “You Got Spirit, Kid” here.