Review originally published by Nocturnal Hall Magazine.
|BARONESS – Purple|
|Release:||December 18, 2015|
In 2012, BARONESS released the double album Yellow And Green, which divided fans due to being softer and more melodic than the previous sludge metal releases from the band. On the tour for that album, BARONESS were involved a bus crash that injured all nine passengers and left frontman John Baizley with a broken arm and leg. The band spent months of recovery before embarking on a tour, being welcomed back to the stage as heroes. In late 2015, BARONESS released their follow up album, Purple. This album takes the melody and harmony from the Yellow And Green albums while harkening back to the heavier approach of their earlier albums. Lyrically, John had a lot of material to choose from in regards to the bus crash, hospital time, and recovery time. The album starts with Morningstar, a driving and heavy song with a catchy chorus. This formula seems to be the focus of the album, as song after song provide many moments of perfect sludge metal with choruses to sing along with, raise fists to, and I bet will work perfectly in a live setting. Shock Me contains 80’s sounding keyboards, and alongside Try To Disappear contains some of the best melodies the band has ever wrote. Kerosene is more upbeat than the previous two tracks, before slowing it down with the instrumental Fugue, showing off the band’s amazing use of dynamics. Chlorine And Wine contains some of John’s best lyrics, but he star of the album for me is the closing ballad, If I Have To Wake Up (Would You Stop The Rain?), which along withEula from the previous album are the most emotional songs the band has written. My only complaints with the album are the compressed production, which does not give the drum or guitar tones enough room to breathe, and the weird closing track, which is just 14 seconds of strange sounds and robotic vocals. Other than that, the songwriting is perfect and it is a very enjoyable album through and through.