Baroness: Yellow & Green

Prog metal titans Baroness have just released their third album..and not only is it a huge departure for the band, it’s also a double disc album. Baroness have always simply named albums different colors. Their debut record was Red Album, then it was Blue Record, and now we have Yellow and Green. This record has the band dramatically changing style from the more aggressive and bombastic first records, to the being more melodic and atmospheric. The band has always featured instrumental interludes and such, so that shouldn’t be too surprising.

What may be surprising to some is John Baizley’s vocals. He does a lot more singing on this record than the previous two and to some, it might not even sound like Baroness. But it still is Baroness nonetheless and features all of the core elements that make Baroness amazing, but taking into new directions. I quite like this new album and the fact that the band just jumped into it (no build up albums and puts it all into a double disc, which is very risky) shows a lot of balls on their part.

The first disc is the Yellow album and has a more mainstream rock feel to it. It features the tracks “Take My Bones Away” and “March to the Sea”, which are both absolute stormers. The Green album is even more mellow and while both albums are certainly dynamic and well thought out, this album is a little less memorable. Some standout tracks include “Board Up the House” and “Psalms Alive.”

When I saw the band perform at the Orion Music and More Festival, they played quite a few songs off this record. Having not heard the record before, I thought it all sounded alright, but it wasn’t the smartest move to put all of thee new songs that are so different from your hallmark albums, put it into a festival crowd, and try to win new people over. It doesn’t really add up very well and it didn’t help that they had a bad mix. I’d like to see them again so that I can get a better idea of how these songs fit with the older songs.

All in all, the album is a bit of a toss-up. I’m a fan of everything the band has done and I think most fans of the band will enjoy this album. However, I’m sure there’ll be just as many people saying that it’s not true Baroness. The choice is up to you I guess.

 Luke Helker

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