Baroness | Yellow & Green

Relapse (2012)
By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  July 31, 2012


Saying that Baroness have strayed from metal orthodoxy with this, their third long-player, is to betray an ignorance of the sound and evolution of this Savannah foursome, who since 2003 have been wringing out more and more sheer beauty from a bedrock of sonic sludge. The excellent Blue Album (2009), on the basis of a few crooning tunes, could just as easily have found itself in the roots section of a record store, and the band's feel for multi-vocal harmonies and dynamic strummin' and pluckin' continues to blossom on this sprawling double album. Vocalist John Baizley is clearly coming from a screamer background, but here he tempers that tendency with lilting affectation (particularly on the '70s AM-radio-tinged refrain of "take me to a hazy Sunday morning" that propels the charming "Back Where I Belong"). Even in his most vein-straining moments, he channels that roar into the shape of an anthemic yelp, as on the positively Weezer-esque rollercoaster shout of "March to the Sea." In the '90s and '00s, when metal was "neutered" by grunge, this sort of classic-rock-ification of the genre resulted in the acoustic strumming and soulful harmonies of bands like Alice in Chains and a thousand bands that sounded just like Alice in Chains. Nearly 20 years later, though, the way that Baroness glide frictionlessly between downhome-ness and epic artiness, moments of rifftastic brute-rock and Steely Dan–y liquid lead guitars, just feels naturally dynamic rather than any sort of jarring genre rift. If that means that this record deserves to be compared less to the newest Lamb of God or Deathspell Omega assault and more to, say, the latest M83, then I say A-fucking-men and all-fucking-hail.

Related: Various Artists | Casual Victim Pile: Austin 2010, Bearstronaut | Broken Handclaps, Molten metal, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Arts, CD reviews,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   THE STROKES | COMEDOWN MACHINE  |  March 18, 2013
    The Strokes burst out in a post-9/11 musical world with a sound that was compact and airtight, melodies coiled frictionlessly in beats and fuzzed vocals.
  •   KMFDM IS A DRUG AGAINST BORE  |  March 13, 2013
    "In hindsight, honestly, it's almost impossible how it all happened."
  •   PALLBEARER SURVIVE EXTINCTION  |  February 20, 2013
    We all know that there is nothing more metal than a war.
  •   WHAT'S F'N NEXT? CHVRCHES  |  February 01, 2013
    If you are in a band and you've heard of Chvrches, you probably hate them.
  •   GLISS | LANGSOM DANS  |  February 01, 2013
    If rock and roll is three chords and the truth, then the mutant genre offspring shoegaze can be summed up as one chord, three fuzzboxes, and a sullen, muttered bleat.

 See all articles by: DANIEL BROCKMAN