Back in 2007 I named Red Album, the debut full-length by Baroness as my album of the year. Want proof? Anyway, the mix of prog and southern sludge post rock still strikes a chord within me, and though it may not be the popular choice, going by thisd re-listen I think I’m comfortable saying this is still my favorite Baroness album. Maybe that’ll change as I go through the discography this week, but for now it remains solid.
If Red Album is my favorite Baroness record, a lot of it has to do with opener “Rays On Pinion” which is still my favorite Baroness track. Everything I love about the album can be found here, from the steady build of layers in the opening theme to the explosion of rock that comes after. John Baizley’s roar is more present than on any subsequent release, but his clean voice creeps in as well, and it carries a power I find lacking a bit on other releases. The way it segues into “The Birthing” which in turns segues into “Isak” is one the great 1-2-3 punches in modern metal, and the entire entire, from the acoustic interlude of “Cockropach en Fleur” to the closing moment of “Grad” (we’ll skip the fluff of the hidden untitled track) make this a colossal record.