Baroness‘ Yellow & Green was an astounding record. It ended up in my top 5 on last year’s list, and I’ve kept listening to it ever since. I was super stoked to see the band tour, however, with the bus accident that left them with multiple serious injuries and even caused two members to leave the band, it didn’t look like it would happen anytime soon, save for the occasional local gig. However, the band are back!
I’m not going to go on about how great 2012 was for music, because everyone of my co-writers has already done that and then some. There’s no denying it was great, so let’s just move on. I’m writing this list pretty last minute, as I’ve had my choices locked in for some time, and I thought, “Hey, I’m not confused about anything, so I can push it back as far as possible”, and that was a terrible idea, as I’m now scrambling to get this thing finished, and having a hard time really talking about why I like these albums. However, I was the one who reviewed a lot of these, so if you find what I have to say on each individual one lacking, just go read my review or the reviews of the other albums written by my fellow contributors.
Honestly though, I did not love 2012 as much as everyone else. Maybe it was the events in my personal life that caused me to have such a poor outlook on a lot of the earlier releases of the year, but it’s hard to deny the fact that I just did not connect with nearly as many metal releases this year as I did last year. It’s a shame, but not something I’ve overly thought about, because I’ve found other music to enjoy throughout the year. That being said, I did happen to find a good handful of great albums that I anticipate listening to for many years. Like I said, I’ve had my choices for my list picked out for some time, and that’s because I knew which albums I loved, and which albums I wanted to continually listen to for many years to come. I wasn’t wowed by a lot of the big name bands; I found Meshuggah and Gojira lacking a bit, which were two of my my anticipated albums of this year, but that’s okay. Sometimes you just can’t connect with certain albums. And even though metal wasn’t all that great for me this year, I still love the genre, and it’s still my favorite type of music to listen to. Anyways, that’s why I listen to metal, and that’s really all I have to say on the matter, so here’s my top ten albums of the year.
T’is that beautiful time of year again. A season of good will, understanding and compassion towards your fellow man — a time for giving, loving and appreciating. The cold may have rolled in and the trees may have shed their once vibrant foliage, but the world finds solace in the love and company of others. It’s a time to reflect on the memories of the year and plan ahead for the next.
But most of all it’s a time to listen brutal fucking metal and drink a fuck tonne of Advocaat, because 2012 was full of great releases and now’s your chance to catch on releases you may have missed or may have never even heard of. My first draft of this list was composed of 30 albums, which then shot up to 37 when I realised that I had forgotten to include EPs. Everything from new bands that came out of nowhere to blow my mind (We Are Knuckle Dragger, Bloodshot Dawn, Oddland, Exotic Animal Petting Zoo etc) to the old guard continuing their brilliant legacy (Gojira, Aborted, Napalm Death, Deftones etc) all unfortunately fell by the wayside in the ruthless culling exercise that produced this list. And I regret cutting every single one of them, but alas, if I was talk about every album this year that was great, I’d probably lose your attention pretty quickly. Who am I kidding? You’ve most likely already skipped on to the list and you’re not even reading this bit. I could write anything I want here and no one would notice. Anything at all.
This new Baroness double album looks set to blow a few minds this year, the hype surrounding the band is at an all time high and if it was anyone else I’d be a little worried that they wouldn’t be able to step up to the mark. Obviously, grand ambitions and glorious artwork mean nothing if the music can’t match up to the standards set by the rest of the package – so feast your lug holes upon this glorious piece of sludgy stoner metal/rock named ‘Take My Bones Away‘, a track we’ve only previously heard live with a sub-par sound quality.
Sure, the jagged rhythms and technicality of yonder years have been gone for a while now, replaced by meticulously crafted songs and big riffs — but Baroness are still heavy as hell, even here where the metal tag is being stretched to it’s absolute limit. I’m sure there’ll be some interesting opinions surrounding this but for me, if the rest of the material is half as good as this, then looks like I’ll be greeting yet another contender for album of the year.
Yellow & Green is due out July 17th on Relapse Records.
Skip to 4:30 for ‘Take My Bones Away’
It would seem that everything is starting to fall into place in anticipation for the recently announced Yellow & Green double album. So whilst this video was recorded last August (!?), this live performance of ‘Take My Bones Away’ couldn’t have surfaced at a better time – anticipation for this record is huge as far as I can tell and Baroness seem to be getting exponentially bigger ever since they were picked up by Q Prime management, a company more used to dealing with the likes of Metallica and The Mars Volta.
Thankfully, this doesn’t seem to have affected the music too much. ‘Take My Bones Away‘ sounds like it could’ve easily slipped into the ranks of The Blue Record and it only leads to believe that maybe Yellow & Green will be a logical progression on from what we’ve seen so far, rather than the enigmatic ‘pseudo-metal’ record it’s been described as so far. Only time will tell, but you can bet that I’m excited about this one.
[Thanks to Axl and MS reader Kit Hart!]
Apparently I was right when I took “2CD” from the press release to mean that Yellow & Green (which should have been evidenced from the title itself) would be a double album. Turns out, it totally is! Baroness has released the tracklist and album art for their highly anticipated follow up to 2009’s critically acclaimed Blue Record. Above, you can see the album art in all of its glory. It should come as no surprise to anyone that it includes naked ladies interacting with flora, fauna, and bones — Jon Baizley’s style is pretty consistent — but even still, it’s some gorgeous art, which will likely look fantastic on a vinyl gatefold.
Here’s the tracklist:
1 Yellow Theme
2 Take My Bones Away
3 March to the Sea
4 Little Things
7 Back Where I Belong
8 Sea Lungs
1 Green Theme
2 Board Up the House
3 Mtns. (The Crown & Anchor)
6 Psalms Alive
8 The Line Between
9 If I Forget Thee, Lowcountry
Yellow & Green is gonna be nuts, but it might not even be metal! Regular Metalsucks/Invisible Oranges contributor, PR agent, and all around queen of ballsy metaldom Grim Kim posted on Twitter recently that what she heard of the album was “not metal at all.” Perhaps one disc will feature more relaxed acoustic/rock jams and the other will be the sludgy party time we’ve known in the past? We’ll have more information as soon as we hear of it. Expect some new music fairly soon! Yellow & Green is due out July 17th on Relapse Records.
We’ve known for a while that Baroness were in the studio, but we had no idea that they were hammering away at a double album! The press release we’ve received made a passing note that the highly anticipated follow up to 2009’s acclaimed Blue Album would be a 2CD/LP record. Sweet!
Here’s what guitarist/frontman John Baizley said about the album:
“We had been on tour for eight years, and we decided to take a break from our adventure to dig our heels in at home and write a new record. We spent the entirety of the past year dedicating ourselves to the new album. Without the break from touring and the time we took to rest and reflect, we would have been entirely unable to write this new record.. We have become re-inspired. Now it’s time to get back out on the road
Not much is known right now, but the artwork (which is sure to be amazing) and tracklist is to be announced soon. Yellow & Green is due out July 17th on Relapse Records.