User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 92 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 66 out of 92
  2. Negative: 13 out of 92
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  1. Jul 4, 2019
    6
    Gold & Grey. There's some golds and greys about this album. The golds are those instrumentals though it's like hearing alternative and electronic pieces. The greys are those plain metal songs. Interesting point here is that this album is a metal album, and those songs aren't even tethered. It's like you're hearing 2 albums (an instrumental and a metal one) in a shuffled playlist.
  2. Jun 14, 2019
    9
    If Blue Album is actually amazing, Gold & Grey is even better. Spotlight for amazing rhythm section.
  3. Jun 15, 2019
    10
    This is a fantastic album and deserves all the praise it’s getting. It’s Baroness’ best album and the best album of the year so far. Sure, the album has a muddy production, but the mix/master is what holds all the wonderful diverse songwriting together. Bravo!
  4. Jun 14, 2019
    10
    Really consistent and enjoyable. They have a great ear for melody and it all just fits together very well.
  5. Jun 19, 2019
    5
    A really great album that is completely undermined by a distractingly terrible mix. I am a huge Baroness fan, and think John Dyer Baizley is one of the most all around talented humans on the planet. The songwriting on this album is for me without question their best since Blue Album, and it pulls off the genre hopping they first really attempted on Yellow & Green much more effectively thanA really great album that is completely undermined by a distractingly terrible mix. I am a huge Baroness fan, and think John Dyer Baizley is one of the most all around talented humans on the planet. The songwriting on this album is for me without question their best since Blue Album, and it pulls off the genre hopping they first really attempted on Yellow & Green much more effectively than ever before. In the hands of a different production team, I think it could've been their masterpiece. But man oh man, it is so unsatisfying hearing every section that should be a triumph end up a thin, muddy, over-distorted mess. Every component of the louder tracks is compressed to the point that all of the life is sucked out of the recordings. Purple had the same issues, and I can only assume that Fridmann, who has produced a bunch of great stuff for other groups, is behind them. I understand the production style was an artistic choice he and the band agreed on, but to my ears it's an objectively bad one. Baizley has said this is the last of their color themed albums, and I can only hope that it's also the last record they'll choose to have Fridmann produce; the songs they're making deserve better than to be sabotaged by such confoundingly terrible mixing. Expand
  6. Jun 16, 2019
    10
    Album of the year contender, really great stuff. It's a shame that the mix is not as good as it should...
  7. Jun 14, 2019
    10
    Great album. Could be their best. When I was done listening to it I started it again from the beginning.
  8. Jun 14, 2019
    10
    Great compositions to make this album worth listening to. Definetely one of the best albums of 2019. Screw those guys who just created an account to score the album 0. And one of them also gave Marvel's Spiderman a very low score.
  9. Jul 5, 2019
    5
    I want to like it. I just can't get over the final mix and mastering. I understand that this was the sound that they were going for artistically, but this mix takes away from the harmony, subtlety, and finesse that the band clearly have. The songs are well written and diverse. Possibly better than some of their other albums. To my untrained ears, it sounds like the engineer allowedI want to like it. I just can't get over the final mix and mastering. I understand that this was the sound that they were going for artistically, but this mix takes away from the harmony, subtlety, and finesse that the band clearly have. The songs are well written and diverse. Possibly better than some of their other albums. To my untrained ears, it sounds like the engineer allowed everything (particularly the bass and drums) to clip, and then slammed it through a compressor. Completely lacks dynamics and range. Oversaturated and distorted sounding. It's hard to get the 'feels' of the songs, when sonically, it's just squashed and loud. Expand
  10. Jun 14, 2019
    8
    Wasn’t a big fan of the mix/master on some of these tracks, but baroness really closes out the color series with a banger. The first few listens seem to blend all of the songs together. And as one “1 star” (lol) review points out it could seem like there is no difference, but after your second or third listen you’ll notice each song has its own character. Give this one more than oneWasn’t a big fan of the mix/master on some of these tracks, but baroness really closes out the color series with a banger. The first few listens seem to blend all of the songs together. And as one “1 star” (lol) review points out it could seem like there is no difference, but after your second or third listen you’ll notice each song has its own character. Give this one more than one listen. You’ll hear the gold. Expand
  11. Jun 14, 2019
    10
    The best album Baroness have ever done. And not only that. Its one of the best records this year, if not the best.
  12. Jun 14, 2019
    10
    Despite the mix is raw, they try yo go further of the new sounds explored in Purple.
    It's a reinvention using elements of their four previous albums as a cornerstone.
  13. Jun 18, 2019
    3
