Year Of The Black Rainbow - Coheed and Cambria

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. As a band, C&C either inspire rabid adoration or complete dismissal; that won't change with Year of the Black Rainbow. That said, any fan of heavy progressive rock music may find this music to be of compelling interest, whether one buys into the conceptual nature of the Amory Wars or not.
  2. Year of the Black Rainbow sounds like a more self-assured take on what the band was attempting to do on the somewhat scattershot "No World for Tomorrow."
  3. Newcomers might well benefit from starting nearer the beginning, but this is one space saga that's worth persevering with. [Jun 2010, p.120]
  4. Still, bending the tonal and narrative demand of Amory-whose prequel is presented here-into an intricate, melodic, ultimately anthemic album couldn't have been a breeze, but Sanchez and crew have dovetailed their two massive ambitions into an effortless, seamless whole.
  5. Year... continues to follow that bombastic course, packed from start to finish with grandiose, rousing flourishes and ample proggy ballast.
  6. 40
    If you're not already aware that this prog quartet's fifth album serves as both a prequel and a finale to something called "The Amory Wars," bemusement is probably the best you can hope for while enduring their overwrought, topsy-turvy blend of spiky metal riffs, Gollumesque vocals, and ambient melodrama.
  7. The adventurous nature of Coheed and Cambria was what made them so thrilling. And while this new tangent of popular method could win them a fair few new fans, it may leave some of the loyal wanting more from their next opus.
  8. Rainbow contains 12 thrilling sci-fi spectacles, suitable for headbanger and Luddite alike. [14 Apr 2010, p.73]
  9. Beneath the veneer of baffling musicality, it's evident there's nothing new under the sun, no matter what galaxy you're in.
  10. Rainbow feels every bit as massive as the world it sets up. It's not just the heaviest record in Coheed's arsenal; it's also one of the strongest.
  11. There's no trace of Coheed's oddball eclecticism here, or of their dynamic pop sensibilities; instead the emotionally and tonally monochrome Black Rainbow gives the impression of a typically humorless metal act.
  12. It's full of fascinating, stirring moments, but overall, Year of the Black Rainbow suffers just a little too much from its own grand, sprawling ambition.
  13. The record is further evidence of the quartet's easy chemistry. The band is both bold and geeky, creating a signature sound that typically triggers strong reaction; one man's progressive is another's pretentious.
  14. Year of the Black Rainbow is not a bad album. It has its moments, but it is a far, far cry from the greatness Coheed & Cambria possessed on all four previous albums, especially the masterpiece of melody, dynamics, musicianship and continuity that was "Good Apollo I."
  15. While it's sort of a fresh take on their musical canon, it could afford with more new songwriting techniques and maybe less vocal effects. Still, Year of the Black Rainbow is a consistently great album that may have required just a bit more panache, and certainly lives up to its predecessors.
  16. It doesn't take a biological science major to realize that this album is very well worth listening to regardless of whether you're a seasoned veteran of The Amory Wars storyline or you've never even heard of Coheed & Cambria.
  17. Unfortunately, "Year" lacks the grandiose thematic concepts of previous outings as well as an immediate single, like past songs "A Favor House Atlantic" or "The Suffering."
  18. Coheed And Cambria are always at their finest when they're being dramatic, and as such 'Year Of The Black Rainbow' is possibly their best record to date.
  19. Rainbow is definitely Sanchez's show: His dreamy vocals give all the fantasy crap real human warmth. [May/Jun 2010, p.966]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 108 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 9
  2. Negative: 4 out of 9
  1. Feb 8, 2013
    This was everything BUT Coheed. A little too over-engineered and mediocre in many parts, this album sadly stands alone in their amazing discography...
  2. Oct 22, 2012
    Really disappointing - total lack of their typical anthemic songs (save, perhaps, Here we are Juggernaut). Over-produced, the whole album feels dark and dreary. In my opinion, their worst album to date. Full Review »
  3. Oct 28, 2011
    As technical as it is, 'Year of the Black Rainbow' can't break away and become what it was meant to be. As cliche as it sounds, this was supposed to be Coheed and Cambria's love-letter to their fans and in essence; their magnum opus. Highly talked about before its release, the hype not only got me researching and anticipating; I also pre-ordered it to boot. The album is as technical as it gets, with songs like 'Guns of Summer' making any fan of prog have weak knees. The guitar work is great, and the drumming is sufficient; but the bass seems flat more often than not. The technicality that is on display draws from what the album truly is, a flawed piece of work that is equally uneventful as it is impressive. Now, not to say that the entire album is bad. Songs like 'Here We Are Juggernaut' and 'World of Lines' are possibly some of the best prog songs to come out this decade. But, most of the album slips into limbo, and follows the track of being repetitive. Time and time again, an album hits that blinds with technicality; while slipping through with an unimaginative experience that will likely turn fans away. 'Year of the Black Rainbow' tries too hard, and falls short of greatness. Full Review »