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Baroness - Red Album CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.75 | 118 ratings

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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.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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