CD Review: Baroness “Gold & Grey”

“Gold & Grey”

Baroness

Abraxan Hymns

Producer: David Fridmann

Tracks: 17

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

Heavy Metal band Baroness returns with their fifth studio album titled “Gold & Grey”. The album which was released on June 14th is the follow to the bands popular 2015 release “Purple”. Featuring 17 brand new tracks from the Georgia based group and produced by David Fridmann “Gold & Grey” is the first release via the bands own Abraxan Hymns label. The release is also the first to feature guitarist Gina Gleason who joined the group in 2017 after the departure of Peter Adams.

Right from the start “Gold & Grey” showcases why Baroness is at the fore front of progressive heavy metal. With tracks like “Front Toward Enemy” and “I’m Already Gone” laying the foundation in the albums opening minutes with thick over driven guitars and singer John Baizley’s signature soaring vocals listeners are quickly immersed in a bevy of sonic goodness. As the album progresses so does the diverseness of texture and tones. Tracks like “Tourniquet” and “Blankets of Ash” feature spacey vocals and layered acoustic guitars while the songs “I’d Do Anything” and “Emmett-Radiating Light” feature piano rich sound scapes which seep deep in to your inner core making for a nice mixture of dark and light.   

The latest offering from Baroness takes listeners on a musical vacation that some may never want to come back from. Brimming over with emotional subject matter and robust instrumentation “Gold & Grey” is another notch in Baroness’s musical belt. The addition of guitarist Gina Gleason I feel has really taken the band to the next level. Not only does Gleason’s playing compliment the band nicely but so do her backing vocals which compliment Baizley’s leads. Despite “Gold & Grey” having a few too many slow moments for my liking the songs that weren’t balls to the wall rockers were still enjoyable making this an album I would certainly recommend checking out.

Track Listing:

1.) Front Toward Enemy

2.) I’m Already Gone

3.) Seasons

4.) Sevens

5.) Tourniquet

6.) Anchors Lament

7.) Throw Me an Anchor

8.) I’d Do Anything

9.) Blanket of Ash

10.) Emmett- Radiating Light

11.) Cold-Blooded Angels

12.) Crooked Mile

13.) Broken Halo

14.) Can Oscura

15.) Borderlines

16.) Assault on East falls

17.) Pale Sun

BARONESS UNVEIL GOLD & GREY VIA NPR

https://www.npr.org/2019/06/10/729219388/first-listen-baroness-gold-grey

17-TRACK ALBUM ARRIVES THIS FRIDAY

IN-STORE TOUR UNDERWAY

Baroness’ highly-anticipated album, Gold & Grey, is streaming now via NPR (https://www.npr.org/2019/06/10/729219388/first-listen-baroness-gold-grey).

The 17-track release which arrives this Friday is described by NPR as “…Baroness has redigested every sound of the band’s career thus far and synthesized it into something greater. Gold & Grey is the sound of a band becoming a universe unto itself.” Mojodubbed the album “an epic beast,” Stereogum referred to it as “anthemic” and MetalSuckssaid the collection “perfectly encapsulates how Baroness excel at reaching shining peaks and descending into gloomy valleys.” Baroness have recently been featured on the covers of Decibel MagazineKerrang! and Loud!, while Revolver will debut a series of collectible covers later this month.

“This is the most clear representation of the artistic vision I have for the band that we’ve ever done,” explains singer/guitar player John Baizley. “Where Purple was me lyrically trying to work out how to adjust to a new normal, I think Gold & Grey is a more grown-up and more subtle collection of words that reflect how I am trying to deal with the longer term effects of having experienced so many terrible things. I choose to use the band as a place where I can take all of this stress, pain, anxiety, all these realities, and make them something good.”

Baroness is in the midst of a tour of Northeastern U.S. independent record stores, performing acoustically this evening at Philadelphia’s Creep Records, with a full band performance slated for Brooklyn’s Rough Trade on release date. A South American tour is slated for later this month, followed by both North American and European treks.

