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Blue Record – Baroness

Blue Record - Baroness Artist: Baroness
Album: Blue Record
Release Date: October 13, 2009
Duration: 44:24
Genre: Pop/Rock
Styles: Sludge Metal, Alternative Metal, Progressive Metal, Heavy Metal, Alternative/Indie Rock, Post-Hardcore
Recording Date: May, 2009 – June, 2009
Recording Location: Elmwood Studio, Dallas, TX; The Track Studio, Plano, TX

Georgia-based psychedelic rock band (calling them a metal act seems very reductive, though there’s some seriously headbangable material on this disc) Baroness has made a subtle but unmistakable evolutionary leap on this, their second full-length and a clear companion piece to 2007’s Red Album. It’s hard to say exactly what new guitarist Pete Adams has brought to the band after replacing drummer Allen Blickle’s brother Brian, but the band’s established blend of Southern sludge riffs, druggy instrumental journeys, and melodic interstitial interludes, all propelled by a particularly thudding drum sound and held together by John Baizley’s hoarse but clean vocals and gorgeous cover art, are even stronger now than before. The transition from the almost Moody Blues-like “Steel That Sleeps the Eye” into the crunching hard rock epic “Swollen and Halo” is just one example of Baroness’ seamless melding of moods through technique and compositional acumen. There are numerous interludes on the disc — basically, any track shorter than four minutes is an exploration of a riff followed by a dissolve into sound effects or keyboard swooshes, slowly dissolving into the next actual song. “Ogeechee Hymnal,” for example, offers one of the album’s heaviest riffs, but it’s a mere appetizer before “A Horse Called Golgotha,” a suitably galloping prog-metal epic that effectively conquers Mastodon’s territory, and includes some astonishing guitar leads. This is a ferocious album that’s not afraid to be genuinely beautiful. One of the best hard rock releases of 2009. [There’s also a two-disc deluxe edition that pairs the album with a live set recorded in 2008.]

Title/Composer Performer Time
Bullhead’s Psalm / Pete Adams / John Dyer Baizley Baroness 1:19
The Sweetest Curse / John Dyer Baizley / Baroness Baroness 4:30
Jake Leg / John Dyer Baizley / Baroness Baroness 4:23
Steel That Sleeps the Eye / John Dyer Baizley / Baroness Baroness 2:38
Swollen and Halo / John Dyer Baizley / Baroness Baroness 6:35
Ogeechee Hymnal / John Dyer Baizley / Baroness Baroness 2:35
A Horse Called Golgotha / John Dyer Baizley / Baroness Baroness 5:21
O’er Hell and Hide / John Dyer Baizley / Baroness Baroness 4:22
War, Wisdom and Rhyme / John Dyer Baizley / Baroness Baroness 4:25
Blackpowder Orchard / John Dyer Baizley Baroness 1:00
The Gnashing / John Dyer Baizley / Baroness Baroness 4:17
Bullhead’s Lament / John Dyer Baizley / Baroness Baroness 2:59
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