Power of Metal.dk Review

Yellow & Green
Style: Pop Rock
Release date: 17 July, 2012
Playing time: 74:59

The first releases of BARONESS dating from 2004 and 2005 were remarkable for the sludge metal scene at that time. In 2007 the quartet stepped into the stoner psychedelic sound - an interesting experiment after which I expected from them to wake up. With the beginning of the colorful series of albums they consecutively swallowed alternative and AOR poison to reach the point of their new release.

The imaginary burst of creativity in the double album “Yellow & Green” after three years of silence in fact refers only to the quantity of songs. From the sludge metal remained only the noise and the misbalance of the in fact pop songs. The serious drone approaches from the past times now are little microphonics which roots are completely dry. The pseudo-psychedelic harmonies gained the sweet-southern taste of some old and new folk-bands aiming at the top charts. The guitar presence is reduced to retro-NIRVANA chords. But all of this is covered with the glaze of acoustic country-pop guitars and result-oriented AOR sound. There is no drop of aggression left in the vocals. The smooth harmonies are colored in light EMO-singing in the non-pretentious lyrics.

When I started listening “Yellow & Green”; I found that some of the songs are already in my head because they are already radio hits! The non-explainable and non-stoppable circulation of particular songs on air began to happen immediately after in the USA came into power the law against the paid broadcasts. As a result in every South-Eastern European country was created a radio of the particular media-group. The two metal magazines published in my country assure me from their pages that BARONESS is the band of the year!?! Somebody is trying to persuade me that the combination of CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL, NIRVANA and SOUNDGARDEN which has mask of garage rock is the most progressive thing in the contemporary metal!?!

The renegade collage-orientated musicianship of this quartet (besides it is retrograde) is made in a direction “there is something for everyone”. They rely on the already known and heard things. The psychedelic and modern influences are the seasoning that tries to wake the pseudo-intellectual self confidence of the middle-statistics radio listener. In this shape BARONESS is an emanation of the chewed up creative artist in the society of the superficial values. It is he same if you decided to have a stake for dinner but all of a sudden you found yourself in ”McDonald’s”…

The situation is the same with the “incredible and distinguished” art of John Baizley (guitar, vocals, and artwork) - it is rather literal interpretation and direct copy of the works of the Czech painter and decorator Alfons Mucha (1860-1939). You should be a laic to consider that the combination of bank-note graphics and cabaret poster is a creative idea of Baizley!

The agonizing mastodons of the old music industry grip in more undeveloped societies where their moral decay is not so glaring. I believe that Relapse Records would never fit this category and I think that BARONESS will change their label soon. But their works reflect exactly the above-mentioned decay and the repression of some values. This is a parade of the kitsch! If this is somewhat metal then EVANESCENCE plays rather good thrash!!!


Disc 1:
01. Yellow Theme
02. Take My Bones Away
03. March to the Sea
04. Little Things
05. Twinkler
06. Cocainium
07. Back Where I Belong
08. Sea Lungs
09. Eula

Disc 2:
01. Green Theme
02. Board Up the House
03. Mtns. (The Crown & Anchor)
04. Foolsong
05. Collapse
06. Psalms Alive
07. Stretchmarker
08. The Line Between
09. If I Forget Thee, Lowcountry

Label: Relapse Records
Distribution: Cosmos
Reviewed by: Maria D.S.
Date: 26 August, 2012