|Babylon Fire - 'Dark Horizons' (Rocksector Records)|
|Written by Matt Phelps|
|Wednesday, 05 December 2012 05:00|
'The Clarion Call' literally jumps out of the traps with near instant Wylde squeals racing into a galloping opening that has four piece Babylon Fire revealing metal roots heavy, dark and powerful. The darkness developing further with second track 'Darkness Draws Me In' kicking it up a gear, keeping interest levels piqued with another hard hitting yet instantly accessible tune that is as full of big beats as it is surging riffs. 'Darkness...' sounds more like the true beat of the band's own heart pulsing freely without some of the overbearing Zakk-isms of the opener. Mark Dunford's vocals enhance the track with commanding presence, a strong voice that rings as strikingly clear as it does bark with fury. A beautiful break of melody splits the chaos, Killswitch Engage could clearly be a major influence. The melody is a majorly important part in these Mancunian players plans. Their mixing of the twisted dark with intermittent light also pulls up feelings of Downing Pool. Owed in no small part to Dunford's confident stance behind the mic which at times is quite similar to that of the much missed Dave Williams.
'Blood In Blood Out' up next and by this point it's as clear as translucent vinyl that 'Dark Horizons' has a consistency of excellence running through it that far outweighs the average expectations I may have had when slipping this promo into the CD player originally. In fact you could be forgiven for thinking this may be album four or five from a long established band, that these guys have been honing their skills and ability to bring out the best of each other for many a moon. Given 'Dark Horizons' near brilliance on so many levels it should, and hopefully will, make for a powerful springboard towards a successful future for the Babylon Fire boys.
Production handled by Andy Giblin (Kill2This) is polished and warm, taking you on a multi dimensional journey through an array of captivating musicianship and strong songwriting. The swift flowing guitar structures from Rishi Mehta drive a solid stake right through the entire length of the album usually managing to bring something fresh to each successive track. 'Stripped Away' for example having something of a Disturbed feel to the jumpy riff throughout the verse. Energetic bursts of fury providing the focus point around which Mark Cooper's drums hit like hammer blows. 'Wrath Of The Fallen' and eight minute epic 'I Still Remember' (which wraps up 'Dark Horizons') two further examples of the mature range Babylon stretch to.
I sometimes feel that putting the word "Modern" in front of Metal is a filthy thing to do. It usually conjures up an image of idiots with girls' haircuts in wife beater vests growling with no discernible purpose or clear musical direction. But Babylon Fire have taken the collective influences, talents and natural chemistry between them and used it all to cut themselves a totally inspiring album that is truly worthy of a descriptive title like "Modern Metal". The explosive, heavy grooves of bands like Black Sabbath lay solid at the core while influences from more technical acts glitter the shell casing. As such 'Dark Horizons' is the sound of blossoming New Metal for a fresh generation and comes highly recommended. A truly killer metal album from start to finish that I'm proud to be pointing you in the direction of. So take the hint and follow the link: