This album is HEAVY, DENSE and PROFOUND, yet still has the light, airy and calming passages of its less “metal” prog/rock predecessors. I have only begun to listen to “metal” in the last year or so and was mainly a fan of older music and had given up (quite literally) on finding any REAL new music. I must say that coming from a place where Rush is my favorite band and Mastodon was the first metal group I really got into, Baroness is an almost terrible band to jump to….because every band discovered after them simply can’t stack up. This album is timeless. The guitars are heavy (almost bludgeoning in sound) due in part to Baroness’ use of C standard+Drop D tuning(!) [lowwwww]yet accessible due to their melody. Time signatures change much as they do in Rush songs (i.e. they suit the song and don’t just sound like The Musical Olympics…I’m looking at you John Petrucci) and there are nice clean-toned sections as well (it takes about 2-3 minutes for Rays on Pinion to get heavy; Cockroach En Fleur is acoustic; Wailing Wintry Wind is a beautiful song with ridiculously clever arpeggios and harmonies). Between sweet sparkling clean tones, thundering drop-tuned riffs, dynamic guitar harmonies and rhythmic changes akin to Rush and Yes, this album starts and doesn’t let up until the seemingly out-of-place country twang that is the ‘Hidden Track’ at the very end of the album (11 min. or so into the last track). Fans of prog, metal, and fundamentally good guitar music will listen to this front to back…no fast forwarding or track skipping necessary. Bands leading the way for a “new”, more cerebral, less pretentious metal/prog scene include Mastodon, Baroness, Kylesa, Isis, High on Fire, Torche, Intronaut and the many more that have revived my faith in 21st century music.