Baroness – Red Album


Artist

Album

Red Album

Label

Relapse/Riot!

Year

2007

Genre

For Fans Of

Isis – Mastodon - Neurosis

Summary

A new heir to the ambient metal throne...

Rating

95 / 100

Having released two well received
EP’s and garnering critical acclaim from the underground metal community, Baroness still aren’t what you’d call a household name. With the
“Red Album”, I think it’s safe to say that the band’s profile will
rise rather rapidly, because this is a near flawless record that fans
of Clutch and Neurosis will lap up. 

For those of you who are un-familiar
with the band, imagine a cleaner and more to the point version of Mastodon and you’d be on the right track. Utilizing a similar style
of singing to Troy Sanders and Neil Fallon (look them up if you don’t
know who I’m talking about), Baroness‘ more streamlined take
on the southern rock meets metal genre is complex enough to appeal
to all the instrumental gurus out there, while still having the hooks
to please your average music fan.  

It was a smart decision opening
the record with “Rays Of Pinion” as the band successfully showcase
their instrumental prowess without sounding self indulgent. After building
the track for the first few minutes with layer upon layer of Isis-esque
guitars it all culminates in a crushing tirade that would have the rest
of the Relapse Records roster nodding in approval.  

“The Birthing” will instantly
draw comparison to the previously mentioned Mastodon, but if
you’re going to be heavily influenced by a band, it may as well be the
best. The riffs and the groove of this tune provide an unbeatable backbone
for Baroness to build from and John Baizley’s vocals are the icing on the cake. Oh yeah, the instrumental breakdown
at the two minute thirty mark of the song is close to being the musical
highlight of 2007. 

“Isak” slows the pace right
down with its classic rock leanings and provides the perfect segway
into “Wailing Wintry Wind”, which is a six minute filled with delay
soaked guitars and driving rhythms. A lot of bands try and mix up the
dynamic of their records with the inclusion of a slower tune… and
often they completely lose the momentum they’ve worked so hard to build.
Luckily for us,  Baroness don’t suffer from the same problems
as the album’s mid section perfectly compliments the remainder of the
record.  

The acoustic stylings of “Cockroach
En Fleur” make way for my personal favourite “Wanderlust”, which
wouldn’t sound out of place on a Doomriders record. The grinding
guitars and soaring vocals makes the tune stand head and shoulders above
the rest of the Red Album… which is no mean feat when you consider
the quality of the record.  

“Aleph’s” bass driven rumble
slows things down again and gives the band’s drummer Allen a
chance to show off the wide variety of beats he is capable of, while
“Teeth Of A Cogwheel” proves that if Baroness opted to release
a purely instrumental record then they would reign supreme over that
genre as well. “O’Appalachia” is one of the band’s shorter songs
but is no less effective, which brings us to “Grad”… hands down
one of the best songs of 2007! Finishing in the same fashion that the
record began, the slow and melodious guitars make for one hell of a
powerful noise. 

Conclusion

One final thing, make sure
you actually buy this record kids! Yes, I’m talking to all you downloading
fiends… The artwork on offer is stunning and it’s courtesy of the
band’s front man John Dyer Baizley who’s also worked on
various records for Darkest Hou, Pig Destroyer and The Red Chord… so get excited already!

Tracklisting

  1. Rays Of Pinion
  2. The Birthing
  3. Isak
  4. Wailing On Wintry
    Wind
  5. Cockroach En Fleur
  6. Wanderlust
  7. Aleph
  8. Teeth Of A Cogwheel
  9. O’Appalachia

Leave a Reply

You must be registered and logged in to comment on this post.