Skindred
Babylon


4.0
excellent

Review

by when_darkness_falls USER (17 Reviews)
October 23rd, 2009 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Reggae Metal? It shouldn't work, but it does!

Here is yet antoher band that, until Sonisphere, had done little to interest me. After their short but sweet 30 minute set, they had immediately won me around. So, naturally, I was intrigued to endulge myself in more of their material. Having heard nothing but good things about this, their debut album, I decided to start at the beginning of their material and develop my love from there!

The first thing you get from their CD being placed in your player is that this a truly different listening experience. Somehow, Skindred mix the pounding aggression of metal and mix with the lyrical indulgences of reggae. Benji Webbe's lyrical prowess is well displayed on this album. Not only is he able to demonstrate his reggae perfect voice, but his roaring and rapid-fire vocals work just as well with the music. "Nobody" is not only an excellent album opener, but it pretty much sums up what Skindred are all about in one song. The songs sound both remarkably smiliar yet also different to anything you've heard before. That is no doubt down to Webbe's voice.

Songs such as "Bruises" and "Start First" are furthermore an example of the metal sensibilities Skindred have mixed so well with reggae stylings, whereas "We Want" and "The Fear" are much softer but seem to fit the album perfectly. With their softer sound, they are far removed from the plundering pace of the rest of the album but are a welcome respite from the sheer wall of sound the album produces. That said, these songs don't stray too far away from the Skindred sound and work impressively well with Webbe's vocals. "Pressure" is perhaps the go between for the bad. It has the rock sound, but is much more accessible to the mainstream than the other songs. Which is not to say the album itself is a hard listen. Every song is an infectious tune that is guaranteed to have the listener bouncing and pounding their fist to the rhythm.

The guitar work, although seemingly simple at first, is suitably stylised. Somehow, they demonstrate both metal stylings but a rhythmic chugging consistent with reggae music. The drumming is also suitably stylised in this way, which is no doubt what, mixed with Benji's natural reggae ability, make this album such a unique listen.

If you want a relatively short album, but one packed with energy and raw passion, then "Babylon" is the album for you. Whether it be the catchy yet gentle "We Want" or the relentless energy of "Bruises", there is something for all different listening styles here, yet at the same time it's an album that is hard to not love.


Perhaps the only bad thing about the album is that all the heavier songs follow a similar style. That is, they build up to a climax before unleashing the pounding riffs and heavy music. That said, the musical style is actually rather welcome and is certainly full of energy, which no doubt aids their action packed live show.

To be honest, it's rather hard to recommend work by other artists, as this sound is so different to anything else known to me

Ragga metal, the genre Skindred call their music, is something which shouldn't work. But it does.



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user ratings (216)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
truekebabpower (3)
Nuff ah dem have come an dem ah try dog we out......

Wizzy5 (3)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2009


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album rules, review could be better. it's not badly written but at some points you kind of sound like a tedious salesman imo if that makes sense to you. Don't know, maybe it's just me, but i don't really fancy the tone of this review.

when_darkness_falls
October 23rd 2009


107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fair enough. Coulda been a worse first comment I guess! =P

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
October 23rd 2009


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ok i re-read it and i still kind of have a problem with the tone of this review but i do admit my tedious salesman comment was a bit off. So on a sputnik scale, the review (in my opinion of course) is like 3/5. It's ok, but not really great by any means. Keep writing though, it's the only way to imrpove.

when_darkness_falls
October 23rd 2009


107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Meh. Fair enough- although ever review I write seems to be pants! Meh.

iamthenightmare
October 23rd 2009


754 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Jizzy Jizzy Drive them underground

This CD is infectious

when_darkness_falls
October 23rd 2009


107 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

That it is. Haven't heard their newest yet but have got Babylon and RRR.

HenchmanOfSanta
October 23rd 2009


1879 Comments


Based on hearing Nobody a bunch of times in Need For Speed Underground 2, I'm guessing that this album actually blows.

Digging: Godflesh - A World Lit Only By Fire

CrazyFool84
October 23rd 2009


1080 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Review was decent, keep 'em comin. I disagree with pretty much it all, cannot stand this band at all and don't think their sound works in the slightest, but I can't speak for them live.

bloc
September 12th 2010


34919 Comments


NOBODY GETS OUT OF DIS SHARK PIT ALIVE

Emim
September 8th 2012


26646 Comments


album rules

truekebabpower
September 8th 2012


639 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

one word: ROOOOOOOOTTTS ROCK RIOOOOOOOOOT!

KILL
September 8th 2012


71957 Comments


suck

Digging: Exodus - Blood In, Blood Out

foxxxythnksustnk
February 9th 2013


2132 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

WE COME TO TAKE OVER
MC U BETTER LOOK OVER UR SHOULDER
YA U KNO
YA U KNO

omg so fun

Luminara
March 19th 2014


122 Comments


On the back of my cd's case, it clearly says that "We Want" is a track on the cd, but when I listen to the album, the song isn't even there.
I feel cheated out of a good song ;~;

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
March 19th 2014


8371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You did get cheated out of a good song. We Want is great.



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