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Babylon - Babylon CD (album) cover

BABYLON

Babylon

 

Symphonic Prog

3.95 | 100 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
4 stars One of the few examples of progressive rock emerging out of the Tampa Bay area of Florida which would become more famous for the explosion of death metal bands in the following decade. BABYLON formed in 1976 and played together only three years and released this eponymous album in 1978 and like many prog bands of the late 70s saw diminishing returns in this type of music being drowned out by angry punkers and disco balls in roller skating rinks and called it a day. They left behind this one album that sounds something like a lost Genesis album from the days between "Nursery Crime" and "Foxtrot." Doroccas does his best Gabriel impression and the rest of the band pay tribute to the most aggressive aspects of early Genesis while maintaining the pastoral "Trespass" type sound as well.

Although the liner notes claim Van Der Graaf Generator, Gentle Giant, King Crimson and others as sources for inspiration and to be fair there are other influences to a lesser degree, it is really something of an early neo-prog album to my ears being almost exclusively dedicated to Genesis worship, but what a pleasant stroll down the musical memories of yesteryear this one is. All four tracks are lengthy clocking in at over 7 minutes and the delivery is some of the most seriously delicious prog frenzies as textured keyboards layer moods and time signatures bombastically feed the serious demoralized prog lover of the days when their favorite bands were incrementally fleeing financial hegira and commingling with the pop world.

It is so true that this is hardly the most original music in the world but it is just beautifully played from beginning to end and if you count this as proto-neo-prog, albeit fairly complex then it fits right in with what Pallas, Twelfth Night, IQ and Marillion would pick up a few years down the road. Personally i find Genesis very hit and miss and actually prefer the bands they inspired in many cases over their very own output and this beautiful BABYLON album scratches the itch for theatrical pompousness that Genesis was famous for but smooth it over with slightly more suave vocals and more complex and virtuosic musical accompaniment.

This is the album Genesis might have made if they had stuck to their earlier formula but as we all know they were always eager to invent a new sound and then move on to other musical arenas leaving ideas and musical worlds that needed further development. BABYLON took full advantage of this era of musical ideas and ran away with them and like many prog bands of the day who saw no future in it condenses an entire musical career into one album. A very satisfying album that i really love to spin lately although it's not quite inventive enough to earn more than four stars. My copy has the newer album cover which replaced the grey human with a grey alien and its blackened oval eyes.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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