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Baroness / No Spill Blood

Album Review

Savannah’s riff wizards cast a spell over Camden

NO SPILL BLOOD [7] are an intense precursor to the headliners, playing what feels like a neverending set of repetitive, drum-heavy industrial post-punk dirge. This Killing Joke-meets-Bongripper techno-rumble could end up killing the vibe, but weirdly there’s something engrossing about the overbearing sonic hypnosis.

BARONESS [9] don’t need to rely on quite so much intensity to win the crowd over. In fact, never has a band been so organically goddamn brilliant. John Baizley is one of the most visceral yet understated frontmen you could hope to see. Having narrowly survived a serious bus crash in 2012 that shattered his left arm, it’s a miracle that their latest album Purple saw the light of day and even more impressive that he’s back onstage playing again. Corny as it sounds, you can sense he’s glad to be alive and tonight Baroness play with their hearts. The sludgy, fuzzy riffing is still there but the genuine smile on Baizley’s face adds a joyful dimension to the show. Even better are the new songs. Their back catalogue is brimming with awesome tunes but tonight Purple is given a proper airing and delivers some of Baroness’s catchiest material to date. Kerosene is welcomed with a massive cheer as its jagged riffing melts into a brilliant chorus, Morningstar’s melodic compass points straight towards the best bits of Red Fang and Mastodon and If I Have To Wake Up (Would You Stop the Rain) is a perfect moment of reflection that ends in a valiant solo.

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