Label: Abraxan Hymns
Baroness has made an album that, had it been released even a month before, would have likely been on many a music critics’ year-ending, Best of 2015 lists, and rightly so. “Purple” is the Georgia-based band’s fourth proper full-length album (its first since 2012’s “Yellow & Green”) and is the perhaps its best release to date. The record is its first since a widely and oft-reported 2012 bus accident while on tour in England that left nine people injured and prompted the departure of the longtime rhythm section. As such, this is the first album to feature new band members Nick Jost and Sebastian Thompson, playing bass and drums, respectively. The new rhythm section has transitioned seamlessly, propelling the band into not-wholly-uncharted territory. Still present are the epic builds and crescendos that characterize the heaviest of Baroness’ tracks, grounded by guitarist and vocalist John Baizley.
Many fickle and arrogant metal fans have written off Baroness for its wider appeal and polished sound, which is too bad. This is a fantastic album no matter what heavier-leaning sub-genre identifier one uses to describe it.
Recommended if you like Mastodon, Red Fang, Kyuss or The Sword
Jon E. Lynch[email protected]