Baroness
Stone


4.0
excellent

Review

by bananatossing USER (15 Reviews)
September 23rd, 2023 | 13 replies


Release Date: 09/15/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Baroness releases music you can listen to

It’s a known fact Baroness are a group of professional musicians and that they usually offer terrific live performances. It is also a known fact you have to suffer some degree of dysfunctional hearing to be a part of this band. But seriously, all their albums since Red have had declining quality of audio, with Gold & Grey being the worst offender of all. All you have to do is click their official audio stream of “Throw Me an Anchor” on YouTube and read the comments. The consensus normally goes Red sounds great, Blue sounds okay and the last two are the works of ludicrous self-sabotaging.

At this point, criticizing Baroness for their studio quality is like beating a dead horse. At the same time, judging Stone based on the audio presentation is impossible to escape. Fortunately, though, this time the production quality is perfectly fine, even though it almost sounds thin to a fault (as in no audio distortion was intended for this release). As it turns out, the band decided to mix the gracious painting for their artwork while they were mixing the music itself and worked for the better this time. It also helps that the addition of Gina gives a new color palette to the music, which is surprising this isn’t called “The Pink album” because, well, you know she is a gal.

Speaking of which, the music itself is great. The dual vocals are a great fit for the style presented here and Gina Gleason actually has a better singing voice than John Dyer Baizley. Both of them compliment each other well both on an acoustic format as well as the louder/harsher moments. The aggressive vocals from Red and Blue also make a return here, and they sound heavier than on the other recent releases. The overall style goes more in line with their stoner rock and sludge metal underpinnings, exemplified by opener “Last Word”, which also includes a terrific guitar solo from Gina.

The middle section, comprised of Nick Jost on bass and Sebastian Thomson on drums is as interesting as ever, only this time you can hear them well. Ever since the release of Purple, the middle section became an inaudible strength for the band, especially since the bassist is a trained jazz musician. A great example of this uncovered mystery is the smooth transition from the heavy “Beneath the Rose” to the middle section of “Choir”, which is very classy. Their presence certainly cannot be undermined and they have moments to shine, also notably on the doomier track “Under the Wheel”.

One criticism, which isn’t a new one, is John’s vocals. They are more like an acquired taste, if you will. His melodies often sound repetitive and his shouts sometimes sound off. This time, he manages to infuse spoken vocals on “Shine”, “Beneath the Rose” and entirely on the experimental track “Choir”. While they won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, you could argue it gives more variety to the album and it doesn’t detract from the awesome riffage provided by the frontman.

All in all, a solid release. Nothing particularly special here, but it is nice to have a Baroness album you can listen to. Gone is the incompetency of David Fridmann, which mysteriously occurred on two releases, and the band has never addressed how much of it was intentional. But it is nice to know they finally took the earplugs, put on some drops and listened to the fans.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Emeritus
September 23rd 2023


59911 Comments


Rock and stone!

pizzamachine
September 23rd 2023


27389 Comments


Didn’t expect a bananatossing review today! Good work

ShapeOfJizzToCum
September 23rd 2023


897 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Rock and stone!

[2] *thrusts hammer*

Senetrix666
September 23rd 2023


1618 Comments


Will I like this if the last album I loved by these guys is Blue

bananatossing
September 23rd 2023


2384 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^I think this is the closest they have sounded to Blue, yes.



A wild slice of @pizza appears. Thanks, man!

bloc
September 23rd 2023


70400 Comments


Thought this sucked

bananatossing
September 24th 2023


2384 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@bloc Have you ever liked anything they released? If so, which album was it? If not, then I wouldn't be surprised this wouldn't change your mind tbh

bloc
September 24th 2023


70400 Comments


You got me, I'm not really into these guys much and I've heard everything from them. Although I did enjoy Gold & Grey the most if I had to pick...

bananatossing
September 25th 2023


2384 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Odd choice, but it even makes more sense why you wouldn't be into this.

bananatossing
October 6th 2023


2384 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, this is definitely best Baroness since Blue.

deadcrown
October 6th 2023


926 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thats a sizzling hot take

Pikazilla
October 6th 2023


30399 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

would be a correct take if purple didn't exist



this easily shits on everything else they've put out since blue tbh

bananatossing
October 13th 2023


2384 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love Purple now that I made my own edit/remaster, because I couldn't listen to it before. So yeah, you are probably right.



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