    I'd like to preface my review by saying I'm an enormous Baroness fan, having seen them in a small rock club shortly after the Red album released. I was immediately hooked. Their energy, experimentation, and rawness was addictive. Since then, I graduated with a degree in music and recording arts and have kept their music close at hand through the process. Baroness's sound has never stuckI'd like to preface my review by saying I'm an enormous Baroness fan, having seen them in a small rock club shortly after the Red album released. I was immediately hooked. Their energy, experimentation, and rawness was addictive. Since then, I graduated with a degree in music and recording arts and have kept their music close at hand through the process. Baroness's sound has never stuck out as 'exceptional' from a sonic standpoint. The emotion and energy is so palpable that I can typically be drawn into the music even if I don't care for the recording quality. I can separate that analytical part of my brain, cease to care about the fact that Baizley's voice might be flat on the first records or the guitar parts are over-compressed and wash out the entire mid range (purple), or the over-use of effects (yellow & green, purple) for instance. I can usually put aside my criticisms, and sit back and bask in the glorious, triumphant music on display. However, with Gold & Grey, at least from my first 3 listens, it is no longer possible for me to do this. When "Borderlines, Seasons, Throw Me an Anchor" were released, I experienced a kind of cognitive dissonance. I was hearing new material with interesting transitions, killer bass and drum parts, impressive vocal parts from Baizley and harmonies from Gina (who's awesome live by the way)...I'm hearing all the great things that are completely masked by the overuse of compression and overall terrible sounding mix. IT'S TOO DISTRACTING. I'm all for adding saturation, reverb, compression, and interesting effects to a mix, but when it all hits you at once it simply leads to ear fatigue and disappointment. This album is the equivalent of reading a great book with the text intentionally blurred. If Ansel Adams took one of his classic large format photos and scanned it with a cheap scanner and then compressed the image even more, it wouldn't give you the sense of awe that Yosemite inspires. It's the same with Gold & Grey. An interesting, wonderfully written record was squashed. I really, really hope they continue in the writing direction but hire a different producer and engineer for their next effort. Their amazing music deserves it. I'm not saying their production value needs to be as high as say Porcupine Tree or Opeth (Blackwater Park, Ghost Reveries) for example, but at least dial back the compression on the mix. Let it breath, give it space for more dynamics and clarity of instrumentation. They are great players and deserve to be heard as such. Seriously, A/B this album with Yellow & Green and the Red Album for example and tell me I'm crazy. I know this is a negative review in a giant pile of positive ones. I'm glad people are enjoying the record. I wish I could. Expand
  14. Jun 14, 2019
    9
    Absolutely stunning. Definitely an album of the year contender. There's so much variety and interesting stuff to make the 17 song long tracklist worth every second. Listen with good headphones.
  15. Jun 20, 2019
    3
    A catchy album ruined by terrible mixing and poor recording quality. I am particularly mad because I bought this on vinyl and it sounds like the music is coming through laptop speakers. Inexcusable when the music should sound epic and big.
  16. Jun 14, 2019
    1
    Listened to the whole album last night. Was hoping this record would be an improvenment mix wise from the last record, but sadly it’s a collection of great songs ruined by horrible production again. Even at the highest quality format, the whole record sounds like it’s a really badly compressed mp3 file, the high end is just a wishy washy mess, the only parts of the drum kit you can hearListened to the whole album last night. Was hoping this record would be an improvenment mix wise from the last record, but sadly it’s a collection of great songs ruined by horrible production again. Even at the highest quality format, the whole record sounds like it’s a really badly compressed mp3 file, the high end is just a wishy washy mess, the only parts of the drum kit you can hear are the high hat and snare, the rest of the drums are almost inaudible. And the entire record is just drowned in a muddy mess of distortion. Why have a group of such talented musicians if all that skill is lost in awful production. This album had the potential to be their best yet, but in its current state it’s pretty hard to listen to at all. Just baffled as to why anyone would do this to their own music. Expand
  17. Jun 16, 2019
    3
    The songs seems to be good but the mix makes this album unlistenable. It's a complete disaster.
  18. Jun 14, 2019
    1
    What's wrong with all this good reviews on this album?
    Absolutely blunt and boring. Nothing new for the metal, nothing new for the hard rock.
    Lyrics about armageddon? Are you serious?
  19. Jun 20, 2019
    1
    Not sure how you can call this crap music but two songs into it was enough for me thanks! Hard pass on my end.
  20. Jun 18, 2019
    1
    Found the album utterly boring, can’t understand some of the rave reviews being dished out here. Won’t be listing to it again.
  21. Jun 16, 2019
    10
    Keeping up with the other Baroness albums, Gold & Grey is one of the best metal albums of the year. The new material has so much personality, and is really special that Baroness doesn't loose quality when its members change. Borderlines and Tourniquet are real gems.
  22. Jun 28, 2019
    5
    I love Baroness. IMO they are a breath of fresh air where Metal and Rock are concerned. I was really looking forward to Gold & Grey, but after several listens I just can't seem to get into it. Who knows maybe I need to take a break from the album and re-listen, or perhaps I may gain a new appreciation for the album after hearing it live, but for now its just a 5 out of 10. Still a fan though!
  23. Jun 22, 2019
    9
    I'm listening to it for the 15th time. I hated the mix on first play - I have a very accurate system with a lot of range and flat frequency response that picks out every detail of a recording, and this one is definitely raw and abrasive sounding in direct stereo mode. I tried sending it through my Yamaha receiver's Dolby surround mixer and that seemed to smooth it out some. After theI'm listening to it for the 15th time. I hated the mix on first play - I have a very accurate system with a lot of range and flat frequency response that picks out every detail of a recording, and this one is definitely raw and abrasive sounding in direct stereo mode. I tried sending it through my Yamaha receiver's Dolby surround mixer and that seemed to smooth it out some. After the third time through I understood that much or all of the low-fi sounding distortion is deliberate and done for effect, and now I like the sound on any system or headphones.

