True to Form: Baroness Excels on “Gold &amp

by Lionel Casey

In simply over a decade, Baroness have cinched themselves up as one of the heavy rock bands that genuinely count in a broader pop-cultural feel. There has been, of the path, no shortage of terrific heavy and progressive rock music made inside the same timeframe, but the cultural window has for the reason that shifted, rendering organizations of this kind largely outdoor of the considerations that popular such other groups as Mastodon. Baroness enunciate their legacy as a seminal band, now not unlike the manner the Smashing Pumpkins completely etched themselves into the annals of rock history with Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness — and to achieve this with a record as first-rate as Gold & Grey is simply an extra little bit of icing on the cake.

A record as big as Gold & Grey (large no longer handiest in phrases of the band and the exceptional of the album itself, however just the sheer girth of the component) needs a reaction masking a number of related topics. First and most banal: yes, it’s miles excellent to retitle this report Orange for your non-public library if you so choose. Interviews in the time among the discharge of the primary unmarried “Borderlines” and its release have clarified that its working name was as such and (obviously, truly) influenced the direction of the album artwork. There’s even a bit of “orange”-ness phenomenologically besides, which we’ll address in a second. The name change, for better or for worse, changed into likely intended to sound more like a conventional title than the borderline cliche set of colors they’d been working from earlier than.

This is a comprehensible purpose to trade the identity but misses, at a few degrees, that phenomenological “orange”-ness which still pervades this album. We did now not together bat our eyes on the previous coloration collection: Red Album felt like a brewing and stewing liminal sun casting first/very last rays of light, Blue Record felt like a tangled snarl of weeds cloaking catfish all submerged in Georgia swampy marsh, Yellow & Green felt sunny and verdant, and Purple felt adore it emerged screaming out of a hydrocodone haze. Likewise, Gold & Grey appears like it might fit somewhere between Red Album and Yellow & Green by using the manner of Purple, mirroring the sonic systems of Purple but timbrally sitting somewhere nearer the hang-out of Red Album and the huge-winged and creatively joyous span of songwriting demonstrated on Yellow & Green.

On paper, Gold & Grey may no longer be a right double album, however, it honestly has the inner shape of one. This largely comes from its superlative length: 17 tracks over an hour’s length. While on paper this will now not sense always long enough to constitute a double album, understand that Yellow & Green become handiest 75 mins, brief enough to match onto an unmarried disc, with the average Baroness report out of doors of these clocking in at just under forty five mins. This feel of doubled-ness does the call alternate a prefer; there is, whether intentionally or no longer, discrete Gold and Grey portions, signaled via the timbrel change from using, noisy heavy alt-rock tunes to more brooding and atmospheric fare, like the light and color changed into sucked out of it. However, despite the scale of the report compared to their standard lengths, they manage to tempo this affair some distance higher than their preceding double album, with Gold & Grey having a clear emotional arc aligning every one of the tracks.





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