Babylon Mystery Orchestra-Axis of Evil
For those unfamiliar with Babylon Mystery Orchestra, it's important to recognize one thing. This music is the artistic expression of one man. Sidney Allen Johnson is a true artist. He is in singular control of all of his musical content, production, instrumentation, vocals, lyrical content, and distribution. This allows for something unique. He has the highest level of access to pure expression available. And he is doing something with it. I'll leave the listener to find understanding and interpret BMO's message-but let me say this. The artist makes frighteningly bold statements, and takes great risks. Axis of Evil, along with all Babylon Mystery Orchestra's musical offerings are challenging to the listener to say the very least.
The music on Axis of Evil is just majestic, as is the style of the artist. The songs can best be described by saying that they are beautifully arranged, orchestral, hard rock, sometimes heavy metal, darkly vocalized treasures. If you are a rock and roll fan of any type, you're going to be aesthetically pleased by this music, and often-you are also- just going to rock out. Comparisons to other bands have been made, but I, personally don't find them relevant. The music is unique.
Mr. Johnson knows what he is doing in that studio, and the one-man-band aspect of the songs is absolutely seamless.
One of my personal favorites on Axis of Evil is "When we Ride...you Die"-it bears the beautiful trademark orchestra sound, and has an exciting drum arrangement that is infectious. The song, "Crusader" lyrically can be seen as a call to an offensive on terror. Musically, it’s got great driving guitars, a guitar solo that just shreds, and an ending that gives a certain chill. There is "Diabolus Apocalypse" is stunning, with a lovely, eerie guitar solo. The song that ultimately has become my favorite, is "Illuminati". This song is just beautiful. Haunting, almost. It’s filled with gorgeous acoustic guitar sound. The kind of song you find yourself listening to over and over just to transport you to that feeling again. The lyrical content is of course, so thought-provoking as well. Makes for just a masterpiece.
And, I can't go without mentioning "Martyr". This song is different somehow. The vocal delivery on all BMO's offerings is strong. But, on "Martyr" there is something going on; at least to me. There is a passion in these vocals that evokes a different emotion. BMO's vocals are dark, strong, sometimes aggressive and almost threatening. This time I was moved. The song is beautiful, and almost painful-addressing the subject matter soberly, and solemnly.
If you are a rock and roll fan, a music fan, a fan of poetry, a fan of the arts of any kind you owe it to yourself-(trite as that expression is, it absolutely fits) to listen to Axis of Evil. You will never be the same. Babylon Mystery Orchestra provides you with a stunning booklet as accompaniment to guide you through the story. There is beautiful artwork to be seen, also. You don't get that anymore. In fact, you don't get what this artist is doing at all, ever-except with BMO. The man is doing something no one else is doing. In a way that is not being done by anyone. Personally, I think we all deserve that kind of experience in music; as opposed to the meaningless, commerce-driven offerings that are forced upon us by the industry with such great regularity. This CD is a strong, courageous piece of work. If you cherish your freedoms, if you think....if you love great music. It’s essential.