With previous albums like In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 and Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Vol.1: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness, it's easy for those unfamiliar with Coheed and Cambria to dismiss the band as a strange, nerdy, self-indulgent, prog/sci-fi rock group aspiring to a modern-day equivalent of Rush's 2112. Such preconceptions may be pretty accurate, and with Year of the Black Rainbow, their latest release, the name alone suggests more of the same.
And it is. Perpetual guitar riffing, vocals reminiscent of Geddy Lee and Cedric Bixler-Zavala, and radio-ready refrains reflect the album's overarching concept, even though a casual listener may not readily pick up on this backstory. (Apparently, Rainbow serves as the prologue for their other works, all of which comprise a saga known as "The Amory Wars." Who knew?) Coheed's technical proficiency as musicians is apparent, as in "Here We Are Juggernaut" and "In the Flame of Error." Frontman Claudio Sanchez knows how to deliver an accessible, hook-filled album.
By the end of the nearly 54-minute episode, however, the songs are so similar that the result is muddled confusion. Still, you have to give them props for trying, even if intergalactic conflicts and sweep-picking licks aren't your thing.
Coheed and Cambria plays the Wilma Theatre Saturday, Oct. 16, at 8 PM. $28.50.