Drawing on the doom metal sound of the 1980's, Sidney Allen Johnson has been producing albums since 2003, going by the name Babylon Mystery Orchestra. Like most bands in that genre, Johnson takes his opinions, writes the songs that talk about them and is relentless at getting his point across with absolutely no regard to whether or not he will offend someone. His latest endeavor falls in line, even in the name: an uncomfortably-titled The Godless, The God Forsaken and the God Damned. The album itself comes with a booklet that not only has all the lyrics, but some song explanations and loads of Scripture and quotes, including some from Johnson himself. Not to mention a tagline that reads "Warning: Repeated exposure to politically incorrect, insensitive and undiluted truths may lead to clear and rational thinking." With that "warning" and with Johnson including his own quotes in the midst of quotes from important and/or historical figures like Mother Teresa, Winston Churchill and Barack Obama, it seems as though Johnson holds his own opinions and viewpoints a bit too highly. It's very unsettling that someone who claims to be a Christian would pen songs that attack (whether satirical or not) a person or group of people. "Viva Cristo Rey!" does just that, aimed at Ernesto Che Guevara, whereas "The Twelfth Imam," a reference to Muhammad of the Islam faith, tears into Muslims and what they believe. The loveless, non-humble attacks are only the beginning of what makes this album what it is. The musical aspect is just as bad. Some of the music does have its moments, only suffering from underproduction, such as the guitars in "Catspaw" and "Godless," but the rest of the music is mediocre at its very best, and the vocals are not only underproduced, but try so hard to fit the doom metal sound that it's not only overly dramatic, but it becomes increasingly difficult to take the whole thing seriously. Babylon Mystery Orchestra's fifth album is difficult to recommend to anyone who isn't already a fan of in-your-face politically-inclined metal with a flair for the overly theatrical.
- Review date: 4/27/10, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com