Coheed and Cambria delivers with "Year of the Black Rainbow"

It's always a bit unnerving when one of your favorite bands releases a new album. While musical evolution is expected for artists, it can be difficult to accept change without comparing it to a sound or genre established in previous albums. Considering this, it's always good to keep an open mind.

Coheed and Cambria is one band whose recent release, "The Year of the Black Rainbow," is a true testament to artistic growth and musical maturity. Released in April 2010, their fifth studio album manages to be more refined while still dispensing the intense ferocity that fans have come to expect.

"With a band like [Coheed and Cambria], who have been around for years, a new album can make or break your allegiance," says SMC student and fan Natalie Sanchez. "It's like, okay, your last album was awesome, so don't screw it up for me. But they have stayed true to their sound. [Black Rainbow] is a seriously amazing record."

With vocals by frontman Claudio Sanchez, Travis Stever on guitar, bass by Mic Todd, and Joshua Eppard on drums, the band delivers an album with a verve that is reminiscent of such iconic rock bands as Nirvana and Rush.

"Black Rainbow" begins with a track titled "One," yielding a peaceful and ominous opening that is really a lead-in to the second track "Broken." It is with this track that the album is thrust headfirst into the pure rock-and-roll sound that has come to define the band. "The Black Rainbow" ends with a long and melodic track that provides a contrasting fade-out and truly shows their growth as a band.

SMC student Taylor Bind witnessed the band's evolution first-hand with their recent performance at the Coachella music festival earlier this month. "[Coheed's] performance wasn't as hard as I remember from other live shows I've seen. It's softer, but it's still rock-and-roll. Claudio still performs each song with the emotion they deserve. You can't go wrong with that."

Coheed and Cambria formed in 2000 from a band that was previously known as Shautle. Hailing from the New York state area, the band released their first studio album "The Second Stage Turbine Blade," released by independent record label Equal Vision in 2002.

With five concept albums under their belts, Coheed has pushed the limits of conventional music writing. Always the slave to rock-and-roll, it seems clear that their musical presence is likely to go unchallenged.