Review Summary: Simply a band evolving.Yellow & Green
is a division upon itself. Two different faces, one reflecting on the past and the other looking to the future. The dichotomized structure of Yellow & Green
is a symbolic reference to Baroness' musical direction, a meditation on both beginnings and transitions. The music of Baroness has often been renowned for its aggressive sound, with moments that often displayed a release of intense ferocity. But even then there was always a more abstract element present in their music, even if it was very subtle. In their two previous efforts, we found Baroness occasionally experimenting with atmospheric overtones, adding a slight sense of psychedelia into their vigorous and enthralling approach to Sludge Metal. This album, on the other hand, embraces a more experimental agenda with a prominent usage of ambient textures to decorate the music.
The Yellow section is very reminiscent of Baroness' heavier roots, but the music tends to prefer a more mellifluous sound rather than an aggressive one. "Take My Bones Away"
and "Sea Lungs"
are descends into a restrained style of Sludge Metal, as we find the band exploring a more melodic approach. The more delicate songs in Yellow, like "Cocainium"
, exposes the sensitive side of Baroness. The music exhibits a newly comprised sound, first inviting us into a sensual ambient environment, before having us ascend into a more elevated sound. The guitar arrangements often add a heavier aesthetic to the music, but even as their sound is drenched in harmonic dissonance, they manage to retain a mellow feel. And as we become more and more familiar with all of the different musical dimensions that Yellow & Green
wants to acquaint us with, we desperately keep our senses awake for the moment that we are reunited with that familiar release of roaring intensity that has seduced our enthusiasm all these years- But we never find it, and the disappointment may become too overwhelming to ignore for some listeners. But once we accept this album for what it is, or more accurately, for what it isn't, the listening experience becomes all the more enriching.
The Green section further explores the atmospheric realms of psychedelia. "Psalms Alive"
is decorated with flourishing cosmic sounds that coat us in a sensuous embrace. And even as the song porgresses into a more aggressive delivery, when the album desperately tries to reassure us that we are indeed listening to Baroness, it becomes difficult to believe when the music continues to flow in a psychedelic cloud before evaporating from our perception. "Mtns. (The Crown & Anchor)"
is another one of the more jubilant songs from this section, but we find Baroness continuing to expand on the delicate orchestrations encountered in Yellow. The music fluctuates with such an alleviating texture, inducing a soothing sensation within its mellow intimacy. "Collpase"
is another entry into a surrealistic environment, one blossoming with perceptually altering effects that live to simply tease our mind and distort our senses.
As we finally reach the climax of Green, and thus ending our journey through this album's various musical worlds, we get a sense that this wasn't just a mere experiment with a new musical style. Baroness have often expressed themselves as a band that willingly indulges in exploratory meditative sessions, discovering new possibilities and expanding their musical knowledge, even if the experience is uncomfortable. And that's the attitude that determines whether a band will be remembered long after their time, or die as another nameless act that never managed to rise above the radar. If you're anticipating to find the same Baroness of the previous two albums, and nothing more, then listening to this will surely prove to be an irritating experience. But if you're willing to follow a band through their evolution, as they dwell into different realms of musical genres while expanding their sound into new creations, then this is may be the album for you.