Baroness
Red Album


4.5
superb

Review

by gasmaskman USER (6 Reviews)
November 14th, 2007 | 298 replies | 31,892 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Take old Mastodon, and mix it with some Isis. Though it is deeper than that.

5 of 6 thought this review was well written

Baroness is:
John Baizley - guitar, vocals
Brian Blickle - guitar
Summer Welch - bass
Allen Blickle - drums

Maybe you don't realize it, but John Baizley is rather famous - at least, in the metal community. I myself am a fan of his work, and it's pretty much everywhere. His art ranges from the covers of Darkest Hour's and Pig Destroyer's latest albums, to the whole range of Sounds of the Underground Tour art, and a long list of band T's. It's enough to say his art is amazing, but the music? Put Baroness to the list of recent bands starting to form around the Savannah, Georgia hotbed, next to Mastodon, Light Pupil Dilate, and Kysela. The band has a clear southern influence on their sound, and the production is raw. Standing on their own, they bring a sound that mixes progressive metal, sludge/doom elements, and a twist of post-metal.

Instrumentally, the band is sound. Crafting lengthy interludes, with heavy climaxes and weaving guitars, the band barely plays a dull moment (minus the lengthy and boring Wanderlust). The bass is fairly audible, and adds a key low section to the entire album. The album opener Rays of Pinion slowly builds till the vocals hit, and then you notice something. This band is pretty much, in every way, a combination of Mastodon and Isis. Baizley has a very similar bellow to Brent Hinds, and a throaty grunt not unlike Aaron Turner's. Though not necessarily a bad thing, it slows down an album bent on defying conventional genre definitions.

On towards The Birthing and Isak, Baroness bring the album's shining example of excellent guitar work towards the second half of the album's second song. Dividing the two sections of the song is an effective bass fill, and is overall an incredible song. The next track is another guitar-driven track, and features a very suitable intro. It's obvious to see these two tracks show their clear Mastodonian influence, with a clear focus on heavy, complex riffs and long instrumental sections.

Hitting us next is the song Wailing Wintry Wind, which easily shows off their ability to craft lengthy and complex sections of pure instrument bliss. For the first two minutes or so, the guitar takes a back seat, instead filling in an ambient role as some solid work from the drumming side of things appears. For the next two minutes, we're treated to some exceptional and melodic guitar riffs. At four minutes the track hits its high point when the guitars deepen and Baizley's vocals bursts this ever expanding bubble. Breaking up these amazing songs is Cockroach En Fleur, a marvelous acoustic interlude, showcasing there true southern heritage. The downside to this is that the next track is by far the album's weakest.

Wanderlust starts out on a great foot, providing the same insatiably technical guitar as previous songs, along with some solid drumming. Then you realize this song starts to drag for its entire four minute and thirty second duration. The guitar work behind the vocals seems out of place, and the same riff is repeated a countless amount of times. Finally it ends, bringing up the superb song Aleph. Opening with some more slower guitar work, the void of heaviness is once filled as the guitars get heavy and the bass kicks in. The drums shine again in this album, with many a drum roll here, though not nearly as overdone as Brann Dailor at the Mastodon camp.

After this comes the two shortest “real” songs (both around the two and a half minute mark) on the album, Teeth of a Cogwheel, and O'Appalachia. The first of the two features a catchy riff, with complex drumming in the backround. The second of the two is by far the better, with standout guitar work throughout, yet again, and more of the throaty vocals of John Baizley. The “catchiest” and arguably the most accessible of all the tracks, O'Appalachia still doesn't disappoint. The slowest track on the album, Grad, is a fitting close to an album fueled by aggression. A stand-out climax rivaling Isis' best is the highlight of the track. The song picks up towards the end, and then before you know it the album slows to its finale. An album in the running for my album-of-the-year.

Despite the large, glaring influences staring you right back in the face, Baroness have crafted a fine debut worthy of standing next to their peer's albums Leviathan and Panopticon. Even through this, the album is rather different and should definitely be heard. Very highly recommended to fans of Mastodon, and more so if you are a fan of both them and Isis

Recommended:
Rays on Pinion
The Birthing
Aleph




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other reviews of this album
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Baroness show with their first record that they very well know how to rock - and mix things up a bit...

fruteefly (4.5)
...

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what the rednecks in 'Deliverence' would sound like with guitars- really really good!...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Thor
November 14th 2007



10183 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I heard Rays on Pinion and loved it. This will be on my Xmas wish list.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
November 14th 2007



16083 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This really didn't already have a review? Wow.

plane
Staff Reviewer
November 14th 2007



6092 Comments


This sounds rather cool. I like this album art the most out of the Darkest Hour/Pig Destroyer/Baroness titles.

Thor
November 14th 2007



10183 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

^^^
I'm really liking these styles of album covers.

Pebster49
November 15th 2007



2991 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Itunes recommended this for me, but I wasn't sure about it. Im not a huge Isis fan but I do like Mastodon...kinda tempting.

Yyy
November 15th 2007



289 Comments


baroness are kind of lame

and so are the covers for the PD and DH albums

gasmaskman
November 15th 2007



1006 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Im not a huge Isis fan but I do like Mastodon...kinda tempting.

I'd recommend it more for Mastodon fans than Isis fans anyways.

proudgeekdad
November 15th 2007



8 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Definitely has a Mastodon and Kysela feel to it. Good stuff.

Wizard
November 16th 2007



19296 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

and the production is raw

I don't know what your standards are on production levels, but this to me sounded rather clean.
Excellent review none the less. These guys are another Relapse Records band. Do they ever release anything that is just good and not amazing?

Digging: Downer - Downer

LifeInABox
November 16th 2007



3708 Comments


This sounds rather cool. I like this album art the most out of the Darkest Hour/Pig Destroyer/Baroness titles.
Pig Destroyer ftw.This Message Edited On 11.16.07

rid
November 17th 2007



66 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Pretty good album, great first impression, but I got tired of it damn fast, so a 3 it is.

gasmaskman
November 17th 2007



1006 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0


I don't know what your standards are on production levels, but this to me sounded rather clean.

W/e, it fits the music perfect IMO.

Wizard
November 18th 2007



19296 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

^^^^Cool, to each his own.
I just wanted to add that this album sounded so amazing when I first got it, but it quickly became a tiny bit boring after a few listens. Replay value is not the best but it still has some fantastic stoner 'kinda' rock vibe to it.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
November 20th 2007



17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dammit I was gonna do this.

LifeInABox
December 7th 2007



3708 Comments


list of band T's. It's enough to say his art is amazing, but the music? Put Baroness to the list of recent bands starting to form around the Savannah, Georgia hotbed, next to Mastodon, Light Pupil Dilate, and Kysela.
Uhh, these guys aren't new, though.

AA-12
December 7th 2007



35 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great band for sure. I kind of like the older material better, but The Red Album is easily one of the best releases this year.

LifeInABox
December 7th 2007



3708 Comments


The vocalist of one of the bands I saw tonight had a sweet Baroness sweatshirt and an equally sweet MOTA shirt.

Justanothernimrod
December 12th 2007



478 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd say it's closer to Pelican than Isis. still awesome though

Metalikane
December 12th 2007



851 Comments


John Dyer Baizley is an amazing artist. Musically and, especially, with his album artwork. His style reminds me of an evil Mucha.

gasmaskman
December 12th 2007



1006 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Uhh, these guys aren't new, though.

"Baroness formed in mid-2003"
Recent enough.
And I love his art style, though...he designs some of the coolest ****




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