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Baroness - Red Album Album Cover

Baroness - Red Album

Reviewed by
8.5
BaronessRed Album
Release Date: September 4th, 2007
Record Label: Relapse Records


Relapse has another big release on their hands. After 2 EPs, Baroness signed to the label to release their first full length, and best to recording to date. Longer than both of their prior cds combined, Baroness finally show what they are capable of when given the chance to release a full collection of their southern fried metal upon the world. With so many bands taking the “faster is harder” approach, Baroness meander in a different direction all together and as a result are a clean grooving breath of fresh air in the metal scene. Influences aplenty, Baroness have arrived and created the disc fans knew the band was capable of.

Although it’s easy to listen to Red Album and point out different sections that resemble similar bands, Baroness manage to take, they come through clean with integrity and musicianship that is hard to deny. Of course, some of the comparisons are merited, but at no point does it sound like they are ripping off other artists. Instead it sounds as if they are incorporating different aspects of the bands that influenced them and in the process creating something wholly unique, and greater than the sum of their inspirations. Yes, at points they sound like a more straightforward version of their Georgia peers Mastodon, but this is not a bad thing. They must put something in the water there to breed interesting bands. Although more clear-cut than their peers, there is absolutely no loss in technicality, just a different kind. One listen to the fist pumping “The Birthing” and fans of metal and southern rock will find it hard not to get completely lost in the enveloping sense of groove. Tremolo picked guitars and double hi-hat beats mix with bouncing bass rhythms to create one of the most interesting and downright fun metal songs of the year. This track in particular shows off the rock solid rhythm section of Allen Blickle and Summer Welch, who manage to keep a sense of grove unheard of in an era of pro tooled to the millisecond precision in metal. In fact, that is one of the most endearing aspects of this album. At no point does it sound like this is something that couldn’t be performed flawless at one of their riveting live shows. This sense of real rock n roll swagger is a smack in the face to machine-like double bass and over processed guitars. The flow of the music is unprecedented, unpredictable and the wandering rhythms create an incredible atmosphere rarely heard in metal.

Although there is certainly a large amount of heaviness to please the metal heads, there is something for those with an ear for ambient tracks on here as well. “Wailing Wintry Wind” displays this side of the band as the track often sounds more like Isis or Mogwai with the ever-evolving drums and flares of bird like delayed guitar riffs. The track also displays some of the doom metal elements of the band with downright demonic riffs that don’t need distortion to sound heavy as hell. On the same side of the sonic spectrum lies “Cockroach En Fleur”, a completely acoustic number that acts as a perfect intermission between the harder songs. The finger picked guitar is haunting, incorporating elements of flamenco and good ole fashioned bluegrass resulting in a brief eye of the storm moment before the rock continues. The vocals on the album are not spectacular, but they get the job done. When the music is this good and some of the songs stretch upward of seven minutes, this slight downside is minimized. The instrumental sections are where Baroness completely kill it, fusing classic rock, southern rock and metal into one of the most pleasurable hard releases of the year. Throw into the mix top-notch production, incredible artwork by band member John Dyer Baizley (you might recognize his hot at the moment artwork on the cover of the new Pig Destroyer and Darkest Hour albums), and a genuine sense of excellent songwriting and you have a downright scary good release from Georgia natives Baroness. Don’t be put off by the classification of this as a metal album; to do so would be a great disservice as there is something for fans of all rock here. Instead go into Red Album with an open mind and a fist ready to pump and you might just be surprised at how accessible this is to fans of all genres. Who knows, you may just find your new favorite metal band, or at the very least, something to fill the gaps between the next Mastodon and Isis records.

Tracklisting1. Rays On Pinion
2. The Birthing
3. Isak
4. Wailing Wintry Wind
5. Cockroach En Fleur
6. Wanderlust
7. Aleph
8. Teeth Of A Cogwheel
9. O’ Appalachia
10. Grad
Listen to BaronessMyspace | Purevolume | Relapse Records Site
RIYLMastodon, Isis, Kylesa
This review is a user submitted review from Tom Good. You can see all of Tom Good's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 32
09:48 AM on 10/06/07
#2
onsundayshoes
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this band gets no love on ap.net, thanks for reviewing them. top 10 cds released this year for me. a little bit too much mastodon-worship, but once those dual guitar harmonies kick it it is unmistakably baroness.
10:01 AM on 10/06/07
#3
Tom Good
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this band gets no love on ap.net, thanks for reviewing them. top 10 cds released this year for me. a little bit too much mastodon-worship, but once those dual guitar harmonies kick it it is unmistakably baroness.
Yeah, sorry it took me a little long, I had a bunch of other stuff to get to first. I love the album though. It's definitely up there for me. Sure, there is a lot of Mastodon-esque stuff, but that's ok, because I love Mastodon, haha.
10:46 AM on 10/06/07
#4
shaysexpanther
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great review man

and album
11:37 AM on 10/06/07
#5
Tom Good
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great review man

and album
Thanks bud, I'm glad you like it.
12:05 PM on 10/06/07
#6
Gumbyjag
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i want this. nice review.
01:01 PM on 10/06/07
#7
thetimmyk
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Definitely a top album of the year. Just saw them live with Municipal Waste, I definitely recommend their show, it was all Red Album, and very tight.
02:14 PM on 10/06/07
#8
Nowisnotthetime
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Glad this album got a full (and quite excellent) review. I wish the "Once Over" Reviews on ap.net a swift death, they're the worst.
05:01 PM on 10/06/07
#9
TheBaroness
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Stoked you reviewed this, Tom. Huzzah!
05:33 PM on 10/06/07
lauren<3s music
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prob not my thing but i'll give it a listen. i love the way you write your reviews
09:33 PM on 10/06/07
Nowisnotthetime
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prob not my thing but i'll give it a listen. i love the way you write your reviews

And isn't he just 100% pure man-meat too. I'm not gay, but I'd totally let Tom Good have me.
09:40 PM on 10/06/07
lauren<3s music
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And isn't he just 100% pure man-meat too. I'm not gay, but I'd totally let Tom Good have me.

wow just wow. ive got to go check out tom now. i've never bothered to look at the 100% pure man meat that makes straight guys swoon and grab their ankles .
12:00 AM on 10/07/07
Tom Good
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And isn't he just 100% pure man-meat too. I'm not gay, but I'd totally let Tom Good have me.

wow just wow. ive got to go check out tom now. i've never bothered to look at the 100% pure man meat that makes straight guys swoon and grab their ankles .
:-D
05:32 AM on 10/07/07
Tom Good
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Stoked you reviewed this, Tom. Huzzah!
haha, I was wondering when you would come into this review.
08:44 AM on 10/07/07
lauren<3s music
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I bet you never expected to get that sort of compliment on a review!

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