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Baroness - Stone (Album Review)

Tuesday, 19 September 2023 Written by Tom Morgan

Photo: Ebru Yildiz

Few metal or metal-adjacent bands ramp up their heaviness as they age. It takes extreme skill and ambition to find new ways to deliver crushing blows across careers that span multiple albums and, potentially, decades.

Heaviness often gets equated with immaturity, meaning that when bands decide to ‘experiment’ as they grow longer in the creative tooth, frequently they dilute what made them so special in the first place.

But Baroness’s sixth full-length ‘Stone’ manages the rare feat of formulating a new metallic language. These 10 sharp tracks are more belligerent and unusual than anything the band have previously crafted, upstaging even their raw debut ‘Red Album’.

According to the traditional trajectory of established metal bands, the heaviness gets jettisoned a few albums in, once a desire to go walkabout takes over. Given that their 2007 bow already contained clean singing and acoustic interludes, Baroness seem to have bypassed this stage of their career arc.

‘Stone’ is the culmination of this long-standing adventurousness, manifesting in some fascinating and careful deconstructions of the band’s distinct tics. On Beneath The Rose and Choir frontman John Baizley adopts a commanding talk-singing approach, which stands in stark contrast to his usual powerful and intensely melodic vocal style.  It’s less sincere, but more intriguing and mysterious.

Musically, the band also eschews some of the more grand extravagances they’ve previously indulged in. These songs are focused and propulsive, free of interludes and wild shifts in tone. Impressively, despite these smart choices ‘Stone’ never feels like anything besides a Baroness album. This is how metal bands should age: free of insecurities and in possession of an open mind and heart.

Baroness Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri October 13 2023 - BALTIMORE Maryland - Soundstage (USA)
Sat October 14 2023 - RICHMOND Virginia - Canal Club (USA)
Sun October 15 2023 - ASHEVILLE North Carolina - Orange Peel (USA)
Tue October 17 2023 - TAMPA Florida - Ritz Ybor (USA)
Wed October 18 2023 - ATLANTA Georgia - Heaven Stage at Masquerade Music Park - Complex (USA)
Fri October 20 2023 - DALLAS Texas - Echo Lounge and Music Hall (USA)
Sat October 21 2023 - HOUSTON Texas - House of Blues Houston (USA)
Sun October 22 2023 - AUSTIN Texas - Empire Control Room at Empire Control Room & Garage (USA)
Tue October 24 2023 - ALBUQUERQUE New Mexico - Sunshine Theater (USA)
Wed October 25 2023 - MESA - Nile Theater (USA)
Fri October 27 2023 - SANTA ANA California - Observatory Santa Ana (USA)
Sat October 28 2023 - LOS ANGELES California - Bellwether (USA)
Sun October 29 2023 - BERKELEY California - UC Theatre (USA)
Tue October 31 2023 - PORTLAND Oregon - Hawthorne Theatre (USA)
Fri November 03 2023 - SEATTLE Washington - Crocodile Seattle (USA)
Sat November 04 2023 - VANCOUVER British Columbia - Rickshaw Theatre (Canada)
Mon November 06 2023 - EDMONTON Alberta - Union Hall - Edmonton (Canada)
Tue November 07 2023 - CALGARY Alberta - Palace Theatre - Calgary (Canada)
Thu November 09 2023 - SALT LAKE CITY Utah - Depot (USA)
Sat November 11 2023 - DENVER Colorado - Summit Music Hall (USA)
Sun November 12 2023 - OMAHA Nebraska - Waiting Room Lounge (Omaha) (USA)
Tue November 14 2023 - MINNEAPOLIS Minnesota - First Avenue Minneapolis (USA)
Wed November 15 2023 - CHICAGO Illinois - Vic Theatre (USA)
Fri November 17 2023 - COLUMBUS Ohio - King of Clubs (USA)
Sat November 18 2023 - DETROIT Michigan - Saint Andrew's Hall (USA)
Sun November 19 2023 - TORONTO Ontario - Danforth Music Hall (Canada)
Mon November 20 2023 - MONTREAL - Beanfield Theatre (USA)
Wed November 22 2023 - ALBANY New York - Empire Live (USA)
Fri November 24 2023 - CLEVELAND Ohio - Agora Theater (USA)
Sat November 25 2023 - MCKEES ROCKS Pennsylvania - Roxian Theatre (USA)
Sun November 26 2023 - BUFFALO New York - Town Ballroom (USA)
Tue November 28 2023 - BOSTON Massachusetts - Royale Boston (USA)
Wed November 29 2023 - NEW YORK New York - Webster Hall - Complex (USA)
Fri December 01 2023 - PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania - Union Transfer (USA)

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Fri 14 Jul 2023
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Wed 21 Jun 2023
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