It’s a sad fact of life that often the best art comes in the wake of tragedy, and the new opus from Baroness is the latest in that long line of bitter-sweet rewards following the August 2012 bus crash that threatened to tear the band and the souls within asunder. Tinged with sorrow, but rallying optimism from the brink of despair, the nine songs of love and loss, war and peace, beauty and horror that make up ‘Purple’ are, like all the band’s albums, best enjoyed as a whole. But whereas previous releases ‘Red’, ‘Blue’, ‘Yellow’ and ‘Green’ have (perhaps ironically given their titles) been coloured by their many varied shades, ‘Purple’ is a more straightforward affair, foregoing the swooping highs and lows of past to focus on individual, repeated bursts of emotion, most notably in the urgent and powerful ‘Desperation Burns’ which picks at the scabs of that fateful night in 2012. If said albums have been rides across the Atlantic in a rowing boat, barreling from squally, violent storms to explosive sunrises and pensive sunsets, then ‘Purple’ is that same journey in a British Airways jet – sure, there may be moments of turbulence, and you’ll still see those storms and sunsets from the window, but ultimately this is a far more stable and consistent journey to the same hugely satisfying destination. It’s also much easier to enjoy John Dyer Baizley’s exquisite artwork from the comfort of a plane too.