Baroness, in the last 17 years since it's beginning, has gone through some of the best ups a band could possible achieve and some of the lowest. From Grammy Nominations to life threatening bus crashes; this progressive and sludge metal band has done what some bands will never reach on either end of the spectrum. In between all of that is 6 (or 5 depending on how you look at it) LPs that have all been based around the color spectrum. While that phase of the band is now in the past; It's time we should look at these albums and give them the praise they deserve and rank them in order from 6 (yes, I'm going 6 here, folks) to 1.
1.) No EPs, cover albums, live albums, b-side albums, or best of/greatest hits collections. Just original studio LPs. Albums that have a cover or two on it are just fine.
2.) This is just my opinions on the albums in question. No outside influences other than my own and is far from a definitive world ranking. If you have a different ranking, AWESOME! Keep that up!
3.) The reason for doing this to help people get into a band/artist/etc and give ideas of what to expect if they decide to dive into the work.
4.) This is ranked from least favorite to favorite (countdown/TRL style). I will give a few words about every album as we go down the list.
5.) There will be a Spotify playlist (where applicable) to go along with the list with a song off each album so you can get another idea of what to expect. The songs will either be my favorite song off the album or one that represents the album the best in my eyes. (if you are reading this on social media, click the official link to get the playlist)
6.) Have fun and spread the word....SPREAD IT!
6.) Green (Yellow & Green) (2012)
The whole reason why there is some debate as to whether the band has put out 5 or 6 albums or this release is actually two EPs put together as an EP. I'm removing the semantics of it all (and just an easier way to cover the color spectrum) by just saying they are two different LPs and carrying on. Let's actually get into Green now, shall we? Green shows the band at it's lightest side to date. While there are songs like Psalms Alive and The Line Between that actually pick up the pace a bit in comparison; the rest of Green is much more focused on showing variation of their traditional sound by adding a bit more folk, country, southern, and atmospheric vibes. It's a chill album that is easy to just kick back, relax, and enjoy. A perfect counterweight to Yellow, yet they blend in together so well. If you're not so much into heavier stuff but wanna give Baroness a shot, this is where you should start. I do love all 6 LPs, but something had to take the bottom rung.
5.) Red Album (2007)
13 years ago this album came out, that blows my mind, that means I graduated 13 years ago...ANYWAYS! Red Album is where most sludge metal and some prog fans discovered the band. This is actually where I first started hearing rumblings of the band's existence. It came out at the right time as well, right when people wanted a heavier version of Clutch or a mellow version of Mastodon; that is Red Record. So many southern grooves, monolithic riffs, poppy but sludgy hooks and just the beginning (in LP form) of where the band was bound to go. Some say this is the heaviest Baroness album, and there's arguments to be made for that. I just happen to know it's a shining example of a band on the rise.
4.) Blue Record (2009)
This was where fans of the band started to realize that the band was doing something quite cool and naming their albums after different colors. Blue Record is definitely the companion album to Red Album. Depending on who you ask THIS is the heaviest album from the band, Much like Red Album, there's arguments to be made with this one as well for that claim. The songs are more filtered and exactly what they need to be. Not afraid of showing more variation of sound, which makes the heavier aspects of the album that much heavier. More people started catching onto the band at this point and the band was continuing to grow and grow. This is such a killer album.
3.) Yellow (Yellow & Green) (2012)
Yellow is the other release to the aforementioned Green release (as you can tell by the title...Yellow & Green...) Not just the longer of the two releases, but much faster, heavier, poppier, and head bobbing music. All three singles from Yellow & Green were all taken from Yellow and yeah, it's easy to understand why. Yellow feels like the natural successor to Blue Record while Green showed off more of the bands experimental and softer side. It's easy to understand why Yellow & Green were released together as they have that perfect ebb and flow counterbalance. While both of these were the last release before the bands horrific bus crash, this was a great watershed moment for the band as to what was to come for their last two albums of the color spectrum.
2.) Gold & Grey (Orange (2019)
The band's latest LP, and the last of the color spectrum run of LPs; Gold & Grey (it's the orange album for the sake of the color spectrum) is one that takes you though the bands most varied music to date. Many short musical interludes, great atmosphere, the mellow songs are tear jerking and the heavy songs make you headbang. It's a perfect album for someone like me. The elephant in the room on this album is the production as it is mixed very hot and for many audiophiles it is unlistenable. If you are like me and just like amazing songs; this will not be a factor for you. Now that nearly a year has past since the release of this album; appreciate it for what it is, a mindblowing album. There's a reason it has a 91% rating on Metacritic.
1.) Purple (2015)
Yes, the first album after their terrifying bus accident, where we were not even sure if the band would continue; the band released their most commercially accessible album and I can't lie; it's my favorite for good reason, it's just that good! It feels like every song was specially crafted to be as musical ear candy as possible. It's the most rock centric album of the band's catalog as well, featuring many nods to bands like Thin Lizzy and Queen, while still being the Baroness you know and love. Though, many of the long time fans of the band started dropping off at this point (isn't always the first album to have mass commercial success that a band can no longer be in your back pocket?), that is completely fine as Baroness finally achieved the success they had always wanted musically and are able to tour and be themselves. Shock Me was nominated for a Grammy for good reason. If you want the absolute best start of where to begin with Baroness; It's Purple.
And there you have it, folks; all 6 LPs in the Baroness discography from 6 to 1. There is not a bad apple in the bunch and every album has a bite of solid, solid goodness. Be it heavier, mellower, commercial or experimental, the band has something for you. Thanks again for reading this list and tune in next Friday for another band retrospective discography.
Till next time, this is That Drummer Guy saying, SEE YA!
- Josh Rundquist (That Drummer Guy)