WORDS: Eddie Sims
The umbrella of the alternative scene gives plenty of wiggle room for bands who wish to throw two fingers to the system and simply break genres moulds on a quest for creativity. BARONESS have been doing this since their debut The Red Album and have set a precedent for themselves to carry on this fiercely-creative and progressive musical route that they have been creating for a decade. With their latest album Purple, BARONESS harness everything that has done them well over the past and uses it to weave a compelling tapestry that takes the listener on one of the best musical journeys of the year.
Under the bonnet, BARONESS have always been a metal band and that immediately becomes apparent as Morningstar kicks off the album with a riff that would make Mastodon quiver, coupled with the rampaging drums that have kept BARONESS’ backbone firmly secure for the decade they’ve been around. It’s the clear cut and perfectly fused sounds that immediately come across in Purple, as they heavy riffs turn into massive melodic intersections with ease, and from these sections come the triumphant choruses that litter the whole album. The album opener offers a good insight but it’s the massive tracks like Try To Disappear and Kerosene that prove just how good a group of songwriters BARONESS are. Don’t worry to those who need more bang for their buck, because tracks like Desperation Burns grooves and swings with the best of them.
The thing that makes Purple such a joy to listen to is how the focus onto song writing has taken centre stage and as such, each track on the album has a nifty way of being as good as the previous. It comes to a head when lead single Chlorine and Wine gently pours out before growing and growing until the massive end crescendo simply confirms it as one of the best songs this band have written to date. The vocal performance from front man John Baizley is something that really takes the album further than any of their previous albums. With a massive gusto behind every delivery, the vocals carry these tracks to the next level and when coupled with the brilliant compositions is makes for a stellar listening experience.
Perhaps one of the biggest things to remember is the context from which Purple has been made from. The car crash that the band suffered had put the bands future on the rails, making it imperative that Purple could be everything it should’ve been and more, to make the ordeal they went through almost worth it in a weird, creative way. Through all the struggle and pain the band have gone through, BARONESS have created one of the most life affirming and fiercely creative albums of the year and have simply solidified themselves as one of the premier bands in the world. From the massive rolling drum beats that swell and crush right the way through to the rocking riffs that bleed into glorious melodic crescendos, what BARONESS have made with Purple is the best of their career.
Purple is set for release on December 18th via Abraxan Hymns.