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Omega - Babylon [Ω XIII] CD (album) cover

BABYLON [Ω XIII]

Omega

Psychedelic/Space Rock


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3 stars Babylon was the last Omega album released prior to a 9 year hiatus which found individual band members working on side projects during which time many previous Omega recordings were released in various CD formats, compilations, live recordings and remasters. Much more neo- prog sounding than the relatively dissappointing Techno-popish Omega 12 from 1986, Babylon made better use of new computer technology perhaps because of singer Janos Kobor`s business interests in the field. A collaborator, Andras Trunkos even recieves a credit for his computer programming!

Although with it`s brilliant emphasis on engineering and atmospheric effects the band loses a lot of guitar influence despite the appearance of another guitarist and the album sort of jumps back and forth from upbeat, straight rock songs with electronic drums to moody ballads on which Kobor`s vocals reach mystical proportions. Hajnali ocean ( Dawning Ocean ) at times sounds a bit like Mother from Pink Floyd`s The Wall which includes what seems to be a computer generated child choir which is kind of cool. Another track`s intro, the synth-heavy Harangok ( The Bells ) sounds like The Final Countdown by the Swedish band, Europe from the 1970`s!

The definite high point of the album though, is the suprising use of an electronically treated saxophone on the appropriately titled final track Utozlo helet (The Last Judgement ) and really gives the band an experimental sound. Judas ( TheTraitor ) whilst being the weakest track on the album would sound great if Hawkwind covered it as it has a Hawkwind sound to it instrumentally speaking. Really!

Sung in Hungarian, Babylon with it`s contemplative ancient religious themes sort of brings the listener back to the spacey late seventies Omega when they were making mystical albums like Gammapolis and Time Robber. It also makes it easier for us to forget the more pop oriented Omega 10, 11 and 12 albums of the early eighties. Neo- progists should defitely give this a test run. A re-master wasalso released in 1996 and includes 3 bonus tracks.

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Posted Tuesday, March 20, 2007 | Review Permalink

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