Blue Record finds Savannah’s Baroness riding metallic hills and valleys with an expansive, conceptual drive. The teeth-gnashing chug of “The Sweetest Curse” sets the stage for an album that is by no means constrictive or oppressive. Rather, the open chords and dissonant, two-part vocals carry a reverence for the ethereal aspects of the natural world. Here, the sturdy architecture of Metallica’s …And Justice For All meets the squealing guitar strut of Queen’s A Night at the Opera, encased in quiet, acoustic interludes and the sharp tones of new-millennial metal. Refined melodies drive “Jake Leg” and the standout number, “A Horse Called Golgotha,” more than anything heard throughout the group’s prior full-length, Red Album. Whereas the proper debut symbolized birth, Blue Record embodies growth into maturity and wisdom. 4 out of 5 stars.