Mike Prete    12-August-2002 Babylon - s/t

Babylon's album, another obscure American release from the 70s, has been rescued by Syn-Phonic Records. Babylon were a quintet from Florida who released this, their only album, in 1978 and then broke up, which seems to be the fate of many progressive bands. Firmly entrenched in the Genesis mold, Babylon created dynamic mini-epics filled with great playing, shifting signatures and plenty of emotion. Borrowing heavily from Nursery Cryme-era Genesis, Doroccas' vocals have a flair for the dramatic, delivering lyrics with a decidedly literary slant. The guitar and keyboard playing are very fluid, carrying the music along well without bogging down with needless soloing and such. Both the bassist and drummer are adept at keeping a solid rhythm while negotiating many time signature changes throughout.

All the tracks here are strong. "Before The Fall" feels a little pieced together and suffers from a lack of cohesiveness, but is still a good track nonetheless. "Dreamfish" is the strongest throughout, a keyboard driven epic that would rival most of Genesis' best songs. Expanding upon various themes, the music is always moving forward and never stagnating.

As can be expected, if you're not a big fan of the Genesis style, this might not be your cup of proverbial tea. For those of you dreading another clone like the majority of the neo-prog bands, fear not. Babylon are firmly set in the ways of the classic 70s bands, with great analog keyboard work and extraordinarily adept musicianship.

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