Hailing from Savannah, Georgia, Baroness is a four-piece group that plays a mixture of sludge and melodic metal with traces of prog and a sprinkle of punk. With elements of these genres, you KNOW that I was intrigued to listen to their latest offering. After all, they’ve toured with Metallica, Opeth, Clutch, Mastodon, and many more influential, fantastic artists. Add to this the fact that both Red and Blue are fascinating, incredible albums, and I was all set to sit back and delve into the two-disc set that is Yellow & Green. So, was I satisfied or left wanting?
Opening with “Yellow Theme”, the album begins deceptively soft and gentle before entering the filthy, riff-tastic “Take My Bones Away”. However, this mellow melodic beauty is a recurring theme for, even through the distortion and intensity, there is a beauty that never leaves. Even through the anger there is still guitar harmonies that are a joy to hear.
Were I asked to use other bands to describe Yellow, I would say it has the alt-rock flavors and acoustic beauty of Anathema mixed with the punk/hardcore metal styles of Wolves Like Us. Considering that I love both of these artists, this should be taken as a compliment of very high magnitude. “Little Things” might well be the track that perfectly exemplifies this half of the album.
The production is gritty, grimy, gnarly and I love it. This album isn’t meant to sound clean. Hell, just take a look at the cover artwork. It’s violent but beautiful, complex yet engaging, erotic yet nonsexual. All of these ideas can easily be used to describe the sound and music of the album.
Meanwhile, Green is, as a whole, much more light and mellow as well as sounding much more raw. It’s almost as though it was a collection of B-sides and studio takes that normally wouldn’t have made the cut but the band decided that adding it on would be for the best. And I’m not complaining. There are some wonderful moments on Green, such as the gorgeous and sunny “Stretchmarker”.
The Final Word: Shifting between heavy and beautiful (and often times mixing the two together), Yellow & Green is a fantastic evolutionary step for Baroness. This album comes highly, highly recommended.