Code of Silence
Dark Skies over Babylon

Label: Mausoleum/Rock'n'Growl
Three similar bands: Kamelot/Blue Murder/Eden's Curse
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
1. Omerta (Intro)
2. Bitter Sweet Paradise
3. Sky Is Falling Down
4. Tame The Tempest
5. Dark Skies Over Babylon
6. Seventh Seal
7. Witches Of November
8. Black Abyss
9. Knights Of The Crimson Cross
10. Midnight Caphedral (Veritas)
11. Here To Heaven

Gus Monsanto - Vocals
Ben Randall - Guitar
James Murray - Bass
Scott McLean - Keys
John Clelland - Drums



Produced by Paul Logue
Mix & mastering by Alessandro Del Vecchio
Artwork by Didier Scohier

Released 2013-02-25
Reviewed 2013-04-25


I wonder what the thing is with British band Code of Silence and their debut album Dark Skies over Babylon. The internet reviewers are singing praises left right and centre, sure it is the usual suckers, sorry meant suspects, that awards everything very high ratings like the dog and whatever they are called. So, is it a big deal, this album? Well, these reviewers says that more or less everything released is at least a classic so it may not be, take one reviewer quoted on the band’s website: “This could be one of the best debuts you'll hear this year…” then awards it 10/10. 10/10 for one of the best debuts this year, is he joking? Hallowed has awarded one debut our highest score (that is since we started on the web in 2007), so the best debut of the decade would be our quote in such a moment, and our scale is in seven steps (so our highest rating should be easier to get).

The thing is though, they build expectations with such reviews and quotes. That is how it should be if the reviewers on the web were good (some are but too many aren’t), but most albums can boost reviews like this (or somewhat lesser but still extremely impressive) and more often than not they don’t live up to expectations incurred from reading these reviews. This album is a definite case in point to that fact with great appraisal and nowhere near as good when you actually hear it.

It is a well made melodic rock/heavy metal album with some epic touches, some grande choruses a bit of Klaus Meine-moments and such things. Excellent sound, bar the terrible drums which sounds like cookie jar banging recorded under water. Lovely melodies are there and a decent singer as well. Sure if they had Frank Vestry from Laneslide they could have been awesome but they don’t. Why him you ask and I simply reply Alessandro Del Veccio. The album plays for over an hour on eleven tracks meaning many tracks are long and most of them are filled with filling material. I think such things should be used to even out your back yard, to lay the foundation for a new road, and similar things, in things like music, books and movies it is just plain bad.

There is a sword on the cover artwork, an artwork that suggests the album’s story has something to do with the Knights Templar. They could use this sword to cut away fillings and also maybe one of the fingers of the guitarist who loves masturbating because this album has too much “look at me” stuff on the guitars. I think it should have been easy to cut away twenty minutes of stuff that is no good anyway and make this album one that is really worth listening to. Now it is one that is dangerous to play while driving and one that steals inspiration at other times. Thanks to the collaboration between great stuff and frankly quite poor stuff it becomes ordinary. Sure it is a good album in many regards and I award it an approved rating but it is not as good as the dangerous dog and all the other internet overraters say that it is. I will not join in the singing of praises for this album as I have much better albums to write up when I have recovered from the sudden lack of inspiration and willingness to take charge of tasks to do that this album caused today.

Ten times playing this, meaning ten hours (three of which are completely wasted) is more than enough and I feel my lifeforce has been somewhat hurt. I should admit that I love the title track (almost the entire song, the ending sucks) and Black Abyss along with Midnight Cathedral are two tracks that could have been amazing if the band had learned the simple rule of less is more and murder your darlings that so many bands seems to be completely unaware of. This album is too long and it is too long not thanks to great stuff the band has been unable to throw away but due to quite bad stuff the band has decided to fill otherwise good songs with. This album is simply approved, no more, no less.



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