Baroness Yellow & Green

BaronessYellow & Green
This highly anticipated double album continues the theme of colour-oriented album titles Baroness established with Red Album and Blue Record. Rather than the verdant freshness and reviving sunlight this album's title attempt to evoke, what Yellow & Green channels is the wan sickness of disappointment. Throughout their career, the cerebral and sophisticated Baroness have maintained a brilliant tension between the grime and grit of sludge and the intricate sophistication of prog metal and rock. Their genius has always lain in playing these two aesthetics off each other, allowing for moments of roughness and awkward juxtaposition to create aching, sublime compositions. On Yellow & Green, they've made the decision to do away with that tension and instead go for something in the middle, a bland combination that has flab in place of sludge and moments of mere prettiness instead of transcendence. The result is flat and congealed, lacking danger. Even "Take My Bones Away," which came across as a silvery, vital song live, sounds heavy and lumpy on the album, with no nimbleness or grace. In an attempt to find the median point in their sound, rather than celebrating the joy of their extremes, they have leached out all the colour, leaving us with a record that should have been titled Beige. (Relapse)