A new Baroness album always brings a certain level of excitement as they’re seen as a trusty and consistent faucet of rock. Baroness don’t release bad albums and the follow up to 2015’s excellent Purple has been hotly anticipated. Well, Gold & Grey is here now so the big question is have Baroness done it again?
It’s a long one. Coming in at just over an hour and with 17 tracks, there is plenty of new Baroness to sink our teeth into, beginning with the hyper and super-fuzzy Front Towards Enemy. It’s a solid if unexciting start, something that is corrected by I’m Already Gone, an improvement thanks to some wicked bass and well structured highs and lows.
It’s immediately clear that this album has a bit more of the psychedelic to it. It’s littered and layered throughout marking this as one of the most ambitious releases to date from Baroness.
Seasons is more of the good stuff. A little bit mellow, a little bit dark and filled with plenty of Baroness’ energetic melodies. Whereas Sevens’ short atmosphere building spacey melody comes a little too early to really have lasting impact.
Already a hell of a lot variety and the album is only just getting started. Tourniquet, Anchor’s Lament, Throw Me An Anchor and I’d Do Anything effectively takes us up to the halfway point. Not songs to just gloss over, each one can offer an amazing array of Baroness wonder with Tourniquet in particular standing out as a veritable long-term classic.
After another interlude with Blankets of Ash, that one a little more unsettling, it’s Emmet: Radiating Light’s job to really darken the sky with a quiet and reflective melody driven number. It’s another in a long line of Baroness tracks that surprise by being so different to what is heard elsewhere on the album.
It’s more of the same with Cold-Blooded Angels at first although this one does grow and grow into something resembling a more familiar Baroness track. Thrilling to listen too as it get fuzzier and fuzzier.
Bookended by two short oddities Crooked Mike and Can Oscura, Broken Halo is Baroness showing off their heavier side, a crashing and burning, rockabilly tinged riot that puts a big smile on the face. It comes at a great time too as the album was beginning to run out of steam. It reignites the fire for a roaring finish. The riffy and trippy Borderlines, one final interlude in the form of Assault on East Falls (a little like video game effects) and Pale Sun, a morose, haunting and trippy finale that puts the stamp on the most varied and unusual Baroness realease to date.
Is it as good as some of their previous work? Honestly, no. It has great tracks but is a little too confused and times and has far too many interludes that offer very little but a distraction from what you actually want to hear.
Baroness – Gold & Grey Full Track Listing:
1. Front Towards Enemy
2. I’m Already Gone
6. Anchor’s Lament
7. Throw Me an Anchor
8. I’d Do Anything
9. Blankets of Ash
10. Emmet: Radiating Light
11. Cold-Blooded Angels
12. Crooked Mile
13. Broken Halo
14. Can Oscura
16. Assault on East Falls
17. Pale Sun
Baroness - Gold and Grey (Abraxan Hymns)
The Final Score - 7/10