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Baroness – Yellow & Green (CD)

It has transpired through the years that a band’s breakthrough album is often their third. Number of the Beast, Reign in Blood, Master of Puppets – I could go on. And now, American rockers Baroness have released THEIR third album, ‘Yellow & Green’, an album that can, and in my view SHOULD, be able to join the prestigious list mentioned above. A bold claim, you say? Read on.

Firstly, the band have taken the move to release a double album, which is a very brave step given that they formed less than a decade ago and debut album ‘Red Album’ is barely five years old. Secondly, the music is a lot lighter than the sludge metal the band composed on their debut and second album ‘Blue Record’ and a lot more progressive, another brave move. But they are decisions that have paid off handsomely because, and thirdly, the quality of both discs is simply jaw-dropping.

Let’s begin with Disc 1, ‘Yellow’. After a slow, ambient opening entitled ‘Yellow Theme’, the lead single ‘Take My Bones Away’ kicks in, a hard-hitting rock anthem that will surely be recognised as a ‘classic’ song in the band’s arsenal in future times. This continues into ‘March to the Sea’, the opening linesThere was an anger, there was a silver sweet refrainshowing off the high quality of the band’s lyric writing that is present across the entire record.  ‘Little Things’ contains a very solid bassline that allows frontman John Baizley to showcase his talents on the four-string, as the album was recorded after the departure of former bassist Summer Welch and before the recruitment of current player Matt Maggioni. The real gem on the first disc though is ‘Back Where I Belong’, a sprawling six-minute epic that in certain moments sounds like ‘Hotel California’ by The Eagles. Finishing with the one-two of ‘Sea Lungs’ and second single ‘Eula’, Yellow finishes with aplomb and you would be forgiven to take a moment to get your breath back. You need to – we’re only halfway through.

Disc 2, appropriately titled ‘Green’, opens in the same way as ‘Yellow’ with ‘Green Theme’, a fairly quiet song with heavy rock breakthroughs. ‘Board Up The House’ follows, agains displaying the straight-forward rock that was so readily present on ‘Yellow’. But this side is definitely a more mellow affair than its brother, and overall a lot more reflective. But don’t let this take away from the brilliance of what Baroness have devised. From the dreamy strains of ‘Mtns. (The Crown & Anchor)’, through the mystical tones of ‘Collapse’ and the hard-hitting ‘Psalms Alive’ before the album draws to a close with ‘The Line Between’ and ‘If I Forget Thee, Lowcountry’, it is very clear that Baroness have given the world a modern masterpiece. All you’ll want to do when ‘Green’ has finished is put ‘Yellow’ back in and start the whole thing over. This is a very strong contender for anyone’s Album of the Year – and even if it isn’t, this will be in your Top 5 without a second thought. Brilliant. 9/10

Track listing:

1) Yellow Theme
2) Take My Bones Away
3) March to the Sea
4) Little Things
5) Twinkler
6) Cocainium
7) Back Where I Belong
8) Sea Lungs
9) Eula

1) Green Theme
2) Board Up The House
3) Mtns. (The Crown & Anchor)
4) Foolsong
5) Collapse
6) Psalms Alive
7) Stretchmarker
8) The Line Between
9) If I Forget Thee, Lowcountry

Website: http://baronessmusic.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/YourBaroness
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/YourBaroness

About Elliot Leaver

PlanetMosh's resident Iron Maiden fanboy and Mr. Babymetal. Also appreciates the music of Pink Floyd, Rammstein, Nightwish, Avenged Sevenfold, Slipknot and many others. Writing to continue to enjoy life away from the stresses of full-time employment.