It's a wonderful thing when a highly anticipated metal record finally comes out and turns out to be really worth the wait. People have been hyping up Baroness' new release, Purple, like crazy, and with good reason. The group were in a nearly fatal bus accident in 2012 that resulted in two members getting seriously injured and leaving the group; whether Baroness would ever record music again was up in the air. It's a good thing they decided to, though: Purple has just as much energy and power as the group's older works, but with a more refined and mature sound.
Guitarist Pete Adams has said that "We didn't want to make a mellow, sad, dark thing. We needed to be up-tempo. We needed to be melodic, and it also needed to be aggressive." It's an apt description of how the record flows; every song stands along as a catchy, heavy hymn to psychedelia, while also working together in the cohesive way that marks a good album. "Chlorine & Wine" is classic Baroness goodness, full of heaviness and gigantic choruses. Opener "Morningstar," an album highlight, demonstrates this well; it's a melodic, heavy anthem that starts off the record on a strong note.
If you've loved Baroness's previous work and were holding your breath for this one, or if you are new to the group but love psych metal or more accessible heavy bands like Saviours and Mastodon, this is a must-hear. Baroness are back, and they sound as good as ever. (Abraxan Hymns)