Since forming in 2010, Baron is the brainchild of two former members of Diagonal, Alex Crispin and Luke Foster. Soon later joining the group is Peter Evans and Blue Firth. They have released two albums and now last year on the Svart label is their new release, Torpor. The band recorded the album in a medieval barn located at Suffolk at Purton Green. There is a darker sound in Torpor of the mysticism behind the album and a stunning yet haunting beauty in what is on here.
You can imagine the essence of the Ladbroke Grove scene from the sounds of bands such as; High Tide, early Hawkwind, Bo Hansson, and bits of Ash Ra Tempel with some twists of the golden-era of the Vertigo label in the early ‘70s that you can close your eyes and imagine if Hansson and High Tide had worked together and made this innovative and hypnotic obscure gem in a gothic cathedral in that time period.
Here, Baron show no sign of stopping. With Stry, Blue Firth’s keyboards take you into a deeper, darker voyage that gives a chilling scenario as if she’s paying tribute to Klaus Schulze with a gothic orchestral twist before delving into a psych-hard rock powder keg that Joe Hollick of Wolf People does to blow the door down with a battering ram. I can hear also the sounds of Annot Rhul’s Leviathan and ASTRA’s The Weirding.
He’s taking his guitar into unbelievable results as if he is taking the listener into outer space and into time with an incredible voyage that is out of this world for the last few minutes of the song. Crispin’s vocals resembles the twist of Scott Walker and Tony Hill (High Tide) as his arrangements will send the chills as if something is crawling underneath your back.
I love how the Space-Rock voyages take the styles of Manuel Gottsching into the time in the outer limits which is evidential on the opener, Dragonfly while walking into the darkness and telling the creepy camp tales of Mark Maker with an Acid Folk approach. But it’s Wild Cry that pays tribute to the Occult Rock band, Black Widow as Crispin repeats the line “Can you see in the dark?”
Peter Evans, Blue Firth, and Luke Foster take the way of calling the spirit of the gods with their instruments as Luke channels the drums of thunder of the Indian tribe while Blue herself channels a gothic-organ style that gives it an ominous surrounding. Sleepless creates this massive style of Psych-Doom Folk Metal before Alex and Peter go into territorial directions.
Here, Peter’s Fuzz-tone Bass riffs and Alex’s psychic guitar powers create a visual intensive power of their homage to the Krautrock scene as they are on the other planets to combining into one with an atmospheric swirling finale thanks to the band’s landing spaceship at the right exact hit. Peter goes into town with a haunting bass line for a mid-tempo driven into the darkness of Deeper Align.
Albedo Dei, closes the album in a heart-warm and emotional hymn with a church-like organ and feedback as we watch the dawn approaching for a chance of a glimpse to start all over again and never look back at the danger that happened. Torpor is one of the most haunting and powerful albums I’ve listened to from beginning to end. The booklet features these short stories that you can imagine the poetry in the styles of H.P. Lovecraft, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Ted Hughes. You can close your eyes and as I've always say, imagine the album as a movie inside your head with an ominous score.
I really enjoyed what Baron have accomplished on here and Svart Records have done one hell of a job of releasing this amazing yet vitalize album they’ve released last year and I hope to check out more of Baron’s music in the times to come. Svart are the real deal. Alex Crispin and Luke Foster aren't just the face of Baron, but they are a team along with Peter Evans and Blue Firth.