    This one reminds me of Mastodon's last album, stirring as it drifts through fields of despair, without sugar coating or apologies. Highly recommended as a change of pace after becoming fatigued by driving, relentless death metal or mindless, throbbing house/EDM.

    I didn't really give Purple a chance when it was released, but I'm finding some replay value in that one now as well, now that I'm not expecting everything to sound like Red and Blue. I hope the band keeps evolving, it's been a journey for certain.
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  24. Jun 17, 2019
    9
    Gold & Grey: a complex album that's not as immediate as Purple. It's a dense progged out journey through hazy delirium and pain. Cold-blooded Angels is my favorite track currently, though this may change with further delving.

    It's a mature and impressive piece of work. A lot of curve balls and a feeling of emergent creativity instead of linear narrative. The bass is nasty, and the drums
    Gold & Grey: a complex album that's not as immediate as Purple. It's a dense progged out journey through hazy delirium and pain. Cold-blooded Angels is my favorite track currently, though this may change with further delving.

    It's a mature and impressive piece of work. A lot of curve balls and a feeling of emergent creativity instead of linear narrative.

    The bass is nasty, and the drums are frenetic and killer.

    The rhythm work on this album is front and center in the mix and is very impressive.

    This was not an LP created with demographics, statistics, or product maximization in mind.

    The mix is jarring, but overall I'm very happy with it.
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  25. Jul 22, 2019
    9
    Baroness have created one of the finest hard rock albums of the decade.

    Now, one note: this isn't a "metal" album. It's certainly not another Blue Record (recommended listening from Baroness before you pick this one up), although it does retain some of the left-field aesthetic of that album. If you're coming in expecting pummeling double kick and vocal-shredding howls, this isn't for
    Baroness have created one of the finest hard rock albums of the decade.

