Sebastian Thomson

Album Review: Baroness- Gold & Gray

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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.

 

Overall Rating= A

 

Baroness- Gold & Grey:

 

 

 

Review By: Brian Lacy

Anticipated Albums: Baroness- Gold & Grey

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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- Borderlines:

 

 

 

 

Album Review: Baroness- Purple

 

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There are albums out there that really strike a chord with me. I’ve long believed in the true meaning of what an album is and should be. Meaning that once you put that album on, you just let it go without skipping any songs. In December, Baroness released their album PURPLE. This album is one hell of a gem. There is such a great balance to this record. The way the songs are arranged really lets you get engrossed in the depths of it. The lyrics and vocals push through in a way  that isn’t over powering yet has enough force behind them for you as the listener to feel the pain, torment and hope from the band. A few years back Baroness was on tour in Europe, when they were involved in a very serious bus crash, leaving multiple people in the band and crew severely injured. During the recovery time two members left the band, and the amount of pain and depression really set in for the rest especially for singer/guitarist John Baizley. The end result of all that is this absolutely wonderful album. From start to finish, Purple grabs you and doesn’t let go. The production on this album was also handled by David Friedman (The Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev), which explains the added element of psychedelia and layers. The first song on the album “Morningstar” kicks off with a powerful riff, and gruff yet melodic vocals, setting the tone for what’s to come. “Shock Me” and “Try To Disappear are stellar standouts on this album. one listen to each and you’ll understand why. The band really shines on these songs. “Kerosene” is similar in vein to what older Baroness fans really dug about the band. The first single “Chlorine and Wine” is a brilliant song full of many different influences that really help this song shine. Lyrically the story told is deep and meaningful. All the lyric on this are deep and meaningful. “The Iron Bell,” “Desperation Burns,” and “If I Have To Wake Up,” round out the beauty of this masterpiece of an album.

Baroness is one of those bands that aren’t afraid to take chances and experiment to bring out the best of the band. Their previous effort Yellow & Green was misunderstood by a lot of their fans, but it really helped the band in dialing in on what they are. Starting out as a heavier band, each album has allowed Baroness to grow and develop their own style. The addition of the new drummer and bassist, and the bus crash has really helped Baroness become a truly great band. Purple is their defining album. I’d even go as far as saying that this is one of the best albums since the turn of the century.

 

Baroness- Purple:

 

The Making of Purple: