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Baroness - Red Album CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.75 | 118 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars In Your Face Rock n' Roll

Having recently fell in love with Baroness' BLUE RECORD, I decided to go back and investigate their breakthrough predecessor RED RECORD. This is the album Baroness was promoting when I was first exposed to them live opening for Opeth. At the time, my interest had been pleasantly poked, and I had sampled a fair bit of this record online. I liked what I heard, but not enough to purchase, and it is just now that I am revisiting the album. Overall, RED is just as rocking, just as raw, just as full of energy as BLUE, but less complex, more straightforward, not as prog. It's still a great rock'n'roll record, but may leave a few listeners at PA wondering why the album is part of the archives.

The basic formula for Baroness is a twin guitar-fueled garage-y stoner rock / metal with shouted vocals. Now clearly this has been done many times before, but Baroness has a raw energy that (at least for me) trumps virtually all of their peers. In addition, they ride a fine line between precision and rawness, with tones that sound like you could go make happen in your own garage. It is exciting, pumps you up, and (again for me) just hits that "Rock" button full on. Both RED and BLUE have hints of blues and hints of prog to help flesh out the sound, and add some variety to the album. RED tips the scales towards the bluesy side, and BLUE toward the prog side. In addition, BLUE's shouts are more melodic, utilize more harmony, and even employ a little clean singing. RED is simply closer to standard stoner metal, though very well done.

Songs like "Cockroach en Fleur" still contain all the great elements I love about Baroness. Hard rocking riffs, guitar interplay, bluesy interludes, and plenty of spaced out atmosphere are perfect for jamming in the car on a Saturday cruise. The interludes like "Wanderlust" and "Teeth of a Cogwheel" hint at the more complex ideas to come on the next album. But the most energy is spent on the balls to the wall rockers like "The Birthing."

If it's not already clear, I highly suggest getting the BLUE RECORD first and then checking this one out if you are really hearing the band in a more stripped down version. Good rocking record, but certainly unessential in terms of prog. 3/5.

Negoba | 3/5 |


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