Baroness @ The Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver – May 8th, 2012

This Tuesday night Swedish math-metal stalwarts Meshuggah will be bringing The Ophidian Trek tour to Vancouver with support of Baroness and Decapitated.  While the often mind-boggling musical project of Jens Kidman is now approaching its 25th year and is worthy of much fanfare itself I am writing in anticipation of the second act on the bill – Savannah GA’s Baroness.

Since forming in nearly 10 years ago this prog-metal outfit’s increasingly impressive studio efforts have slowly but surely kept pace with and in some ways surpassed the effort of fellow Georgians and former tour-mates Mastodon.  While the latter eventually drifted away from their sludgier and aggressive tendencies John Baizley’s efforts managed to find a balance between artistic growth and metal credibility. Following three steadily ambitious (and heavy as f%&#) EP’s, Baroness released the stunning Red Album LP in 2007 to critical and audience acclaim and cemented their reputation for prowess in screaming narratives over exceedingly technical performances rife with time changes. 2009’s Blue Record further refined their sound with addition of second guitarist/vocalist Peter Adams and an imagery and power that often drains away into dreamlike instrumentals dotted with tastes of bluegrass or acoustic jams before flooding back into another epic tale.  As if to silence any doubters not fortunate enough to see  this powerful quartet live, the Live at Roadburn disc proved that these guys were up to the challenge of reproducing these intricate pieces in a stage setting and even jamming out to Band of Gypsys on occasion as well.

In looking forward to their performance next week we can also anticipate another hue titled forthcoming album in Yellow & Green scheduled for release on July 17th on the Relapse Records imprint.  Tuesday night will no doubt revisit these past efforts but also hopefully give us some sneak peeks into cuts from their 3rd LP, I’m told that the colour of the stage lighting (ie. red, blue, yellow, green) will confirm to those unsure which record they’re drawing from.

Polish technical death metal band Decapitated are the 3rd band on the bill, doors are at 7pm.


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