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RED ALBUM

Baroness

Experimental/Post Metal


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Baroness Red Album album cover
3.79 | 90 ratings | 11 reviews | 25% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 2007

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Rays On Pinion (7:35)
2. The Birthing (5:03)
3. Isak (4:22)
4. Wailing Wintry Wind (5:54)
5. Cockroach En Fleur (1:50)
6. Wanderlust (4:29)
7. Aleph (4:21)
8. Teeth of a Cogwheel (2:16)
9. O'Appalachia (2:36)
10. Grad (5:54)
11. Hidden Track (12:11)

Total Time: 56:31

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- John Baizley / guitar, vocals
- Brian Blickle / guitar
- Summer Welch / bass, vocals
- Allen Blickle / drums

Releases information

CD Relapse Records (2007)

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BARONESS Red Album ratings distribution


3.79
(90 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
25%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(51%)
51%
Good, but non-essential (19%)
19%
Collectors/fans only (4%)
4%
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)
1%

BARONESS Red Album reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by burritounit
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Red Album is an outstanding yet lacking debut album by Baroness. In this album we can listen to a wide variety of styles including prog metal, sludge metal, post metal and more. As usual I'm not a big fan of sludge metal bands, especially bands with a harsh sounding vocalist, but I must say that this album stand's out from the rest. Baroness can easily be compared to Mastodon but with something's done a bit differently.

The thing that caught most of my attention was how energetic the songs in this album are. I would have to say that instruments are played in such a good manner that it makes me ignore totally these harshly annoying vocals. The rhythms have odd time signatures and can change instantly from something melodic to something heavy and explosive.

The first song: Rays of Opinion is a good introductory song but it would have been better if it was a little bit shorter and the intro of the song is long and repetitive. Wailing Wintry Wind has a very atmospheric intro and the part that follows sounds very similar to Mastodon, and the ending has a sort of melodic ending which gets sort of ruined by the vocals. The song Aleph has a very similar sound to Wailing Wintry Wind but luckily the singer doesn't play his part here: just two screams barely. I sort of noticed that most the songs after the first four are simply instrumental with very few vocal lines and are very short. Other standout tracks include Teeth of a Cogwheel and Wanderlust which has some intensive melodies. I really couldn't think of the best track in this album cause in my opinion there wasn't really one that stood out of the rest. And as for the hidden track, it's not even worth it waiting almost 11 minutes for an extremely short song with nothing quite good.

In overall this album is a good prog/sludge/post-metal with talented musicians. Nothing outstanding but it seems interesting enough to give it a few spins every now and then and if you like Mastodon you should really consider this one.

A 3.2! for me!

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Review by horsewithteeth11
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Talk about a really pleasant surprise.

I have to admit that, even though I used to be a really big metal fan (from a non-progressive standpoint), I never did like sludge or stoner metal. Probably because a lot of it sounded really "same-y". However, the main reason I picked up this album was because I found out that Baroness would be opening at the Opeth concert I was going to attend in about a week, and I was pleasantly surprised the first time I heard this. I only listened to this once or twice before the concert, but after seeing them perform the entire album live, I was so impressed that I went back and listened to this many, many times within a couple of weeks. And now I can firmly say that this is one of the albums that have finally gotten me interested in this genre here on PA.

Baroness definitely borrows a lot of characteristics from post rock, especially in the way that the riffs are developed. The rest of their sound comes mostly from progressive, sludge, and stoner metal. There is a lot of dissonance from all the instruments, and the riffs are pretty heavy and crushing; think a (small) step down from Isis. However, some of the songs are also either entirely melodic or composed of many softer melodic sections. At times, on Cockroach en Fleur for example, there are even hints of bluegrass music, which makes since for a band that originated in the rolling hills of Virginia. The songs are all high-energy and played very well though. It's hard for me to pick out a few standout tracks, but I would have to go with Rays on Pinion, The Birthing, Wailing Wintry Wind, and Wanderlust. I look forward to seeing what this band manages to pull off in the upcoming years. I'll give this 4 stars and a lot of wishes of best of luck to Baroness. This is a band to keep your eyes on.

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Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
3 stars After disliking every note on the Blue Record I didn't feel much like checking out Baroness' debut album. But I'm happy I did. It's quite enjoyable and fresh.