Tour dates:

June 10 Philadelphia, PA Creep Records

June 11 Fords, NJ Vintage Vinyl

June 12 Babylon, NY Looney Tunes

June 14 Brooklyn, NY Rough Trade

June 15 Poughkeepsie, NY Darkside Records

June 16 Boston, MA ONCE/Newbury Comics

June 19 Mexico City, Mexico MX at Lunario

June 21 Santiago, Chile Blondie

June 22 Buenos Aires, Argentina Uniclub

June 23 São Paulo, Brazil Fabrique Club

July 11 Lancaster, PA The Chameleon

July 12 Poughkeepsie, NY The Chance

July 13 Huntington, NY The Paramount

July 14 Hartford, CT Webster Theatre

July 16 Buffalo, NY Town Ballroom

July 17 Pittsburgh, PA Mr. Smalls Theatre

July 19 Columbus, OH Newport Music Hall

July 20 Detroit, MI The Majestic

July 21 Indianapolis, IN Deluxe at Old National Centre

July 23 Palatine, IL Durty Nellie’s

July 24 Des Moines, IA Wooly’s

July 26 Omaha, NE The Waiting Room

July 27 Lawrence, KS The Granada

July 28 St. Louis MO The Ready Room

July 30 Nashville, TN Cannery Ballroom

July 31 Birmingham, AL Saturn

August 4 Baton Rouge, LA The Varsity Theatre

August 5 Atlanta, GA Buckhead Theatre

August 6 Tampa, FL The Orpheum

August 7 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Culture Room

August 9 Orlando, FL Plaza Live

August 10 Jacksonville, FL 1904 Music Hall

August 11 Charleston, SC The Music Farm

August 13 Charlotte, NC The Underground

August 14 Asheville, NC The Orange Peel

August 16 Richmond, VA The National

August 17 Baltimore, MD Baltimore Sound Stage

September 23 Newcastle, UK O2 Academy

September 24 Glasgow, UK O2 Academy

September 26 London, UK O2 Academy Brixton

September 28 Bristol, UK O2 Academy

September 30 Birmingham, UK O2 Academy

October 1 Manchester, UK O2 Apollo

October 3 Belfast, UK Ulster Hall

October 4 Dublin, IE Olympia Theatre

October 6 Paris, FR L’Olympia

October 7 Luxembourg, LU Rockhal

October 9 Madrid, ES La Riviera

October 10 Lisbon, PT Coliseum

October 12 Barcelona, ES Razzmatazz

October 14 Milan, IT Fabrique

October 29 Warsaw, PL Torwar Arena

October 31 Prague, CZ O2 Universum

November 1 Berlin, DE Mercedes-Benz Arena

November 3 Stuttgart, DE Schleyerhalle

November 5 Zurich, CH Hallenstadion

November 7 Frankfurt, DE Festhalle

November 8 Munich, DE Olympiahalle

November 10 Leipzig, DE Arena Leipzig

November 11 Hamburg, DE Barclaycard Arena

November 14 Cologne, DE Lanxess Arena

November 17 Vienna, AT Stadhalle

November 19 Amsterdam, NL Ziggo Dome

November 21 Antwerp, BE Lotto Arena

November 27 Helsinki, FI Hartwall Arena

November 29 Stockholm, SE Tele2 Arena

Photo courtesy of Baroness

Baroness is John Baizley (vocals/guitar), Gina Gleason (guitar), Nick Jost (bass) and Sebastian Thomson (drums). Baroness received a GRAMMY® Award nomination for the song “Shock Me” (from the 2015 album, Purple) in the “Best Metal Performance” category. Purple saw worldwide praise with Pitchfork saying it features “some of the biggest, strongest songs Baroness has ever written” and Mojo proclaiming “Baroness have delivered their masterpiece.” The album received numerous year end accolades including “Shock Me” at #10 on Entertainment Weekly’s Top 40 Songs of 2015, #6 on Pitchfork’sBest Metal Albums of 2015 and #7 on Rolling Stone’s 20 Best Metal Albums of 2015. The band’s catalog of studio recordings is: Gold & Grey (2019), Purple (2015), Yellow & Green(2012), Blue Record (2009), Red Album (2007), A Grey Sigh in a Flower Husk (Split LP, 2007), Second (EP, 2004) and First (EP, 2004).

