Sound — 9
This album starts kind of slow, taking almost two minutes to really get rocking. Hopefully you'll have the patience and attention span to keep listening. What lies ahead is a strange, captivating journey. My first impression of this disc was one of a more classic rock influenced Mastodon, but I think there's more to it than that. The styles and sounds found on The Red Album are retro yet modern. Guitarists John Baizley and Brian Blickle have found tones that remain discernible while cranking the sludge. On their myspace profile they are listed as rock/indie/metal. That's a pretty accurate description; however, I would probably throw the term "Southern" in there somewhere.
Lyrics — 10
In addition to guitar, John Baizley also takes care of vocal duty with a style that lands somewhere between Aaron Turner and older Troy Sanders. I have never actually encountered a fire breathing dragon, so I can only assume that one's battle cry would sound something like John Baizley screaming over distorted power chords. Lyrics on this album are sparse to say the least, with several songs being completely instrumental, and that fits the music nicely. The true meaning of the lyrics was nearly impossible for me to decipher. Some of the songs are reminiscent of Melvins-esque gibberish. I might not know what they mean, but they sure sound cool as this excerpt from "O'Appalachia" proves: "this is where the rivers coursed my veins, line the shoreline, this is where my blood will ebb away" what?
Overall Impression — 9
This album both looks and sounds great. John Baizley not only lends his talented pen to the songwriting, but the beautiful, neo-psychedelic artwork as well. There are plenty of great songs here, but something is missing. Continuity, perhaps? I guess what I'm trying to say is that this album is good, but greatness is still to come. So far Baroness has done nothing but improve throughout their career, and if they continue to do so, they will undoubtedly rise to the top of the rock scene.