Coheed and Cambria’s new album is a soft surprise

On Oct. 16 of this year, famed progressive rock band Coheed and Cambria released their eighth studio album, “The Color Before the Sun.” As the band’s first non-conceptual album, “The Color Before the Sun” may just be one of the more interesting albums released so far, with undeniably poppy riffs and structure, but with the same Coheed flavor that fans know and love.

From start to finish, “The Color Before the Sun” stands out immediately for it’s shocking softness. Dominated by acoustics and some distressing lyrics, it seems that singer/guitarist Claudio Sanchez’s foray into lyrics from the heart instead of the head was a dark journey indeed. Even the song “Atlas,” a song he wrote for his newborn son, contains the lyrics “And if one good thing comes from my away, it’s that you won’t be anything like me, and so better for it you will be.”

Grim subjects and lyrics aside, it is still nice to hear something that isn’t attached to Sanchez’s “The Amory Wars” story line. This album is far more relatable in that respect, offering songs like “Here to Mars” and “Young Love” about love and relationships that don’t also revolve around “the Keywork” and “Heaven’s Fence.”

Fans of the conceptual story on which the band is based shouldn’t shy away from this album though. It may not be a concept album, but “The Audience,” the ninth song on the album, offers some hope to the “Children of the Fence.” The chorus of the song proclaims “This is my audience, forever one, together burning star, cut from the same disease ever longing what and who we are.” With the depth and prominence of the “Monstar virus” in “The Amory Wars, ” not to mention the albums titled “Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV,” volumes one and two. Even if “The Audience” turns out to be just a song for fans, those lyrics are too perfect to not seem related.

Overall, “The Color Before the Sun” seems like it could be any other Coheed album, if it weren’t for the lyrics. It may be softer that fans are used to, but the composition is essentially the same. We still get Claudio’s signature soaring vocals, and some may even find the break in continuity refreshing. In the end, “The Color Before the Sun” seems like a wonderful easy album for the casual listener to pick up, and a nice treat for die-hard fans to listen to in between albums.