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Review: Babylon Mystery Orchestra - On Earth As It Is In Heaven
Babylon Mystery Orchestra
On Earth As It Is In Heaven

Label: Independent
Year released: 2004
Duration: 58:42
Tracks: 13
Genre: Heavy Metal

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: July 14, 2004
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers Rating
On Earth As It Is In Heaven

Rated 3.7/5 (74%) (10 Votes)

It took me a while to finally get to this album. The thing with Babylon Mystery Orchestra (BMO) is that you just can't ignore the lyrics. With many albums (or bands, for that matter), you can safely either ignore the lyrics or at least not pay too much attention to them. In my opinion it's the exact opposite with a BMO album: The music sort of takes a second place to the lyrical content. I think this is further proven by the amount of text provided in the booklet: Introduction by mastermind Sidney Allen Johnson, references to biblical passages (or other) before the lyrics and, of course, complete lyrics. Add to that the fact that these are not "airhead" lyrics either. The music feels more like it's accompanying the lyrics rather than the opposite. The beat is also well-versed to the "storytelling" emphasis of a BMO release, just like on the previous album.

If you didn't like BMO's first album, you most likely won't like this one either, as it is in many ways very similar - musically and vocally - and also a bit critical of things sacred, bound to raise some controversy in some circles (but then again, metal is partly about that!) I can see the biblical references and the lyrical content annoying some people, while others will appreciate the amount of work put into them.

Musically, there's a lot in common with the previous album (sometimes maybe a little bit too much), but my main beef is that overall the album is too mellow. The previous album has stronger, more "rocking" moments, while here things are pretty tame from beginning to end. Definitely not ground for headbanging, but rather more of an easy listening for a rainy Sunday afternoon (although the sum of all parts might end up being a bit depressive. :)) In fact the result is that the music here barely qualifies as metal - but good nonetheless. "Mellow metal"? OK, let's not invent yet another category.

"On Earth As It Is In Heaven" is definitely an interesting piece of work that gets the listener to do some thinking. I doubt this will hit any kind of charts, but like its predecessor, it is bound to please a niche crowd. Personally, while I'm again quite content with the lyrical work, I hope the next release will be musically more daring and less tame. No matter what, this is well worth checking out for the curious looking for something different.

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