Monday, August 20, 2012

Didn't quite get there - Baroness and Nile

As you may know, the new issue of Molten Magazine came out last week. It was delayed for numerous reasons, and as a result, a number of articles and reviews were cut. Two of my reviews, disappointingly, didn’t make it in – Nile and Baroness. You’ll find the two short reviews published below, with the gracious permission of Molten. Of course, Baroness were in the news these last few days after their horrific, but thankfully not fatal, bus crash in Bath, England. Here’s hoping they pull through ok.

Baroness - Yellow & Green

Baroness’ evolution has been a joy to watch. Their third record, a staggering double album, Yellow and Green sees the band take steps toward more and more progressive rock climes. The Georgian band are still ridden with a flair of southern sludge too but have opened the floodgates for so much more, from pop to ambient soundscapes. The end result is a totally jaw-dropping record.

Yellow and Green is expansive, adventurous and a beautiful materialisation of the band’s, always honest, efforts. Decidedly less heavy than previous releases, Yellow and Green has made a concerted effort to craft a lush, hypnotic and immersive experience across its 77 minutes of southern stained atmospheric prog rock – an attempt more than accomplished.

Dressed with so many layers, ‘Yellow and Green’ holds you in the palm of its hand from the unabashed southern rock of ‘Take My Bones Away’ through to closer ‘If I Forget Thee, Low Country’.


Nile - At The Gate of Sethu
There’s one thing you can mark down as reliable – Nile will regularly release albums and at the very least they will be reasonably solid and sometimes magnificent. Seventh album, At The Gate of Sethu sees the South Carolinian death metal veterans tread more so on the former. The album is tight, solid and well executed.

At The Gate of Sethu has all that you’d expect – Karl Sanders’ searing lead guitar playing, buckets of brutality, progressive minded techniques, and Ancient Egyptian themes and of course, ludicrously long song titles.

The gleaming production work, at the hands of Neil Kernon, has once again given Nile a great void to unfurl their cerebral death metal with much room to breathe. At The Gate of Sethu isn’t the band’s finest outing but is satisfyingly heavy and crushing, and doesn’t stray too far into abyss either.


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