By Tamsin Mathias
On Friday, Baroness released their latest album, ‘Purple’, and it could be one of their best albums to date.
Baroness’ last album ‘Yellow & Green’ was released almost four years ago, and they seem to be sticking with the theme of colours when naming their albums.
The colour purple is plastered all over the front cover of this album, but rather than a girly colour, it seems to depict more of a fresh bruise. The cover is quite mystical, yet gothic, with four women surrounded by wolves and eagles.
‘Yellow & Green’ contained energy and momentum, with a more melodic approach. However, shortly after its release, the band were involved in a bus crash whilst on tour in England, which resulted in drummer, Allen Bickle and bassist, Matt Maggioni suffering from vertebrae fractures, forcing them to leave the band.
But now, they’re back with their new drummer, Sebastian Thomson and new bassist/keyboard player, Nick Jost, bringing with them some of the biggest, strongest songs that Baroness have written are on this album, filled with hooks and melodies that lean toward their metal approach.
They’re also releasing it themselves with their new Abraxan Hymns imprint, instead of recording with john Congleton, who produced their last few albums.
The 43-minute album opens with a track named ‘Morningstar,’ which rips into some thoughtful synths. Their guitars harmonise beautifully, and have written some amazing riffs.
The opening track then flows brilliantly into ‘Shock Me.’ It is a more elegant song, which talks about being shocked into a new reality where bad dreams come true, and going into battle without efficient preperation. It doesn’t sound sad, but rather more thankful for a clearer, sharper vision of the every day struggle of day to day living.
‘Kerosene’ and ‘Desperation Burns’ contain great lyrics about breathing and disappearing, doctors and spines, pills and death. These showcase the band’s sharpened songwriting, and Baizley’s bellowing vocals engage with the vibrant and affirmative instrumentation.
Continuing this theme is ‘Chlorine & Wine,’ featuring a wonderful piano bridge, just before a harmonizing breakdown that seems to talk about survival.
‘Chlorine & Wine’ are arguably the best songs on the album. This rock song naturally ebbs and flows, and has a slight ‘Queen’ feel to it. It’s concise and creative, making it a definite high point of the album.
This album marks an important rebirth of the band following their near-death experience. Through the hardship they’ve suffered it’s as if they’ve managed to channel it into their music, having lived to tell the tale of a horrific accident with strong, beating hearts, bringing fire and passion with them in the way of ‘Purple.’