Review: Baroness – Purple (USA, 2015)

Purple is the 4th studio album by the American band Baroness, released under Abraxan Hymns last December.
This release marks another shifting step from their early sludge sound to a softer, stoner rock oriented and more melodic one.

The opener Morningstar carries sludgey riffs and a some singalong moments, while Shock Me gets it big with the huge chorus, and a more stoner rock approach in the bridge.
Try to Disappear and Kerosene are two sorts of ballads: the earlier heavier, the latter more melodic.
Fugue breaks the atmosphere with its relaxed ambience, and then we get to Chlorine & Wine.
Its psychedelic, Pink Floyd-ish vibe brings good dynamics as well as vocal melodies, but still in a stoner setting. The anthemic mid-song lead guitar lick gives me goosebumps if I’m sunk in the mood enough. Surely my standout track.
I was referring to a Pink Floyd vibe, but actually there are some not-so-implicit nods to the UK giants: I can hear some guitar licks off of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” here and there, and the vocal passage “I’ve never felt so uncomfortably dumb / Here by your side…” is a clear homage to you know which song. Ok let me say that, Confortably Numb.
On we go. The Iron Bell steps up the pace but keeps it melodic, while Desperation Burns is a more stoner oriented track. Then we have the closer If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain?), yet another melodic ballad.

This album was highly praised. I didn’t know about the band before, so I was curious to check it out.
It is indeed made up of solid tunes but nothing special nor groundbreaking to me. I’d say Chlorine & Wine is maybe the only track I would look up to. Still a nice rock album.
Fans are divided in preferring the earlier sludge-oriented side of their career (Red, Blue albums) or the softer, stoner-vibed one (Yellow & Green and this album itself, Purple).
Honestly I can’t spit a personal opinion on that nor contextualize Purple properly in their discography since it is the only one I’ve listened to by now. Sorry, folks. I’ll catch up, I promise.

Label: Abraxan Hymns
Links: Facebook | Website
Release Date: December 18, 2015
Reviewed by Rizzo

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About Andrea "Rizzo" Rizzieri 39 Articles
TSL co-founder, co-owner, editor, and in charge of everything-that-comes-with-that. Born 1992, I always had the vocation to learn everything I could later never accomplish to save my own life. I am indeed a failed guitarist, drummer and so much more! Er, I’d better write about music I like for the time being. Although my musical past has been firmly rooted in rock, punk and metal, I appreciate any kind of music as long as I find it artistically interesting. I have a split personality by which part of me likes anything musically forward-thinking, inventive or just of general “good taste”, and part of me likes being blasted by all-out intensity and dissonance.

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