2015 has been a pretty incredible year for music; the running tab I kept for top 10 albums of the year was maxed out by mid-summer. And at this point, most publications have already rushed out their AOTY posts to get those extra clicks in as the year winds down. Which means that just about any album that gets released this late in the year is going to more or less be passed over as some of the previous hits are brought back into the spotlight once more. Unless, of course, it is one truly badass album, one that deserves a spot way up there on each and every one of those lists.
Naturally, that thoroughly disruptive end of year album is precisely where Baroness’ new album, Purple, falls into place. If I were one of those writers, I’d be kicking myself right about now, or at the very least, taking my piece down for some very important last minute revisions. In a sense though, this last minute trump card is very fitting for what amounts to a monumental comeback album for the band that everyone had counted out after their nearly fatal bus accident two and a half years ago. But lo and behind, Baroness are back and stronger than ever, revamped with a new rhythm section, and an apparent new perspective on life, and their music, which helped the band create their most straightforward, but most impressive work to date.
This album is pure old school rock n roll infused metal; it’s honest to its core, and a fucking headbanger from start to finish. It makes no pretentions about what it is; it’s just a genuine hard-hitting good time, with music that feels so effortlessly written. Purple is much more than a comeback after a major, life-threatening accident, this album is a revolution for the band, a new sound, a new appreciation for their capability as musicians, simplifying their approach to their music, and focusing on a bluesy-tinged, good ol’ boy metal that is more evidently true to themselves than anything they have written to date. But then again, any band that can come back from a near death experience, rebuild themselves with a new rhythm section, and write their best album yet is pretty fucking metal, and that deserves a hell of a lot of credit.
Baroness have come up with a killer album here, they hit the studio with a new perspective, and a new approach to their music, and in turn, have made themselves stronger than ever. Purple is an extremely dynamic and diverse, yet listener friendly trip through all the best qualities that metal has to offer, and has proven to be very much worth the wait. So update your album of the year lists now, don’t overlook one of the metal masterpieces of this year.