Released: 2008, Metal Heaven/Border Music
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Fires of Babylon is a new act from the USA led by guitarist Lou St. Paul whose main gig is playing guitar in Winter’s Bane. When St. Paul sent the album REDIVIVUS to Metal Heaven the label was so impressed by his work that they signed him instantly. The label wanted St. Paul to write classic American 80’s metal and take in people to form a new project. St. Paul says “I was asked if I would write an album with known players from other bands and of course I said yes. We put the details together and the project was on”. St. Paul brought in members from and people that have worked with Death, Monstrosity, Shatter Messiah, Axel Rudi Pell, Annihilator and Impellitteri. They deliver straight-up classical heavy metal, but I don’t think that it sounds U.S.-inspired like the promo claims. Keyboards are used here and there and it also sounds like there are some fake strings in the background of certain songs.
Despite the talented and skilled group of people St. Paul has brought into the project, I’m afraid it doesn’t sound as good as it could have. Sure, the musicians work well together and deliver heavy stuff, but the album lacks passion and energy. Lead singer Rob Rock is normally a great singer but Fire of Babylon’s music doesn’t really fit him. He sounds really pale and I was really surprised when even he couldn’t lift up the material. It sounds like it’s another day at the office for him and he’s probably the weakest link in this chain, though it’s got to be hard to make such lame material sound good. St. Paul has really written generic material and I can’t find what brilliance the label saw in this project.
It’s really hard to point out any remotely better songs because they all sound so alike each other it’s freighting. I can’t find any spark or glow on the album and this self titled album is one of those that come by a dozen. Even the production sounds low-budget and it’s sad to waste such talented musicians and such a great lead singer on trash such as Fires of Babylon. There’s a hell of a lot more to wish for from Fires of Babylon and I have to say that this album is a sheer disappointment. St. Paul claims the album to be 100% pure US metal, but he’s wrong. This is under-produced cheap classical metal that everyone can make.