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The Colour Before the Sun, the first album of Coheed and Cambria since their last conceptual album The Afterman: Ascension and Descension (2012) opens with an ambient grace, utilizing the everyday sounds of the underground before introducing us to a playful, pop-rock number with segments of groove. This contrasts greatly to their previous release, where there was a strong nature of ambient, post-rock instrumentals and heavier vocalisations. The new album, though having a softer tone, similar to Ascension’s tracks, is devoid of the haunted reminiscence, and is rather up-beat.
Accompanying the new musical direction of pop-rock, there is a tendency of leaning towards punkish vocals (Erasers) in the midst of easy listening, indie/acoustic (Island, Colours, Ghost), and vocals you’ll tend to associate with hard rock (Here to Mars, Atlas, Young Love, You Got It Kid), which though touches closer to their previous discography, doesn’t hold the gruffness, which implies they are deeply experimenting with lighter sound – which is the core nature of progressive music. Progressive rock and the later subgenres (neo-progressive, new prog, art rock, progressive metal and djent), a subshoot of psychedelic, have toyed with many genres in its duration; jazz, blues, classical, funk, pop, and of course metal, Coheed and Cambria are no exception; but unlike many of their American and Canadian peers (Dream Theatre , Spock’s Beard, Sound of Contact, Glass Hammer to name a few) that fall back on the early founders for inspiration, this group dabble deeper into modern rock culture; alternative rock, indie, pop-rock, pop, therefore are not only paying tribute to what came before, but presenting the genre to a fresh audience.
The Audience instantly draws my attention to the strong metal-esque rifts, as well as the homage to Phil Collins of Genesis (1970 – 2007), after he took over from Peter Gabriel in 1975 with the weighty usage of drums by Josh Eppard (echoing In the Air Tonight, 1981). Claudio Sanchez is considerably eliminating Collins vocally within The Audience, comparable to Mama, from the titular album Genesis (1983) and Peace to the Mountain.