Album Review: Baroness – Purple (Abraxan Hymns)

Baroness’s fourth album, Purple (following albums Red, Blue and Yellow & Green) arrived after some seriously testing times for the band. In 2012 the band were in a serious bus crash that saw several band members end up with broken bones & fractures then a year later saw two members of the band depart.

They recovered though to release one of their best albums of their career so far.

Describing Baroness’s sound is no easy task as they have such variety in their music throughout. It’s mix of sludge & progressive rock music. A style that often sees you not truly appreciate what you’re hearing until you’ve given it a few listens. I found that this applied to a lot of their earlier albums but here a lot of songs were jumping out & really hitting the mark from the first listen.

Opener Morningstar is one such example, a brilliant slab of ballsy rock music that echo’s & throbs in your ears. Frontman Pete Adams vocals are brilliant throughout but this is song built on its killer riffs. As heavy as Down at times but with all flair of Ghost.

Purple rarely becomes predictable with almost every song offering something new & fresh. Just when you think a particular song might be dragging on a little it suddenly changes direction & throws out something completely different. Many unique & under-appreciated instruments are used throughout to create such impressive music.

Piano, synthesizers, a glockenspiel, a Wurlitzer electric piano and bells alongside many others. These are used sparingly so they never dominate a specific song but they add so much when used in this fashion.

What is most impressive about Purple is the amount of quality guitar riffs throughout. This is an album filled to the brim with toe-tappingly/head-banging guitar riffs & solos. I found I loved the songs that had a more epic feel to them, songs that soared. Kerosene is a great example of this, not being instantly impressive but turning out to be one of my favourite songs on the entire album.

I struggle to find any song on the 10 track album that I don’t actually like (although track 10 – Crossroads is disputable being only 16 seconds long), this album is that good & I urge everyone to go out, listen to it & buy it.

Full track-list:

1. Morningstar
2. Shock Me
3. Try to Disappear
4. Kerosene
5. Fugue
6. Chlorine & Wine
7. The Iron Bell
8. Desperation Burns
9. If I Have to Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain?)
10. Crossroads of Infinity

Baroness - Purple (Abraxan Hymns)
  • The Final Score - 9/10
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