Baroness – Blue Record


Artist

Album

Blue Record

Label

Relapse Records

Year

2009

For Fans Of

Mastodon – Doom Riders - Kylesa

Summary

Superb sludge rock

Rating

90 / 100

Combining equals parts ambience and chaos can often be a hectic task. Thankfully Georgias Baroness are not a group of young gentlemen trying their hand at gloomy alternative rock for the first time, but more seasoned veterans who have honed their skills over the years which really shows in their well received sophomore release “Blue Record”

Blue Record, at its very core and basic fundamental being is likely to be some of the most overpowering and thought provoking sludge rock you are going to hear in recent memory. While I stand by this statement with great conviction, there is the still a nigling reminiscent feeling that we’ve heard this all before so those who have heard Mastodons monumental album Crack The Skye some of the impact could be lost on you.

There is an equal spread of doom and serenity scattered across Blue album which starts heavy early in while the latter tracks like Blackpowder Orchard and The Gnashing diverge onto a more serene path built around slow wailing guitar solos, a minimalistic drum beat and sounding almost folk at certain points.

The production is almost as interesting as the record itself with Grammy award nominated producer John Congelton (Explosions in the sky, Modest Mouse) casting his now signature dark sound with Baroness . The tone of the solos is unique amongst the album carrying a feeling that is often lost in modern produced cds. The Rhythm sections speak for themselves being prominent in the mix but not overbearing.

While it may take a few spins to properly digest what is happening in each song there is no doubt the amount of time and effort put into constructing each song on Blue Record will see it remaining dominant in the car stereo for the majority of 2010.

Conclusion

Blue record is equally a journey as it is music and while I would rather see them in a 200 capacity venue we will all have to make due with Soundwave next month.

Tracklisting

  1. Bullhead’s Psalm
  2. The Sweetest Curse
  3. Jake Leg
  4. Steel That Sleeps the Eye
  5. Swollen and Halo
  6. Ogeechee Hymnal
  7. A Horse Called Golgotha
  8. O’er Hell and Hide
  9. War, Wisdom and Rhyme
  10. Blackpowder Orchard
  11. The Gnashing
  12. Bullhead’s Lament

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