Comparing to the ensuing album Blue Record, the first thing to note is the production. The music isn't volume-clipped to death here. It's sure loud but not so much that it drowns out all subtlety. I usually judge this by listening to the drum sound. The snare should both have attack and warmth. Check. The ride and hi-hat shouldn't be too tiny nor too loud. Check. The crash cymbals shouldn't be too sharp. Check. The kick drum (ans bass guitar) should make your floor shudder but not smother anything else. Check again!

Next there is the diversity on this album. Heavy sludge metal like this needs a bit of space to be effective. You need gentle sections to make the heavy parts more effective. Check. You need to play around with the tempo so that not all becomes too monotonous. Check. And of course you need decent songs with memorable riffs, an occasional bit of melody and a degree of complexity to spice things up and not to sound like the 135th Sabbath clone. Check again.

Last but not least there's the vocals. They aren't any different from other coarse hardcore bellowing, but luckily they are only used on occasion. Most of the songs have ample instrumental sections. The sparse vocals don't get in the way of things and add a bit of power and heaviness when required. Fine album for fans of stoner rock.

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Review by Negoba
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.

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Review by TCat
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars I can't help it, but I think these guys are GRRRRRRRRRRRRRReat! This album (and the Blue Album) have both stood the test of time for me, and that test is, that I can listen to them several times and still think they are great. They do have some Post Metal elements, but seem to lean towards Extreme also. The vocals are somewhat growly, but not overly obnoxious and can also hold a melody in that growl, which is uncommon with that kind of voice. That is probably why I can still tolerate the vocals. In fact, I love the vocals. But on the Red Album, the band tends to let the instruments play a lot more, which is great also! There are several stand out tracks here: Rays on Pinion is an amazing song with a long instrumental section. The nice thing here is how the instrumental builds and becomes more exciting before it finally leads into the vocal section. I consider this song one of the best new prog compositions out there, but you need to be advised that my "best list" is quite long. This is a great introduction song for the band and I highly recommend you listen to this one to get a good feel for just what this amazing band can do. Other stand out tracks are The Birthing, Isak, Wanderlust. All of the tracks are great though. Even though I love this album and this band, I can't quite give it 5 stars because I think Baroness still can reach a little higher to get an essential album...but this one is very close. If they can create music like Rays on Pinion, then I definately have a lot of hope for them. If you like your music on the hard side, definately check them out. If you don't like it on the hard side, try them out anyway, especially the aforementioned Rays on Pinion track. I think you might like them anyway. I am definately a fan!

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Review by Starhammer
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars The First Baron...

The debut studio release from US sludge-metallers Baroness.

The Good: It's almost impossible to listen to Baroness without making comparisons to Mastodon as the sonic resemblance is uncanny. But whilst their basic sound may be very similar, their musical approach is quite different.

In 2007 their older brethren had just released a third attempt to keep up with Brann Dailor's frenetic drumming in the guise of Blood Mountain, but where many accuse Baroness of simply being derivative, in reality they were more interested in carving out intricate soundscapes. The pace is much slower, the vocals fewer, overall its quite unusual, but not weird and nonsensical, more like carefully constructed ideas that are both dissonant yet cohesive. The quality of the individual compositions on Red Album are superb, but perhaps more importantly it flows seemlessly and takes the listeners on a musical journey through dark mires and shrouded catacombs.

The Bad: The diversity fades a little towards the end of the release. And the ten minutes of silence on the hidden track is just pointless on a CD release.

The Verdict: The cover art reflects the beauty of the music inside.

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Review by FragileKings
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Baroness is described as a progressive metal band, an experimental/post metal band, and a sludge metal band depending on where you look. I found them while checking out sludge metal bands on Amazon. I had been kind of out of the metal scene in so far as new bands were concerned for a number of years and so I decided to see what was new out there. A lot of bands impressed me with their music but turned me off with their vocals. What ever happened to singing like Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, Bruce Dickenson, and Ian Gillan?

