|Review: Babylon Mystery Orchestra - Divine Right of Kings|
|Divine Right of Kings|
Year released: 2002
Genre: Heavy Metal
Review online: April 4, 2003
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
for:Divine Right of Kings
I must first say that a lot of people probably won't like the lyrics in this album: It is a metaphorical critic - or maybe an examination of the conscience - of American society - from money to sex to special-interest lobbies to war, so many people will find themselves disagreeing with at least a few things here depending on where they stand politically - but hey, it's all indirect references so you can just interpret it another way. ;) Dismissing the album just based on the lyrical content however would be robbing yourself of some damn fine music. B.M.O. borders on hard rock and melodic metal with a bit of an angry and sorrowful mood. The vocal melodies pair together with the music in a perfect coupling that I've rarely experienced in the many albums I have listened to over the years. The vocals are the highlight of the album, the singer's voice is very commanding and shows a lot of conviction. The singing varies, bordering on spoken vocals at times (no, no, don't worry, it's not even remotely close to rap) up to very melodic. At times the singer reminds me of Midnight Oil, especially on "Evado Eversor". One of the songs, "Divine Justice" is a very powerful, ceremonial-sounding instrumental. If for some reason you drift away for a couple of songs, this one will grab your attention back as soon as it starts. The one criticism I can make is that end album ends on a ballad and, while it is a good song, somehow ballads never make for very good album closers. I'm not familiar with some of the band's influences, which include The Cult, Blue Oyster Cult, Tiamat, Sisters Of Mercy, KISS and Therion - quite a diverse repertoire of artists, although I must say I can't really see how KISS come into play here. :)
The is the one-man band of Sidney Allen Johnson and I must say this is a very impressive-sounding album, with its omnipresent severe overtone that grabs your attention right from the first note up until the very end. The lyrical content is very mature, it is obvious by the quality of the writing that a lot of thoughts went into the lyrics. You have to be open-minded to stomach some of the content, especially if you're an American national (the cover art is a good indication of what's inside.) There's a lot of biblical references, although this is not Christian metal with the preaching stuff or what have you - at least the way I interpreted it, the passages used are simply there to help convey the strong message. As mentioned earlier, the vocals and the music are tightly coupled together on this album, and the lyrics just add to the power of the music - you just can't ignore them. A very impressive album, highly recommended, if you think you can take it. ;) "Divine Right Of Kings" is to be taken as a whole, majestic epic that it is.
Check out their songs on mp3.com.
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Interview with Sidney Allen Johnson on April 15, 2003 (Interviewed by Michel Renaud)
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