Genre: Rock
Country: U.S.A.
Label: Abraxahn Hymns
Year: 2015

There is something profoundly heroic in “Purple”, the fourth full length release of Baroness, both in its content and in the circumstances under which it was created. While touring for the previous double and somehow uneven “Yellow/Green” release (“Yellow” being excellent, “Green” less excellent) the band suffered a terrible bus accident that let its member heal up their wounds for months, at least the core two of them whereas the other two left the crew. And yet, the band returns three years later, triumphant and fresh as never before with probably their best record to date.

One would think that “Purple” would be the best colour to name an album full of despair, bitter emotions and anger, but this is not the case at all. Baroness appear more let loose in spirit, but tight as a whole than ever, rocking out their own ecstatic way, molding their songs using all the tricks and skills they have put on records before and even more. “Purple” is very vibrant, almost danceable in songs like “Try To Disappear” and it seems the band has not held back in anything, both in songwriting and in trying ideas. The addition of jazz trained bass player Nick Jost and drummer Steven Thompson (Trans Am) gave a whole different sense of rhythm and time signatures in the band, rearranging its chemistry and rejuvenating its attitude.

I may not do justice to the album by trying to unearth its hidden meaning, but my interpretation is that the band is presenting in a magnificently balanced way all their musical aspects as have been presented in the previous releases, but still participating in the linear progression of their music into more plain rock fields and not just being a summing up of their career so far. The album begins with the most mastodonic riff they ever came up with and ends with this weird spaced out outro named “Crossroads To Infinity” spanning the band’s timeline from its roots in Savannah and their fellow Georgians to the borderless future. In between, there are 9 songs that echo all influences of the band, anything from Pink Floyd to Blitz and still are Baroness to the bone. What strikes with the first hearing is the twin guitar melodies or solos that peak in a classic heavy metal way, making you want to throw your hands to the sky making “Purple” a cathartic experience for the listener, and if I may guess, for the musicians that made it as well.

It took me some time to adore this record – the melancholy and introversion that “Yellow” was emitting has shaken me from the very first instant –, but when I did, it revealed a very lively and optimistic effort that reminds to everyone the importance of perseverance and keeps the spirits high. But the most important thing is that “Purple” is a very much entertaining rock record.