Baroness returns to the throne with the highly-anticipated “Gold & Grey”

The new Baroness lineup. // Pam Strohm
Baroness & Deafheaven w/ guest Zeal & Ardor
Union Hall
Mar 22 (6:30 pm)

By Jake Pesaruk

It’s been a few years since progressive metal masters Baroness found new footing in its 2015 album Purple, but now with further wisdom under its belt and steadfast songwriting, the group is ready to tear another chunk out of the conceptual colour wheel with the upcoming album Gold & Grey.

The group has been injecting solar-hot riffs and ice-cool lyricism into the metal scene for damn near a decade now, and has gone through such an intense musical metamorphosis that the traditional progressive metal label need not apply.

“Sometimes prog feels not entirely accurate as a stylistic jumping off point for us, especially with what we’ve been doing recently. I say that out of respect for bands that do strongly identify with the genre,”  frontman John Baizley says.

Baizley has been the igniting force behind the band since the group’s inception. From the early success of the first two albums Red and Blue, to a bus accident some years back that left both Baizley and the band worse for wear—resulting in a significant shake up of the group’s line-up.

The album art for Gold & Grey. // John Baizley

However, this shake up—which features the newly appointed Gina Gleason on lead guitar—provided ample opportunity for renewal and focus.

“With Purple, we didn’t push the envelope as far as we normally would; we had been through such a traumatic thing that we didn’t want to risk the sound being too down, resulting in a focused and upbeat record … I mean we were on tour shortly after I got out of a wheelchair—that record was pushing through that potential lack of momentum that we were frightened might come into existence,” Baizley says.

Those who have heard Baroness know  momentum is something the band does not lack. With the dust being long settled since the band’s transitional period, the members of Baroness are ready to plant their feet on their distortion pedals and melt the faces of their eager fan base—but just because confidence was found does not mean that they’re charging blind into the recording studio.

“With our new record the mentality was with each success we look back and identify what we as a group are most strong at doing. Once we identify these factors we can ignore them—we know we’re good at them. Rather than develop them further we look at a weakness instead,” Baizley says.

The track “Borderlines” is the only single to be released ahead of Gold & Grey’s June release date, and with one listen you can hear the intent with which Baizley speaks. Blasting right out of the gate with his trademark tranquilly-frustrated lyricism and gut-punching riffs, if “Borderlines” is a sign of things to come, then summer can’t come soon enough.  

“We don’t want to get repetitive, or fall victim to boredom or lazy song writing. The process always has to be difficult,” Baizley says with a chuckle.

Baroness has had its moment of rising from the ashes and with Gold & Grey on the horizon, this phoenix is ready to take flight.

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