Baroness: Purple

Savannah’s sonic surfers show their true colours

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If there is one silver lining to be found from the horrors of the 2012 bus crash that almost took Baroness from us, it’s that frontman and creative nucleus John Baizley has channelled his resulting demons into a work of art so enthralling that it may just rank as the finest work of the band’s career.

Where Yellow & Green was a sprawling, meandering marvel, Purple is a more urgent, impassioned tale of struggle and survival – heavier and, at times, darker than anything Baroness have put out thus far, yet still peppered with the kind of sumptuous atmospherics that make them tower above so many of their peers.

From the fuzzy blasts of Desperation Burns and Morningstar – the latter underpinned by John’s spinetingling ‘Could you lay me down?’ refrain – to the scattershot drums and floaty riffage of Shock Me and _Try To Disappear _and, best of all, stunning, seven-minute centrepiece Chlorine & Wine, this is a heart-rending journey through one of modern music’s greatest minds. Baroness have stared death in the face. It’s fitting that Purple sounds life-affirming.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.