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Baroness First album cover
2.94 | 21 ratings | 3 reviews | 29% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tower Falls (7:10)
2. Coeur (3:18)
3. Rise (6:30)

Total Time 16:57

Line-up / Musicians

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

Releases information

CD Hyperrealist (2003)

Thanks to TheProgtologist for the addition
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BARONESS First ratings distribution

(21 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BARONESS First reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "First" is the debut release by US sludge metal act Baroness. Baroness was founded by former members of punk/metal act Johnny Welfare and the Paychecks in 2003. Released in 2003, "First" is an EP with a total playing time of 16:57 minutes. There are 3 tracks on the EP and it was released through Hyperrealist Records. The band was signed to Relapse Records for their 2007 debut album "Red Album" but released both "First" and "Second (2005)" (their second EP release) on a single CD through Hyperrealist Records in 2008. Itīs note worthy that lead vocalist/guitarist John Baizley is responsible for the cover artwork (as well as the cover artwork on many other rock and metal releases by other artists).

The music on "First" is both sludgy, heavy and melodic. The vocals by frontman John Baizley are harsh. Iīd say bands like Isis (early) and Mastodon have influenced Baroness greatly. Especially the latter mentioned band. The music is generally of a decent quality but the tracks are generally not that remarkable or catchy for that matter. Pretty solid but also pretty standard for the genre.

The musicianship are solid and the sound production is decent. Thereīs little to put a finger on but then again nothing here are above average in quality for the genre. So while "First" is a relatively enjoyable debut release by Baroness itīs obvious that the band still needed a bit more time to create an identity and to write some stronger compositions to make their presence count on the sludge metal scene. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "First" as you can imagine is actually the first production of Baroness, a 17-minute EP released in 2003, in which they show what the band's sound would be about. I have recently gotten more into it, due to a couple of interesting live videos I watched, that is why I was interested and wanted to know more about them.

"Towerfalls" is the opener and longest track here. In this track the vocals are heavy, almost death vocals, the music is fast and powerful but in moments a bit easier and more interesting to my ears. I prefer much more the light (if there is one) side of Baroness. I like the short interlude after four minutes, and how the music restarts again.

"Coeur" is a shorter track, with great guitars and a drummer that I really like, his works is excellent always. The vocals are again growling ones, which are not my preferred. "Rise" is by far my favorite track here, with a cool introduction with repetitive notes that makes me feel hypnotized, the sound is not death metal, now it is sludge, it does have the sound I like of Baroness. The guitar and bass work is excellent, and I like how the song is progressing little by little, increasing the sound and velocity until two minutes later the growl vocals appear. The instrumental parts are great here, what a pity I don't really love the ones with voice.

Well, one song I like, two I don't, that is why I will give it only two stars, because this is for Baroness fans.

Enjoy it!

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
3 stars BARONESS was started in Savannah, Georgia by a group of friends who grew up in Lexington, Virginia and has become one of the more recognizable sludge metal acts in recent years although the band has drifted more into stoner metal territory. Also noted for the band's fondness of naming albums after colors, before the debut "Red Album" in 2007, BARONESS released two EPs and one split. Never one for original catchy titles, these early EPs were simply called FIRST and "Second." The two EPs have also been released as a combo pack also unexcitingly titled "First & Second" in 2008 after the band found success with its full-length debut.

Given that the band had members with punk roots in the punk / metal band Johnny Welfare and the Paychecks, it's no surprise that these early offerings from BARONESS are more aggressive and caustic than the more polished albums that follow. FIRST (and "Second") are the only releases to feature the early lineup of John Baizley (vocals, guitar), Allen Blickle (drums), Tim Loose (guitar) and Summer Welch (bass.) Baizley is known not only for his caustic vocal style and jangly guitar antics but also has been the visual artist for the band's cover art which began with this first release.

FIRST only contains three tracks that are just shy of 17 minutes but pack a serious punch with highly aggressive and raging sludge metal that already begin to display some of the band's progressive tendencies that follow in the footsteps of other Georgian sludge metal acts like the superstar band Mastodon. It's interesting to hear how the band evolves step-by-step from these early origins. While "Second" was already showing signs of a more polished approach, FIRST displays the band at its rawest and primeval angst with the punk infused guitar bombast on full decibelage dripping with rage. This EP was produced by Phillip Cope of Kylesa and although not as intricately designed as the band's full-length albums is nonetheless an entertaining listen that is well performed. Recommended for those who love the filthy raw origins of sludge metal.

3.5 rounded down

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