So, here was this band called Baroness with some pretty cool album covers (all designed by John Baizley (guitar/vocals) and I found that their approach to music rather appealed to me, at least after clicking on the 30-second track samples on Amazon. The vocals were still an issue for me; however, I decided that the music was good enough that I would order the CD. Actually, around this time I had decided not to be such a sourpuss about aggressive shouting vocals and roaring death growl vocals. I ordered Opeth's "Blackwater Park" and Mastodon's "Leviathan" at the same time in order to embrace a wider musical scope.

Off the bat, the thing that impressed me with "Red Album" was that it starts off more like a post rock album than anything else. There's a fairly long instrumental introduction that builds until it finally gets heavy and the vocals come in. I don't mind the shouting so much as long as I feel it suits the music. When the music is not so aggressive, I think the vocals should reflect that in most cases. I found however that the most aggressive vocal moments were too much for the music. Nevertheless, the song impressed me for its post rock/metal stylings. I hope the band will forgive me for mishearing "Rays on Pinion" as "Ray's Opinion".

Track one concludes and immediately "The Birthing" begins almost as if the two were one song split. The sound and style continue and I am still impressed, and accepting the vocals. However, when "Isak" flows out of "The Birthing" so that the first three tracks form a set, I begin to feel there's a certain sameness about the songs.

That doesn't last, though. "Wailing Wintery Wind" is over three minutes of post rock instrumental before the heavier tone sets in. My interest returns, and the album takes another turn with the acoustic instrumental "Cockroach en Fleur", showing us that Baroness are following in ancient metal traditions by showing us their classical side.

"Wanderlust" easily makes it a playlist selection with its creative composition, again playing different styles off each other. At times the vocals are actually starting to grow on me. I note that the guitars use different distortion sounds: one is heavy and gritty like on Pelican's "What We All Come to Need" and the other is scratchy and higher toned. The drumming is also a thing to mention as we often travel outside of 4/4 time and into a mixed bag of time measure changes and odd beats plus lots of fills.

"Aleph" keeps the pace and flow of the album but it's the instrumental "Teeth of a Cogwheel" that perks up my ears. It gets three consecutive plays on my way to work today. The sad thing is that it's so short. The first 24 seconds are the drum intro, then the main riff with regular percussion. Then comes the treat. Something that I can only describe as 70's rock rhythm/funk mixed with a complex tribal beat backs the riff. I am totally following the music here. Then we get a deliciously scratchy guitar solo, more impressive in sound than performance but very nicely done nonetheless. Another round of the riff while the drumming takes its former impressive path to another height. And that's it. The song concludes at 1:55 and the last 20 seconds are just delay pedal effects.

The final tracks of "O'Appalacia" and "Grad" also stand out though keep the style of the whole album. Except for the beginning of "Isak" I didn't feel that this album was repetitive or unoriginal. I still am not a fan of the vocals totally but musically these guys really know their stuff. Thankfully, there are two or three instrumentals and some of the songs feature more instrumental parts than sung ones.

I would give this album 5 stars for the music, but overall just four because of, well, the vocals. The shouting style suits the heavier approach of Mastodon more, in my opinion. An album worth checking out if you haven't heard of Baroness before. An excellent addition if this heavier, more raucous style is to your liking.

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Latest members reviews

4 stars An atmospheric yet beautifully crushing album. Baroness' 'Red Album' is a work of beauty. From the beginning ambiance of a soft-guitar introduction to the very last note, this album is a journey through a post-metal piece of artwork. 'The Red Album' is a perfect mix of post-metal, sludge, p ... (read more)

Report this review (#345700) | Posted by The Monodrone | Tuesday, December 07, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I was pleasantly surprised by this band, not quite immediately though. The first time, I wasnt sure, I was immediately put off by the vocals and didn't really care to listen closely because of that. But a few spins later, the album started making more sense and it started featuring in my daily pl ... (read more)

Report this review (#285572) | Posted by jilgiljongiljing | Tuesday, June 08, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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 p ... (read more)

Report this review (#226484) | Posted by Witch | Monday, July 13, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This album is simply stunning. I am truly at a loss for words on what to say about these songs. They deliver so much emotion, so much power, so much sheer musical muscle, more so than any other band I have heard in a long time. Their sound can be compared to Mastodon, especially the vocals, which ... (read more)

Report this review (#152830) | Posted by puma | Monday, November 26, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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