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Baroness - Red Album CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.75 | 118 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars The Red Album opens with a monolithic statement of intent. A few hanging notes quiver in the air, before gently being brushed aside by a rhythmic guitar pattern. This pattern, whilst not that imposing or devastating in itself, acts as the sound of inevitability, a harbinger of growing elemental power. Steadily it builds, joined by forcefully loose drumming, the rhythm driving on through your mind like hordes of stampeding footsoldiers, relaxed but with intent, it grows without seemingly changing. It can't really be likened to the sweeping symphonies of Sigur Ros or Mono, because it is so muscular, but it's flowing ability to evoke mood is not too dissimilar.

It is difficult to describe the noise the band makes; undoubtedly hard, it doesn't bludgeon the listener with double bass kicks and furious solos, instead allowing the taut crisp instrumentation to layer itself into a sound that is heavy but undeniably tasteful. Rays on Pinion flows into The Birthing, which in turn flows into Isak, each pounding with restless energy. It is not so much an album of songs but of movements. The power and fire runs right through The Red Album almost without respite, feeling like it is constantly trying to break free of the shackles of your stereo. The moments of quiet that do occur don't fall into the trap of feeling out of place, as an obligatory slower section, instead seamlessly flowing like natural breathing points.

The relentless strongarmed power that is Baroness' great strength also does constitute the main weakness of the album however, in that the high-tempo attack can be a little tiring and goes precariously close to repeating ideas nearer the end. This is hardly a real complaint, it is supposed to leave you tired, and it does? but in a very good way.

Witch | 4/5 |


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