Coheed and Cambria, 'Year of the Black Rainbow' (Columbia)

4
Year of the Black Rainbow
Critical Mass
Label: Columbia

by Spencer Kornhaber

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. (Spooky piano tinkling!Static!) Coproducer Atticus Ross engineers each tortured chorus and synthesizer bloop to echo past Saturn. And when frontman Claudio Sanchez repeatedly gurgles, "It's oooover," at album's end, anyone not tearing up will be sighing with relief.

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