    Now, one note: this isn't a "metal" album. It's certainly not another Blue Record (recommended listening from Baroness before you pick this one up), although it does retain some of the left-field aesthetic of that album. If you're coming in expecting pummeling double kick and vocal-shredding howls, this isn't for you.

    With that in mind, Gold and Grey stands head and shoulders above most of today's hard rock. The band displays a fine craftsmanship in their songwriting and performance. From the sheer passion of "Seasons" to the syncopated transition from "Tourniquet" to "Anchor's Lament," this is a highly rewarding listen. One step further, however, lies in the production. While many listeners immediately found reproach in the heavily distorted, crunchy sound of the album, I found it to be a daring artistic statement. Baroness don't conform to the norm; nothing here is clean or perfect, but Baroness also don't sacrifice dynamic range for the intensity of the production. Several very well done instrumental interludes throughout (namely, "Blankets of Ash") ensure that the entire album isn't jacked up to eleven. Also, while the distortion does obscure the drums and other components quite a bit, it brings the vocals to the forefront. It grants Gold and Grey a highly melodic quality which so much hard rock and metal music lacks. That’s why it’s such a point of contention between the average listeners and those seeking a more daring display of artistry. The production can be distracting at first, but in my book and after giving the album several listeners it's a definite pro.

    Gold and Grey isn’t revolutionary. It probably won’t change the face of rock music. But it still stands as one of the finest displays of creativity from that genre in recent years, and as such deserves to be heard by anyone who follows hard rock. This is fine art. Challenge yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
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  26. Jun 22, 2019
    10
    A bold new direction pays off for Baroness. The sonic variety and great songwriting propel this album. This is the first of their records that feels as if all players have equal say at the table. And, where some people don’t like the production, i find it to be a bold choice that pays off in a unique listening experience throughout.
  27. Jul 26, 2019
    7
    This is an album that could've been truly amazing if it had a better mix. The production can get truly messy and even clip in the mix to make some of these songs enjoyable. Despite that, the band can still play like crazy and there are some songs that could even match what they delivered on "Purple". I just wish the production was better...
  28. Aug 8, 2019
    10
    Gold & Grey is a journey through soaring peaks and deep, dark valleys. While undeniably a departure from the band’s earlier sounds, Gold & Grey exemplifies how experimentation can heighten a record, and by extension, a band’s discography. It would be no exaggeration to call this their Magnum Opus.

    The album is well paced, hard-hitting, instrumentally and lyrically creative, and
    Gold & Grey is a journey through soaring peaks and deep, dark valleys. While undeniably a departure from the band’s earlier sounds, Gold & Grey exemplifies how experimentation can heighten a record, and by extension, a band’s discography. It would be no exaggeration to call this their Magnum Opus.

    The album is well paced, hard-hitting, instrumentally and lyrically creative, and thematically cohesive. No complaints here.
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Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 14
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 14
  3. Negative: 0 out of 14
  1. Jul 22, 2019
    70
    While their more reflective and even pop-oriented moments keep the double album catchy and worth revisiting, this new avenue also affords a clearer view of Baroness' Achilles' heels, which are a propensity for predictable lyrics and an occasional Foo Fighter sappiness. But those flaws aren't terminal, and for the most part, Baroness takes us on a thunderous langskip ride through angry seas that is as addictive and thrilling as their past output.
  2. Q Magazine
    Jul 2, 2019
    80
    Stellar fifth album is a determined attempt to push back the genre's long-established boundaries, folding in everything from glitchy electronica and lysergic Americana to gnarled pop into their full-frontal noise. [Aug 2019, p.108]
  3. Jun 27, 2019
    90
    With Gold & Grey, Baizley and his cohorts have produced a monumental work of art that’s as dark and forbidding as it is bright and triumphant. It perfectly balances light and dark, revels in the creative possibilities of music-making, whilst plumbing emotional depths that might have you worrying a little for Baizley’s state of mind.