Hailing from the state that brought you Mastodon, Georgia's Baroness is likewise a critically lauded metal outfit that seems to have sprung fully formed with the release of its 2007 debut, Red Album. But where Mastodon traffics in massive conceptual gestures and passages of ping-pong prog, Baroness reins in the riffage and adds a dose of soaring melody worthy of Torche. That's not to say that Baroness can't hold its own when it comes to sickness, heaviness or force; Red Album's sequel, the recently released Blue Record, is an instant masterpiece of brutal, bludgeoning loveliness — and one that serves as the perfect outro to one of the greatest decades metal has ever seen.


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