Grain silos, disused water towers and country houses – just some of the unorthodox places used to ferry bands into altered psychological states as for any distinctive ambience.
For Baron’s second album, the UK quartet occupied a medieval hall in Suffolk, in which to summon their wyrd-psych spirits. Alongside the barrage of growling electric guitar, organ drones, rumbling kit drums and keening vocals there’s a strange, ancient presence closing in upon this otherwise conspicuously modern sound. Haloed in shimmering reverb, Alex Crispin’s guitars foster turbulent storms beneath which Philip Glass-like organ arpeggios dolefully pitch and yaw. Though his vocals sometimes blossom with cresting harmonies, the mood is sombre. After Dragonfly’s initial promise of a pastoral journey, Baron veer into a chilly, cavernous space, in which arcs of luminous reverb are lost to the pulsating darkness. Rarely deviating from a mid-paced canter, Torpor finds the players in a profound seance, clearly reluctant to break the circle of solemn tempos of their stately procession. In others, that sonic uniformity might be grounds for criticism. With Baron, it’s a major strength.