Babylon Fire – ‘Dark Horizons’

Founded in 2007, Babylon Fire have gained much praise from their peers such as Bruce Dickinson and though the original line-up consisted of 5 members, they have strived to continue to perform as a four piece due to the unfortunate departure of guitarist Will Reece as they were unable to find the right replacement that would have continued their already dynamic sound. Though Babylon Fire do not label themselves as anything but a heavy metal band, their sound has already gained the attention different genre avenues to attempt to place them within the confines of one of the multitude of genres within metal. Their time has come, as their debut album release of Dark Horizons is upon us. So let us delve deep into the murky world of this most anticipated release.

It’s a blistering start with ‘Clarion Call’ hitting out with speed and brute force. Mark D on vocals sounds like a young and vibrant Blaze Bayley mixed with Rob Bright and the growling complexities of Ryk Swillo on the bone crushing Bass gives them a clever modern metal sound. The album contains some stunning solos and stunning riffs and this come through brilliantly in ‘Darkness Draws Me In’ as Rishi Mehta come to the fore with his gorgeously played lead guitar chords. Mark D is on fine form here with some well worked harmonies that blend incredibly well with the growling antics of Ryk. ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ really lets drummer Mark Cooper loose with some seriously hard core blistering beats that make you feel like a marionette being pulled in all directions as your body involuntarily moves to the beat without permission, simply amazing. Rishi on guitar creates wicked little moments of brilliance as the on rushing riffs seeps into your blood. The clear influences of Black Sabbath’s dark low chords are present as they are produced with the modern stylings of Stone Sour and Pantera.

That modern sound is completely in your face in ‘Stripped Away’. This is turning into one hell of an album and this continuation of evolving their sound is obvious here. The growls and gritty vocals once again lift the track to new levels, Mark’s drumming is powerful and the fast to slow to fast pace of the track really adds a different vibe to the song. Babylon Fire looks to have truly perfected the eclectic style they were looking for. Not wanting to labelled has clearly influenced their music with ‘Demonocracy’ taking its influences from a Blaze Bayley era of Iron Maiden and mixing it up with influences of Five Finger Death Punch. The solos are stunning, the lyrics are thought provoking and the drumming infectious. The continuation of the album into ‘Shattered Crown’ shows that they have taken an incredible amount of time on the organisation of the album; the brilliant guitar work and bass lines really add volumes to the track and fall brilliants off the back of the previous songs with ease. This is stunning stuff so far at the half way point and they have obviously taken their time in the creation of their debut, to make sure it’s just right.

The respite of ‘Gates to Oblivion’ comes as a surprise as the slow acoustic and electric guitars do their work in this lovely little instrumental track, showcasing the skills of both Ryk and Rishi with amazing grace and poise. The pounding riffs and electrifying bass lines continue in ‘Wrath of the Fallen’, the growling vocals with the blend of harmonic melodies really bring the track to life and it seems to be the tell-tale sound of Babylon Fire. The classic workings mixed with the modern tempo and sound really shine through, the vocals take a new turn and it works taking influences from Panic Cell and Avenged Sevenfold with incredible ability, truly showing off their eclectic and brazen metal prowess. ‘Cycle of Addiction’ really explodes onto the scene with incredible riffs, floor pounding drum mechanics and addictive ground shaking bass lines. Once again the influences seem to stem from all walks of metal life, it’s almost impossible to keep up. This continues with ‘Within the Mouth of Madness’ as the strong guitar solos and scintillating lyrics keep you on your feet. The headbanging tracks really keep you energised and wanting more, the thrash like drumming really helps the track come to life.

The penultimate is upon us and the thrash like appearance of the drums come through once again as ‘Rise Through Babylon’ erupts from your speakers. The riffs are once again catchy and stick in your head and the solos continue to impress as you can’t help but air guitar to them. The final track, ‘I Still Remember’, feels like it arrives far too soon. The slow start is dark and forboding, the double pedal is put to work brilliantly as the riffs kick in. This album starts with stunning ability and in ends in just the same fashion. Clearly the influences of modern gothic metal comes through mixed with some metalcore slivers; just fantastic stuff once again from the quartet.

This is an incredible debut from the new boys, it’s catchy, powerful and has something for everyone in there. No doubt, this is a labour of love from the foursome, to truly showcase what they can do and how well they can do it. Its full of electrifying riffs, floor shaking drum beats and double bass pedalling, wall cracking bass lines and thought provoking lyrics produced in such an emotional fashion it really hits home. Babylon Fire maybe a young band, but they act and have produced something you would expect from veterans of the field, fantastic stuff.


Track Listing

  1. The Clarion Call

  2. Darkness Draws Me In

  3. Blood In, Blood Out

  4. Stripped Away

  5. Demonocracy

  6. Shattered Crown

  7. Gates to Oblivion

  8. Wrath of the Fallen

  9. Cycle of Addiction

  10. Within the Mouth of Madness

  11. Rise Through Babylon

  12. I still Remember

Review: Aaron Emerson

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