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Mace & Crown | February 20, 2018

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Coheed and Cambria Reveal ‘The Color Before The Sun’

Adam Flores
Staff Writer

Progressive rock veterans Coheed and Cambria have unveiled their eighth studio album, “The Color Before The Sun.” Released on Oct. 16, the prog-pop-metal quartet returns with their signature sound, but also a departure from their iconic “The Amory Wars” storyline.

The new release breaks away from their Sci-Fi concept album theory, yet their musical integrity is not compromised. Recently released singles such as “You Got Spirit, Kid” and “Here to Mars” are the first songs that stand alone as short stories of frontman Claudio Sanchez’s raw feelings through introspection.

Within the scope of Sanchez’s band duties as lead vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist, he also authored the famed science fiction narrative, “The Amory Wars.” His literary fiction and comic book series served as the prime medium lyrically for the first seven Coheed and Cambria studio albums.

Coheed and Cambria also consist of fellow guitarist and backing vocalist, Travis Stever, bassist and backing vocalist Zach Cooper, and Josh Eppard on drums as well as backing vocals.

The unique style and sound of Coheed and Cambria has been classified as progressive rock, new prog and progressive metal. Their first album, “The Second Stage Turbine Blade,” initially saw them labeled as post-hardcore. As a band, they are heavily influenced by the likes of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, Misfits and Thin Lizzy.

Perhaps one of the most identifiable sounds on a Coheed and Cambria track is the Geddy Lee vocal tonality Sanchez possesses. Instrumentally, the group is also known for their meticulous attention to superb musicianship. The high art, heady prog brand of music the band stands on brings about an extra breath of life to progressive rock, a currently dying music art form.

“The Color Before The Sun” offers a different glimpse into the group’s musical abilities. They enlisted the talents of numerous musicians supplying string and horn textures, such as the track “Peace to the Mountain.” Throughout the record, the band continues to push their musical arrangements in new sonic directions.

As Sanchez began to write new material back in January, he found that his songwriting process had changed. He reflected on this change in a recent Rolling Stone interview. “This doesn’t have the formula of a Coheed record,” Sanchez said.

Sanchez has had some life changes recently. Anxieties of fatherhood, losing a home, and reflections on morning walks serve as the catalyst to his lyrics on “The Color Before The Sun.” His story is accompanied by driving, colorful musical arrangements that have the expansive feel of power-pop meets space-rock with a mix of ‘90s emocore crunch.

Though the concept-album formula is dismissed on the new record due to the personal life crisis Sanchez sees himself in, the new material adds dimension and depth in his storytelling. The new tracks serve as a welcome addition and add variety to their ever-growing music catalog.

The band’s “Children of the Fence” fan base, coined from the fictional galaxy, Heaven’s Fence, from “The Amory Wars,” have two new music videos. The adolescent comedy, “You Got Spirit, Kid,” released in July 2015 and the lonely, urban “Island,” which was released earlier this month, visually bring to the forefront Sanchez’s personal story.

Coheed and Cambria kicked off their U.S. tour in support of “The Color Before The Sun” on Aug. 8 in Nashville, Tennessee. They will be making a stop at The NorVa on Friday evening, Dec. 4, as part of the 96X Winter Meltdown Concert Series.