004980266_500Baroness is a progressive stoner/sludge/rock band from Savannah, Georgia. Although they were formed in 2003, the group didn’t start making waves until the release of 2007’s Red Album. At this time, they started gaining popularity with a lot of other southern metal bands who began experimenting with their sound, Mastodon and Kylesa being the two most well known.

Like Mastodon and Kylesa, Baroness includes a lot of progressive and sometimes psychedelic influences into their music. However, Baroness has a sound that is all their own. At this point, they would be considered a bit more rock than metal, but still possess quite the following of more open-minded metal heads.

This is their fourth full length and their first in three years. The members were involved in a terrible van accident a couple years ago, and in that respect, this is their comeback album. They always name their albums after colors (red, blue, yellow, green, and purple). The de facto leader of the group, John Baizley, is also a visual artist and always tries to match the color, featured prominently on the album cover, to the particular vibe and sound of the album.

Purple is Baroness’ most realized album to date; they have found their sound. While the first couple of albums were more focused on the sludge side of things, things became more experimental on Yellow & Green while sacrificing some of the heaviness of the sound. On Purple they have the best of all worlds: the fuzzy guitars and pentatonic blues solos of stoner rock, the swirling ambient sounds of psychedelic rock and the huge anthemic choruses of hard rock. A track like “Chlorine & Wine” shows all of these elements in one song.

Recommended If You Like: Mastodon, Kylesa, Anciients, The Sword, Red Fang

Recommended Tracks: 6 (Chlorine & Wine), 1 (Morningstar), 2 (Shock Me), everything except 5 and 10 (instrumental and outro respectively)

Do Not Play: None

Written by Josh Gaston on 01/29/16

KJHK 90.7 FM