Baroness
Yellow and Green


4.5
superb

Review

by Brent Stephenson USER (67 Reviews)
July 9th, 2012 | 187 replies | 13,297 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Yellow and Green finds Baroness making the shift from bombast and technicality to introspection and atmosphere, and ultimately ending up with their masterwork.

25 of 25 thought this review was well written

At this point in Baroness's career, it's safe to say that the Savannah quartet has done more to polarize their own fanbase than any of their contemporaries in the burgeoning realm of southern metal, so much so that more often than not, fans of 2009's Blue Record, myself included, approached the oncoming release of Yellow & Green with more of a sense of hopeful desperation than earnest excitement. Baroness have never been much for retreading their past output, from the tinges of swampy blues that cropped up the midst of Red Album's riffy onslaught, to Blue Record's rethinking of their core sound brimming with classic rock sensibilities and nods to the pseudo-backwoods bluegrass of their roots. However, whereas their previous efforts have found the band undergoing subtle sets of changes, Yellow & Green finds Baroness nearly making a total departure from their previous work, leaving the sludgy oppressiveness of their roots far behind, but not completely forgotten.

Yellow effectively begins in much the same way as Blue Record, with swelling effects laden guitars backing an ever evolving instrumental theme before swelling into the explosively riffy and hook laden opener that is Take My Bones Away. The energetic, guitar propelled sensibilities of Blue can be felt through the first few tracks of Yellow, as monstrous riffs couple with equally monstrous choruses, but with markedly less focus placed on instrumental prowess (though the lead work that creeps out behind the booming hooks of March to The Sea serve to disprove that statement), placing more focus instead on driving melodies and hooks, without actually giving way to a true sense of "pop sensibilities". However, this familiarity is quickly turned on its head as synthetic drums and airy guitar melodies float in, creating the initial skeleton of Little Things, which flows by languidly as John Baizley introspectively croons over it with a sense of melancholy, before the pounding drums and roaring guitar kicks in to close it out. After this 1, 2, 3 punch, Yellow gives way almost completely to the introspection and melancholy hinted at by the openers.

As the initial raucousness of the opening resolves, the true nature of Yellow & Green becomes exponentially more clear, as the thick instrumentation, roaring vocals, and cryptic lyrics of previous releases give way to synthetic, airy atmospheres, warm and purposefully orchestrated vocal harmonies, and introspective themes, as the haunting vocal melodies and demure mood of Twinkler roll into the galloping, psychedelia of Cocanium. Green takes these same ideas and runs wild with them, evidenced by the stuttering electronic beats of Psalms Alive and the sullen trudging of Board up the House. Still, though the sludgy, riff laden heaviness of past cuts like Tower Falls and Isak are all but gone from Yellow & Green, the oppressive nature that has always been at the core of Baroness is still very much intact, though more in aesthetic than blunt attitude. As airy and synthetic as the production in tracks like Cocanium, Psalms Alive, and Stretchmarker may be, the sense of envelopment and immersion that Baroness has always conveyed is still there in spades.

In essence, Yellow & Green finds Baroness making a departure from their previous sludgy aesthetic, whilst simultaneously reinforcing the attitudes and themes that have always been at the core of their sound. By doing away with the riffy savagery and mountainous bombast of the past and instead focusing on introspection and their inherently restless creativity, Baroness has both made arguably the most genuine progression of a band within their sphere in recent memory, and coincidentally crafted their masterwork thus far.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
marksellsuswallets
July 9th 2012



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sup Sputnik been a while.

Antipunk
July 9th 2012



324 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

great review. great album.

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
July 9th 2012



7955 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Who the hell are you

wacknizzle
July 9th 2012



12551 Comments


Sup bro, good review. I just started listening the album today, it's very ballady but I really enjoyed it.

Digging: PVRIS - Paris

BirthRite
July 9th 2012



1318 Comments


well that was quick

marksellsuswallets
July 9th 2012



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Had it for a while actually...this was written like yesterday.

FictionalFlames
July 9th 2012



1516 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review.

ThroneOfAgony
July 9th 2012



3485 Comments


great review but this is not for me

fuckthatnoise
July 9th 2012



1479 Comments


easily in my top 5 of the year so far. great review btw.

BirthRite
July 9th 2012



1318 Comments


I'll read your review later and maybe after I've listened to the stream and if I like your review I'll pos.

mindleviticus
July 9th 2012



8148 Comments


I'll listen to the stream when I get home.

ThroneOfAgony
July 9th 2012



3485 Comments


yellow and green more like black and yellow amirite

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2012



4372 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm almost finish with my review of it as well, but I wasnt planning un uploading it until next week. Anyway, have a well deserved POS! review is excellent.

Tyrael
July 9th 2012



20712 Comments


loving this

D41V30N
July 9th 2012



949 Comments


pos

i heard a few songs from this and this is the tits

MeatSalad
July 9th 2012



14093 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I pos'd although I disagree. The production and baizley's weak singing voice ruin a lot of would-be good songs.

Digging: Love - Forever Changes

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
July 9th 2012



4372 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I asked to see if you could get featured, hopefully you do.

marksellsuswallets
July 9th 2012



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I don't really see it as weak though. Judging from live performances recently it's not like he lost his voice or anything, he still nails all the old stuff. It's just more of a purposeful step back, at least that's just way I look at it.

MeatSalad
July 9th 2012



14093 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's his clean vocals specifically that are weak, is what I meant to say

D41V30N
July 9th 2012



949 Comments


still much better than the cleans of most other metal vocalists out there



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