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Album Review: Gold and Grey by Baroness

Baroness release their fifth album Gold & Grey on 14th June via the band’s own label Abraxan Hymns. As with previous releases by the band, the album’s artwork was designed by front-man and lead singer John Dyer Baizley, and it mark the final instalment of the band’s colour coded releases, twelve years on.

Biazley says of the album, “Our goal is, was, and will always be to write increasingly superior, more honest and compelling songs, and to develop a more unique and challenging sound. I’m sure we have just finished our best, most adventurous album to date. We dug incredibly deep, challenged ourselves and recorded a record I’m positive we could never again replicate. I consider myself incredibly fortunate to know Sebastian, Nick and Gina as both my bandmates and my friends. They have pushed me to become a better songwriter, musician and vocalist. We’re all extremely excited for this release, which includes quite a few ‘firsts’ for the band, and we’re thrilled to be back on tour to play these psychotic songs for our fans. Expect some surprises.”

Fittingly on the 17 tracks here, Gold & Grey feels like the cumulation of previous releases and a little more. It’s an appropriate end to the colour albums and paves the way forward for the band. With the addition of Gina Gleeson on guitar and backing vocals it beefs up Baroness’s sound and at various times, but most notably on ‘Seasons’ you remember the band’s roots in sludgey heavy metal. That’s not to say they’ve regressed, far from it, over the years the band has pushed their prog rock side and become awash in harmonies, just take ‘Tourniquet’ as an example – it’s deliciously immediate and hook ridden – it’s Baroness at their most accessible.

The interlude feel of ‘Anchor’s Lament’ complements ‘Tourniquet’ perfectly before ‘Throw Me An Anchor’ bursts into life in a cacophony of metal riffs. It develops into an electrifying progressive metal track that is equally abrasive as it is immediate. There’s the pop/prog metal sensibilities of ‘I’d Do Anything’ and the heartbreakingly fragile ‘Cold: Blooded Angels’ to add a big spoonful of variety, but the big distorted riffs of ‘Broken Halo’ and the prog force of ‘Borderlines’ that confirm Baroness are in a league of their own.

Excellent stuff.

AD Rating 7.75/10

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