Baroness Release “Gold & Grey” on June 14 Via Braxan Hymns

BARONESS RELEASE GOLD & GREY ON JUNE 14 VIA ABRAXAN HYMNShttp://smarturl.it/baroness-goldandgrey
BAND RELEASE “BORDERLINES” VIDEO; NORTH AMERICAN TOUR UNDERWAYhttps://youtu.be/tQX_oVVORFU
Gold & Grey album cover; original painting by John Baizley
Baroness release their eagerly-awaited new album, Gold & Grey, on June 14 via Abraxan Hymns.

The band has simultaneously released a video for the song “Borderlines” (https://youtu.be/tQX_oVVORFU), which saw its live performance debut at Baroness’s tour kick off last Friday in Houston.

“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,” offered Baroness founder, guitar player and vocalist John Baizley. “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.”

While Gold & Grey found the outfit once again working with Purple producer Dave Fridmann (The Flaming Lips, Mogwai), sequestering themselves at Fridmann’s remote upstate New York Tarbox Road Studio, the 17-track album ushered in two significant changes: a decidedly different recording process and guitar player Gina Gleason’s debut on a Baroness recording. The band, who tracked portions of the vocals, guitars and overdubs in Baizley’s home-basement studio, another first for the band, eschewed their normal routine of entering the studio with meticulously detailed plans and instead opted for a looser, more improvisational approach that resulted in the band’s most collaborative and emotionally evocative release to date.

“On Gold & Grey we have taken some unexpected paths on a labyrinthine sonic adventure. We accepted sounds and styles that have not appeared on previous Baroness albums, and I’m excited to welcome our fans into our new lair,” added drummer Sebastian Thomson.
“Having the chance to create music without any preconceived boundaries was both liberating and intimidating,” explains guitar player Gina Gleason. “As we pushed past our fear and comfort zone, the four of us connected in a way that allowed us to create freely, uplift one another and build the unique sonic world that is Gold & Grey. As a longtime Baroness listener, it is exciting to have created something new while still maintaining a deep love and understanding of the band’s roots. To say that the making of this record was quite a journey would be an understatement. We are beyond excited to share this experience and music with everyone!”

Baroness tour dates (co-headline w/Deafheaven; Zeal & Ardor open on all dates):

March 14 Anaheim, CA House of Blues Anaheim

March 16 Berkeley, CA The UC Theatre

March 18 Portland, OR Roseland Theater

March 19 Seattle, WA The Showbox

March 20 Vancouver, BC Vogue Theatre

March 22 Edmonton, AB Union Hall

March 23 Calgary, AB The Palace Theatre

March 24 Spokane, WA Knitting Factory

March 26 Salt Lake City, UT The Complex

March 27 Denver, CO The Ogden Theater

March 29 Minneapolis, MN Skyway Theatre

March 30 Madison, WI The Sylvee

March 31 Chicago, IL Riviera Theatre

April 2 Toronto, ON Danforth Music Hall

April 3 Montreal, QC Corona Theatre

April 5 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom

April 6 Worcester, MA The Palladium

April 7 Albany, NY Upstate Concert Hall

April 9 Cleveland, OH Agora Theater

April 10 Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore

April 12 New York, NY Terminal 5

April 13 Philadelphia, PA Decibel Metal & Beer Fest (The Fillmore Philadelphia)

Photo credit: Pam Strohm

Gold & Grey track list:

  1. Front Toward Enemy
  2. I’m Already Gone
  3. Seasons
  4. Sevens
  5. Tourniquet
  6. Anchor’s Lament
  7. Throw Me An Anchor
  8. I’d Do Anything
  9. Blankets of Ash
  10. Emmett-Radiating Light
  11. Cold Blooded Angels
  12. Crooked Mile
  13. Broken Halo
  14. Can Oscura
  15. Borderlines
  16. Assault on East Falls
  17. Pale Sun

Album pre-orders (http://smarturl.it/baroness-goldandgrey) are available now with various limited-edition vinyl and merch bundles available as well as digital pre-orders that include an instant download of “Borderlines.”