I’ve been looking forward to the release of the Blue Record for most of the year. What strikes me first about this album was that it is not as instantly gratifying as the Red Album. I wasn’t sure what to make of the new vocal territories they were exploring and experimenting in. While I do feel that the vocals were better recorded on the Red Album, Baroness continues to impress one of the more interesting approaches to metal vocals in recent years. For example, the vox on “Jake Leg” and “A Horse Called Golgotha” aren’t quite screaming, or singing but are more along the line of Viking drinking songs.
Of course the very best part of Baroness is the rabid interplay between guitarists. The solo work isn’t like the kind of utter refuse that’s made en masse nowadays by the booming metalcore scene. The guitarwork swims, flies, invites you like your soul mate moaning through a speaker; tracks that particularly stand out are “Swollen and Halo,” “Horse,” and “Bullhead’s Psalm/Lament.” The bass is more audible than ever before. The drums are MASSIVE.
Here are some bottom lines: While the Red Album blows you away on first listen, the Blue Record hynotizes you. Give yourself some time, because this is the kind of album that demands listening all the way through, without interruption. For added effect, I HIGHLY reccommend listening to both Red and Blue sequentially.