By now, the 2012 bus tragedy in Europe involving Georgia's Baroness, which ultimately may or may not have influenced drummer Allen Blickle and bassist Matt Maggioni to leave the band due to the extent of their injuries, is pretty well known within hard rock & metal circles. The Yellow & Green double album of that same year was a pretty mellow affair, and fans of the band had to wonder what the future held for this well respected act. Well, worry no more, as their latest release Purple is a complete triumph, as new members Nick Jost (bass/keyboards) and Sebastian Thompson (drums), have joined Pete Adams (Guitar, Vocals) and John Baizley (Vocals, Guitar) for their strongest album in years, and perhaps best yet. While still leaving much of the original sludge elements behind, the band here have fully embraced their progressive metal roots, but kept the melodic hooks of the last double album, for a combination that oozes confidence & maturity.
"Kerosene" for instance, just soars with powerful melodies while the music weaves and darts with plenty of complexity, almost like a more accessible Mastodon."Chlorine & Wine" contains plenty of dreamy atmosphere but then also unleashes heavy, lumbering stoner riffs, while "The Iron Bell_" is just a fantastic, upbeat hard rock tune with killer hooks and some tasty Thin Lizzy inspired dual harmony guitars. For fans of the heavier, stoner vibe, check out "Desperation Burns", "Morningstar", and "Shock Me", each one a haven for beefy, heavy, yet intricate riffs, pounding drum work, and emotional, soaring vocals. The bands penchant for injecting atmospheric, melodic passages in otherwise somber arrangements works wonders on "Try to Disappear" and "If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain)" two very catchy & emotional numbers that show a different side to the band.
Great playing, memorable melodies, and plenty of heaviness when it's needed, are all characteristics of Purple, a welcome comeback from Baroness that will be sure to please all their fans who have stuck by them through thick and thin.
- Shock Me
- Try to Disappear
- Chlorine & Wine
- The Iron Bell_
- Desperation Burns
- If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain)
- Crossroads of Infinity