Fires of Babylon (Retroactive) 2008
1. "Falling To Pieces" (4:51)
2. "Devilution" (5:12)
3. "When The Kingdom Comes" (04:22)
4. "Lake Of Fire" (4:50)
5. "Holy Resurrection" (4:21)
6. "Going Through Changes" (4:28)
7. "Lazarus Rising" (5:26)
8. "Revolution Coming" (4:45)
9. "Generation Of Destruction" (4:26)
10. "Castles Are Burning" (5:07)
Fires of Babylon is a project by Winters Bane guitarist Lou St. Paul. Winter's Bane gave us the galloping heavy metal classic "Heart of a Killer" back in the early 90's. From what I have read about this project, the album was the idea of Metal Heaven Records owner, who suggested to St. Paul that he put together a "classic metal eighties album". St. Paul then recruited one of the best and hardest working voices in metal, Rob Rock, along with bassist Kelly Conlon (Monstrosity/Death) and Robert Falzano (Shatter Messiah/Annihilator). St. Paul wrote all the music for this project, while Rob Rock wrote all the lyrics and vocal melodies.
First of all, this album does not sound like retreated "classic eighties metal." For the most part the music presented here is modern, riff oriented, guitar driven, U.S. power metal. The best material here is the heavier tracks such as the massively heavy "Holy Resurrection", 'Devilution" and balls to the wall “Lake Of Fire”. The opening title track is heavy enough to peel the paint in your house and split some skulls. Yes, this is some of the heaviest material from Rob Rock yet. "Lazarus Rising" is another heavy track with an anthem like quality that will have most fans singing along almost immediately. However, as would be expected from a collaboration of St. Paul and Rock, there are the more melodic numbers as well, including the emotional "Falling To Pieces" and the hook laden "Revolution Calling". The use of keyboards in some songs tends to dull the heaviness slightly and gives the album a slightly progressive sound. A few times I was reminded of early Dream Theater, mostly due to the keyboards more so than the song writing or the vocals. As would be expected, the lead guitar work is superb and one of the highlights of the album.
Surprisingly, the lyrics here are some of Rock's most up front and forthright Christian lyrics yet. I sort of expected this to me a little more mainstream sounding, not unlike his work with Warrior. However, a quick scan through the thank you list has St. Paul thanking "my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" as well. Seems maybe the two purposely went for a more blatant Christian approach, which is just fine by me.
Anyone familiar with Rob Rock's solo albums, his work with Warrior or St. Paul’s previous work with Winters Bane will find a lot to like here. I doubt that anyone will think that this project, as good as it is, tops the classic "Heart of a Killer" album. However, Fires of Babylon still present a powerful metal album.
Fires of Babylon was originally released in Europe on Metal Heaven in 2008, the album was picked up by Retroactive Records for release in the U.S. in 2009.