Baroness ”ËYellow and Green’ (Relapse Records)
Colin McCracken has been totally blown away by the new double album from eclectic sludgy metal cum rock band Baroness and has hailed it as one of the years best. Read on to see why he’s so excited.
Following up on 2007’s ”ËRed Album’ and 2009’s ”ËBlue Record’, Baroness have absolutely knocked it out of the park with ”ËYellow and Green’, which was released last week. It has been so long since a double album has grabbed me so instantaneously and in doing so, it has immediately cemented itself as one of my favourite releases of the year so far.
Relapse have been branching out with their band roster a great deal recently, acquiring the likes of Red Fang from Sargent House and promoting fellow Savannah, Georgia based sludge metallers Black Tusk. Baroness have also recently managed to secure a great reputation following highly successful tours supporting Mastodon and Deftones, yet still have not reached the heights of critical acclaim which many feel they deserve. These records may change all that.
The first thing which will hit you when you pick up a copy of this album is just how transgressive and varied it sounds. It combines elements of almost too many styles to list.
”ËYellow’ opens with a lilting instrumental which flows into the instant anthem that is ”ËTake My Bones Away’. Sometimes you know a classic album when it feels somewhat familiar upon the first listen, whilst still presenting you with something new and unique. Over the course of the following 8 tracks, ”ËYellow’ does exactly this. It absolutely refuses to allow the listener to become complacent. There are enough powerful choruses and solid riff structures here to establish a decade worth of festival sing-alongs. It’s epic, it’s grandiose and above all, it’s a marvelous record.
It is also important to clarify at this juncture that ”ËYellow and Green’ are not so much metal albums as rock albums. At times they echo the likes of Pentagram, Thin Lizzy and even Rush. Mostly, I love how they both defiantly refuse to allow themselves to be classified. The two discs have such a multitude of styles on display that Baroness have almost effortlessly achieved the most difficult thing which any ambitious rock band face; they have released a double album which is worthy of being a double album.
”ËGreen’ takes the enthusiasm which is mustered by ”ËYellow’ and goes to town with it, creating wonderfully sprawling tracks which oftentimes take gloriously unexpected turns.
One of the most exciting things about these albums is just how advanced they seem in comparison to their predecessors. We are clearly witnessing a band as they mature and it’s comparison to their predecessors. We are clearly witnessing a band as they mature and it’s an exciting prospect to see where they will take us from here. Bring on the next tour.