Coheed And Cambria: The Color Before The Sun

Prog heroes reach beyond the conceptual

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After seven albums of elaborate, enchanting progressive rock based on frontman Claudio Sanchez’s The Amory Wars saga, the New Yorkers have diverted from their sci-fi dalliances for the first time.

Though it does mean a less dramatic edge, especially following the adventurous double album The Afterman, Coheed’s strength has always lain in personable themes that don’t take a comic nerd to digest, while subtly incorporating all manner of deft musical touches into accessible, hook-laden anthems.

It continues from the off with Island’s vibrant coalition of perfect pop melodies, irrepressible charm and storytelling nous. The irresistible punch of Here To Mars and Atlas boast the band’s skill for delivering overwhelming hooks, with Claudio’s inimitable vocals laying his emotions bare for all to see. The sombre Colors and Ghost sooth the soul with gothic textures, the more dissonant tones of Young Love and The Audience take time to make their impact felt, while the gospel-tinged strum of Peace To The Mountain ends proceedings on an unexpected high. More subdued and just lacking that crucial ingredient that has turned previous efforts into timeless classics, The Color Before The Sun still shows this most fearless of bands still strive for greatness.

Adam Brennan

Rugby, Sean Bean and power ballad superfan Adam has been writing for Hammer since 2007, and has a bad habit of constructing sentences longer than most Dream Theater songs. Can usually be found cowering at the back of gigs in Bristol and Cardiff. Bruce Dickinson once called him a 'sad bastard'.