Baroness - The Red Album Review

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Baroness - The Red Album
Baroness - The Red Album


General Information

Original Author: The Uncreator & Goliath (Two different reviews).

Artist: Baroness

Album: The Red Album

Genre: Progressive Metal


01. Rays On Pinion
02. The Birthing
03. Isak
04. The Wailing Wintry Wind
05. Cockroach En Fleur
06. Wanderlust
07. Aleph
08. Teeth Of A Cogwheel
09. O'Appalachia
10. Grad


10 Ever heard of these guys? If you havent, you will. Baroness prove there individuality with the "Red Album", with a dynamic, explosive, unique, progressive, epic, captivating sound, This album after a single listen has made it to one of the best of '07 for me. The opening song sets the scene with a beautiful other worldly intro, one of the best album Openers.


10 Baroness' guitar duo, John Baizley and Brian Blickle have created a very unique sound. With a bit of a retro metal feel to it, but with a modern execution, The guitar delivers everything you want, Great riffs, awesome solo's, beautiful melodies, and great acoustic interludes. Its a very rough-edges sound, but with a smooth overtone, if that makes any sense. If you like the guitar work in Amorphis, The Sword, The Gates Of Slumber, or just the general guitar work of Doom/ Prog bands, you will like/ love this. The solo's are tremendous, very epic, they tell a story all on there own, and the harmonies are just outrageous, they sound so damn good.


8 Great as well, there isnt an aspect of this band i dont enjoy. The bass is heavy, and in your face, i love the tone, very "Scratchy". Its an overall awesome performance. Not the best or most technical, but just awesome.


8 I love the simplicity of the drums, there isnt alot to them, but they are so agressive, very good sound, awesome grooves that will make you headbang till the night falls! Like i said with the bass, nothing revolutionary, just great drumming, simple, effective, and fantastic.


9 John Baizley is also the singer of Baroness, and his voice is great. Kinds like Corrosion Of Conformity style. His voice is very rough, with a tiny bit of growls here and there, his ambient agressive vocals are like a war call to his soldiers: Powerful and relentless!


10 To be honest, there are barely any lyrics on this album, a single Dream Theater song has more lyrics than this entire album, BUT, the lyrics they do have are great, something about the words they choose makes me love them.

From 'Rays On Pinion'

Save your soul
It's bright with with holes
Rays on pinion
Lay me down

Our trust lies in mighty wing
As we thrust ourselves into the drink
Pitched boat sails and ploughmen toil
To drift and work the soil

Stow your gaze
Away these waves
Stain Reflection
May we drown

This is our last goodbye
This is our final cry
This separation of bird and bone
Is an introduction to tide and lung

We've resigned ourselves to soar home
Despite these wayward waves

From 'Isak'

Hands in the ground
Buried traces of sound scream

Hem in the seeds
Water to salt
Salt into rain

Tender the swine
Carry the hare and the barrow home

From 'The Wailing Wintry Wind'

See inside
'Till you find me blindly
Slice the rind
'Till you see me bleeding
Thousand Blades
Of an unbeliever
Sift the sands
Hear the wail of winter winds

Note: All the lyrics are entire songs, the first songs has the most lyrics of any song on the album.

Overall Impression

9 An unexpectedly beautiful album full of Heavy riffs, Ambient melodies, abstract arrangements and lyrics, Great performance, wonderful solo's, Just a fantastic album!

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Review By Goliath


The foursome out of Savannah, Georgia deliver a powerful album I can best term as “Progressive Southern Sludge Metal”. Honestly, there is not much I can say with respect to back history. I picked this album up after Revolver magazine named it the metal album of the year. That said, it’s not for everybody. If you’re looking for a more traditional “Metal” arrangement, look elsewhere. The song structure and the sound of the album could probably be better described as “Jam Rock infused with steroids and Testosterone”. The heavy progressive element to their songs and elongated instrumental sections is more closely akin to the Allman Brothers than it is to, say, Dream Theater. The band’s influences are pretty apparent, and it could be easily identified as the southern rock of the 60’s, and that means CCR, Allman Brothers, ZZ Top (if you’d call that southern rock), and less like Lynyrd Skynyrd.


The vocals share the same quality as their label mates and fellow Georgia based rockers Mastodon, where the lead singer shouts ( I won’t say “scream” since I typically think of the grunts, growls and gurgles of more extreme metal with “Screaming”) the lyrics and drones on while the faster backing melody goes on behind them. A more sedated Mastodon is actually a fantastic comparison. The lyrics are difficult to discern if you do not already know what is being said. It seems as though that the vocals are meant to compliment the guitarwork and not dominate them.


I have no idea what the lyrics are saying and I like it that way, so I’m not even going to go into them. Every once in a while you can make out what the chorus line is, but the focus is NOT on the vocals/lyrics with this band.


The guitars have a very interesting sound to them. Sounds like much of the work is done through the neck pickup on both guitars, which is another “unmetal” point about this band. Their tone is not overly distorted or overdriven either. The sound has a very “vintage” “Neck-pickup-on-a-Les-Paul-played-through-a-Marshall” type of tone. There is extensive harmonization between the two guitars and sometimes they diverge rather than rhythm/lead it will be lead with the other guitar providing coloring, accenting different notes in the passage or droning on in the background.


The drumming is probably the biggest “unmetal”. There is hardly any bass drumming to speak of. There is no double-bass blast beats. The cymbals work is all over the places and it seems like he tries to keep beat with the cymbal rather than more traditional rock music. It takes some getting used to, but it works for them.

Final Thoughts

Final thoughts, if you approach this album with the mentality you would approach their label-mates (Mastodon, High on Fire, other bands on Relapse Records), you would be shocked and probably disappointed initially. This album DEFINITELY grows on you with subsequent listens. The arrangements almost sport a late Opeth like quality where the musical landscape changes several times throughout the course of a song. Some songs I would recommend off the album are: Cockroach En Fleur, Wanderlust, and Rays on Pinion. The band makes fantastic background music while driving or at work. If they made metal to relax to, this would be it.