Hailing from the state of Alabama, Babylon Mystery Orchestra is a one-man project of Sidney Allen Johnson. Simply put, this is not my cup of tea AT ALL! Playing a mix of hard rock and metal, Johnson compares his music to bands like Sisters of Mercy, Therion, KISS, and Tiamat among others. I do not hear any KISS influence at all, but I've never been a fan of KISS so that does not make me upset. I also do not hear any Tiamat influence except for the slow and plodding pace of most of the music. I also do not really hear any Therion influence. Except for maybe in songs like "Mourning Glory", but regardless, Therion blows this band out of the water. I do hear some Sisters of Mercy influences, but I've never liked that band so that does nothing to excite me.
All in all, I do not like this record at all. The music is pretty simple and slow with nothing to make you jump up and down about. The only song that I even halfway liked musically was "Mourning Glory", but the vocals killed the song. Speaking of vocals, Johnson mainly does some slighty distorted clean vocals and they are very hard to listen to without laughing sometimes. The vocals on "Crestfallen" are the worst. That song just made me cringe. Johnson may be a decent musician, but he is no vocalist.
The packaging is the high point. Not an extremely original idea with the cover, but nicely done. The lyrics deal with a lot of topics like greed, lust, homosexuality, politics, etc... All the kind of stuff that ruffles feathers. Many of them are directly pointed at America and the corruption within. However, the lyrics are not very well written in my opinion. The song "Whore" states: "The Whore of Babylon will drag you down/Over and over, closer and closer/She'll run you over like a roller coaster." Sorry, but that is pretty cheesy if you ask me.
I think the intentions of Johnson are good, but he is a LONG way from impressing this reviewer. I simply cannot really recommend this album to anyone, unless you just really dig badly executed Sisters of Mercy stuff. I actually saw one of the reviews linked to Johnson's website and the reviewer praised this album up and down and said you have to get it. I completely disagree. (Review by Matt)