My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade

My Chemical Romance - The Black Parade

To celebrate Halloween, we've been trying to think of an album that wouldn't spring to mind, but undoubtedly fits the haunted mood.

Of all the possibilities, a concept album about a cancer patient's journey, from being diagnosed through to his "Famous Last Words", is one we think deserves a mention.

My Chemical Romance have their share of critics, but they shocked the rock world with The Black Parade, a classic rock-inspired opera detailing the life and death of The Patient.

For all the criticism the band fall under, this was quite possibly the best album of 2006, and showed real ambition from a band that, until that point, were firmly rooted in an emo, alt-rock scene that disowned them just as much as the mainstream did.

From the heavily cabaret two-part introduction of 'The End.' and "Dead!", the band's collective tongue is pressed firmly in cheek as they deliver an album still as beautiful as it is vicious.

The Black Parade is a record that blends wonderfully, each song moving the journey along without ever seeming out of place.

That's not to say the album ever edges on being predictable - it's wonderful to have an album so coherent and consistent in its theme and story that it works best when listened, uninterupted, from start to finish.

As overplayed as it became, 'Welcome To The Black Parade' still remains one of MCR's greatest works to date, a glorious track with several movements to create a very special track.

One song My Chem do not get enough credit for is the heart-wrenching, raw and bluntly-titled 'Cancer'.

A tender and beautiful ballad, it's almost hard to believe that Gerard Way isn't a suffering cancer patient as he shows true passion in lines like "Baby, I'm just soggy from the chemo, and counting down the days to go".

With the diversity on the record (including the straight-up rocker 'Teenagers', which became an anthem for disaffected youths), it's truly admirable that My Chemical Romance kept up a level of consistency in both quality and sound.

It strengthened a trend of continual progression and evolution (both sonically and in terms of image), which was cemented with last year's Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.

Female First - Alistair McGeorge