Analog obsessives and audiophiles may bemoan the inevitable digitalization of music on the grounds that MP3s lack the sound quality of vinyl, but there's been no greater victim of the download revolution than the album cover. Think about it — would those Frank Frazetta-painted Molly Hatchet records scream thunderous menace from a thumbnail? No, and that's a close reference to the kind of art John Baizley of Baroness makes for his own crushing melodic records and others by Pig Destroyer, Black Tusk, and Skeletonwitch. The covers deserve appreciation in full-size LP glory. Like the music the Savannah, Georgia, combo makes, Baizley's images are deep-hued and intricate but never sacrifice soul for the sake of technicality. The band is getting ready to release a brand-new double album, Yellow & Green, which follows the theme of their first two records, The Red Album and The Blue Album. Recorded with producer John Congleton, it promises to further push the band's uniquely sludge-y yet refined assault, just as their tour with Swedish prog-metallers Meshuggah will expand their audience and the ranks of future album art collectors.
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