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Angels of Babylon are the brainchild of ex-Manowar drummer Rhino (aka Kenny Edwards), the rest of the band? consisting of bassist Dave Ellefson (ex Megadeth), vocalist Dave Fefolt and guitarist Ethan Brosh. I say band, but it remains to be seen if they actually play any gigs as none of the promotional photos show the members together. As such, this may be a studio only project. 'Kingdom of Evil' is the band's first release and, if you go by the photos on the back of the cover (I know, you should never judge a book by its cover!) and the bands that Rhino and Ellefson have previously played in, you'd probably think this album is going to be ultra heavy. However, while it is heavy, there is plenty of melody and a good use of sampled orchestration that gives this release a more rounded sound. The first track, 'Conspiracy Theory', is a case in point. The track is heavy but there's also plenty of melody and good use of keyboards/piano, which is somewhat strange as no-one is credited with playing keyboards. 'Apocalypse 2012' follows in a similar vein and features a nice riffed intro. Next up is 'Night Magic', which is okay but not one of the albums standout tracks. However, the fourth track, 'Tear Out My Heart', is superb. It's a power ballad with the emphasis on the power. I'm not a massive fan of ballads per se but this track really is different class, with an immense vocal performance from Fefolt. The press release calls his vocals Dio-esque. While I can't quite see the direct comparison, there in no doubt that Fefolt is a fine vocalist in his own right. The triumvirate of 'Oh How The Mighty Have Fallen', 'Tarot' and the title track follow and all three are good, solid melodic rock tracks, with 'Kingdom of Evil' featuring a sublime Spanish guitar style intro. Next up is 'The Remnant', which is a real oddity. It's actually quite a nice, orchestrated instrumental that wouldn't be out of place on a film soundtrack. Again, though, no-one is credited with playing the majority of the instruments that are used in its performance! 'Angels of Babylon' and 'Second Coming' complete the album. The eponymous track has some effective sampled choral vocals by way of an intro and features some blistering guitar work, courtesy of Brosh, while 'Second Coming' has a menacing feel to it. In summary, and as has been previously mentioned, this is quite a deceptive album. If you're into ultra heavy stuff it may not be for you, but if you like a healthy dose of melody with your rock, or if you like most music that is bracketed as 'Classic Rock' then you might just find something (actually, probably more than just something!) here that appeals.
Metal Heaven
Review by Dave Uphill
1st Feb 2010
1) Conspiracy Theory
2) Apocalypse 2012
3) Night Magic
4) Tear Out My Heart
5) Oh How The Mighty Have Fallen
6) Tarot
7) Kingdom of Evil
8) The Remnant
9) Angels of Babylon
10) Second Coming
"...while it is heavy, there is plenty of melody and a good use of sampled orchestration that gives this release a more rounded sound."