Back before the world went into total chaos and lockdown and then some, there was a time when things were still “normal.” In 2019, when Baroness released their absolutely wonderful album Gold & Grey, they did a small concert in this really tiny club for Kerrang Magazine. The end result was beyond memorable. I’ve lost count on how many times I’ve watched this show. The set list is amazing, the performances are out of this world and the older material with this lineup sounds better than it’s ever sounded. This performance solidifies Baroness not only as a force to be reckoned with live but also shows that they truly know how to make a show and set list flow in such a way that you not only are captivated but a bit hypnotized as well. I can’t wait for the next Baroness album! I have a feeling it’s going to be something to really be excited about.
Baroness- Live in the K Pit:
Set List: 01) Morningstar 02) Seasons 03) March To The Sea 04) Borderlines 05) Can Oscura 06) A Horse Called Golgotha 07) Shock Me
A friend of mine recently got into Baroness and ever since he told me that, I went back down the rabbit hole of Baroness and found a slew of alternate versions, acoustic renditions and live versions of some of my favorite songs in the bands catalog. Baroness’s last album Gold and Grey features some of my now all time favorite Baroness songs as well as my favorite lineup of the band. One song in particular that always gets me when I have Gold and Grey on is “Tourniquet.” There is something so gripping about this song. It’s delicate, powerful and one hell of a well written song. Plus the addition of Gina Gleason to the band really has taken Baroness to a whole level of writing and performance. Check out this killer version the band did during the quarantine of “Tourniquet.” It’s quite fantastic!
Next up on Audioeclectica.com’s 2019 End Of The Year Lists, the Top 10 Guitar Duos. The stipulation is that, an album/EP had to have been released this year.
Vote for your favorite in the comments section. At the end of the month, I will release the results of the readers poll.
This list is also in NO PARTICULAR ORDER!!!
01) James “Munky” Shaffer and Brian “Head” Welch- Korn
02) John Dyer Baizley and Gina Gleason- Baroness
03) Stephen Brodsky and Adam McGrath- Cave In
04) James Root and Mick Thompson- Slipknot
05) Joel Stroetzel and Adam Dutkiewicz- Killswitch Engage
06) Albert Navarro and Nathan Najera- Seizures
07) Joe Trohman and Scott Ian- The Damned Things
08) Richard Kruspe and Paul Landers- Rammstein
09) Chelsea Wolfe and Bryan Tulao- Chelsea Wolfe
10) Andrew Diaz and Matthew Wright- Harborlights
Ever since they released their Red album, Baroness have been on one hell of a journey. One that would take the band to different highs and lows both musically and personally. Through all that though, Baroness has always persevered and used all of that to create albums (yes I said albums) that encapsulate everything into a beautiful piece of work. Now in 2019, with the release of Gold and Grey, Baroness have rediscovered parts of themselves with an album that is truly a work of art from start to finish. This album is one of the best of 2019 without a doubt.
The moment the album begins with “Front Toward Enemy” there is a feeling that overtakes the listener with a sense of “here we go.” There’s a section in the song lyrically that I like to think of as foreshadowing “We’re headed for disaster, But I won’t close my eyes until it’s over, So carry on.” To me that is such a powerful statement and one that thematically resonates throughout the entire album. As the album continues on, the songs have this wonderful ebb and flow that really pulls you in and crawls under your skin in such a way that you find a sense of comfort in the music, words, and melodies. Songs like “I’m Already Gone,” “Seasons,” “Tourniquet,” “Throw Me An Anchor,” “I’d Do Anything,” “Emmett- Radiating Light,” “Cold-Blooded Angels,” “Broken Halo,” “Borderlines,” and “Pale Sun” are all stunning on their own merit but, as a whole they really deliver something spectacular.
The addition of guitarist/vocalist Gina Gleason has given Baroness the touch they’ve always needed. Gina’s guitar playing is outstanding and she and singer/guitarist John Dyer Baizley play off each other in wondrous fashion but, her vocal ability is what really takes this album and it’s songs to anther level. The delicate textures on this album courtesy of the harmonizing vocals makes Gold & Grey stand out even more in the bands catalog. Drummer Sebastian Thomson and bassist Nick Jost, provide this album with a rhythm that is thunderous and pummeling but, in a way that is delicate and dense. The band has always been a stellar band but, this lineup is truly the essence of what Baroness is. There’s only one thing about this album that is off and that’s the mix. It’s pushed a bit too far into the red making for a distorted fuzz sound that at times, overtakes the music and the textures. That’s really the one fault this album has. Other than that, what a great album.
Gold & Grey is an album that with out a doubt stands out not just in Baroness’s catalog but, also in today’s musical climate. The creative elements that brought these songs together shine ever so bright. If you would have told me when I first heard Baroness, that one day they’d release an album like this, I wouldn’t have believed you. But, here we are and they have made a remarkable piece of work, one that will be a pinnacle for bands to follow and be inspired by.
Baroness are back and will release their new studio album “Gold & Grey” June 14th through the their own label Abraxan Hymns. The album is again produced by Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Mogwai), whom the band also worked with on their most recent release, “Purple.” Gold & Grey is the first album to feature new guitarist Gina Gleason and based on this first track alone, Gina fits in perfectly with Baroness. Her style of playing is spot on and her backing vocals compliment singer/guitarist John Baizley impeccably. Check out the first single and video “Borderlines.”
Baroness have long proved to be masters of epic songs. Each of their albums have gotten better and better as time goes on. Like Mastodon, Baroness have really carved out a niche within the heavy music community. It’s wonderful to watch a band grow over the years to craft something special and epic. Personally, I really dig on the closing song off their Purple album “If I Have To Wake Up.” That song is beyond beautiful.