Yellow & Green
Relapse Records

Baroness believes in Darwinism. The Southern metal band’s 2007 Red Album was a raw, chest-pounding, bruising debut, whereas 2010’s Blue Record evolved into a much more dynamic, progressive-metal package. Baroness’ third full-length and double LP, Yellow & Green, shows a band walking upright, fully realizing its potential.

“Take My Bones Away” and “The Line Between” are the album’s most accessible songs with their octave-fuzz distorted guitars and fast-paced nature. Equally appealing is when guitarists John Baizley and Peter Adams harmonize à la Thin Lizzy. Lead vocalist Baizley unleashes his most true singing effort ever—best heard in slower songs. Complex, melodious guitar parts and synth-infused textures are balanced with subdued instrumental passages and acoustic numbers similar to Metallica’s intros for “Battery” and “Fight Fire with Fire.”

Yellow & Green captures a band in an organic maturation from its primal sludge roots, while the accessible nature of the music has the potential to catapult Baroness to larger audiences, much like Metallica’s Black Album. —Chris Kies

Must-hear track: “Take My Bones Away”