The Color Before The Sun is the first of the prog-rockers albums to stray from their sci-fi The Amory Wars concept. The fans finally get their first real look inside front-man Claudio Sanchez’s mind on the band’s eighth studio album.
The album couldn’t start off with a more grandiose introduction than ‘Island’ as their sound sways more towards indie-rock before Sanchez’s airy vocals make a welcome return. The instrumentation is simpler than usual with the focus being on the lyrics but that doesn’t stop them rocking out while keeping the concept album-style transition into ‘Eraser’. The overall record is soft in comparison to their previous releases, with ‘Colors’ being one of the softest tracks on the album and giving a feeling of taking a gentle stroll on the clouds with a gentle whisper in your ear. ‘Here To Mars’ is possibly the most hard rocking love song of 2015 with an anthemic chorus which creeps up on you before screaming in your face as Coheed and Cambria take it to the extreme on this album, from soaring choruses to the bare-bones ‘Ghost’, which simply features an acoustic guitar plucking away as the vocals glide in and out like a ghost wandering the corridors of a haunted cottage.
If you dislike soft Coheed, ‘Atlas’ will whet your appetite as they return to their loud and proud best with Sanchez singing to his new-born son. Heartstrings are sure to be tugged at as he sings “When your Daddy goes off just you know/that you’re the weight of his anchor/the love that is guiding him home.” All together now…Awwwwww! The New York quartet have never pandered to the mainstream rock scene but they still know how to write a catchy-as-hell hit and ‘You Got Spirit, Kid’ is perhaps their catchiest to date, with a happy-go-lucky vibe , even containing the bold statement, “nobody gives a fuck who you are.” ‘The Audience’ is a huge throwback to their progressive roots with dark, fuzzy guitars and the overall feeling of imminent doom.
The departure from their renowned concept albums could be seen as a risky endeavour but after 20 years, it’s a well-deserved break. Whether this was an experiment or not, their most insightful and reflective record to date is hugely refreshing and sure to bring some new fans to the weird and wonderful world that encompasses Coheed And Cambria.