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Babylon

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
By the early 2000s, crossing rap and rock's respective DNA strands was no longer a bold experiment. From Faith No More and Shootyz Groove to Korn and 311, hip-hop had been hailing hardcore and metal and funk, and everything else, on an open radio frequency for a decade or more. But what about it? Sure, the sound was familiar to kids raised on equal parts Yo! MTV Raps and Headbangers Ball. But by 2003, homogeneousness was floating bad checks neither genre could cash. Into this big blas? world comes Babylon, the venom-spitting, pit-baiting debut from Skindred. Emerging from the ashes of Dub War, Benji Webbe and company eschew that band's fetish for freely shifting sounds, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Johnny Loftus
By the early 2000s, crossing rap and rock's respective DNA strands was no longer a bold experiment. From Faith No More and Shootyz Groove to Korn and 311, hip-hop had been hailing hardcore and metal and funk, and everything else, on an open radio frequency for a decade or more. But what about it? Sure, the sound was familiar to kids raised on equal parts Yo! MTV Raps and Headbangers Ball. But by 2003, homogeneousness was floating bad checks neither genre could cash. Into this big blasé world comes Babylon, the venom-spitting, pit-baiting debut from Skindred. Emerging from the ashes of Dub War, Benji Webbe and company eschew that band's fetish for freely shifting sounds, in favor of a more focused ragga-rap-metal attack. It's not merely a facsimile of last year's money-making metal model. No, what little repetition does exist here comes from the dancehall influence, the harping and chatting over a nonstop groove. "Pressure" and "Nobody" rock ragged, near-atonal guitar riffs over percussion, emulating both the stop-start hesitation of drum'n'bass and metal's monolithic pound. As the guitars whine, Benji becomes a one-man vocal force, his flow twisting between trippy ragga phraseology and a grating thrash scream. Scratchy drum programming and some non-intrusive synths set up the silky, chatty verses of "Selector," before a skuzzy power slide breakdown energizes its air-raid marathon chorus. With all these stylistic tongues tittering at once, Babylon often threatens to topple over. What's amazing -- especially in the complacent rap-metal landscape it finds itself rampaging over -- is that it never does. Skindred doesn't seem to consciously want the reinvention tag; it has simply tapped into the same lack of pretension that fueled Korn and Living Colour's Vivid -- records that were made visionary by an unadulterated honesty in both delivery and craft. When the band does suggest the work of its peers, it's in the tense, Deftones-style interplay of mood and mayhem on "Falling Down" where Benji unveils a soulful singing voice between the screams. Babylon has made a considerable dent in Europe, where the memories of Dub War might run deeper than they do stateside. Even so, Skindred's debut is highly recommended for fans of literate genre jumpers like Soulfly and System of a Down, or any heshers looking for some heavy-hitting firepower that hasn't fallen victim to the anvil of corporate assimilation. [In 2004 the band re-released Babylon in the U.S. on Lava Records. Their new label requested four new tracks, so the group holed up in a Florida studio and proceeded to record eight, resulting in the removal of three original tracks "Falling Down," "Kiss and Make Up," and "Together" from this reissue. The new -- and confusing -- version includes a series of interludes featuring dancehall veterans Jatoman Busha and Herbius Darussalam, as well as three brand new cuts. The additional tracks range from lean and heavy the brutal "Start First", sunny and complex pop/dub "Tears", and downright epic the 11-minute "Beginning of Sorrows." All of the tracks are solid, but it would have been nice to see them put out on a separate EP as opposed to a dollop of gravy with the mashed potatoes removed on this genre-defying "Frankenstein" of a re-release.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/31/2004
  • Label: Lava
  • UPC: 075679330420
  • Catalog Number: 93304
  • Sales rank: 23,297

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Intro (0:29)
  2. 2 Nobody (3:56)
  3. 3 Pressure (3:28)
  4. 4 Start First (2:49)
  5. 5 Interlude 1 (0:16)
  6. 6 Selector (2:23)
  7. 7 Bruises (2:38)
  8. 8 Interlude 2 (0:27)
  9. 9 Set It Off (3:03)
  10. 10 Firing the Love (3:37)
  11. 11 Tears (3:00)
  12. 12 World Domination (2:23)
  13. 13 The Fear (3:46)
  14. 14 Interlude 3 (0:26)
  15. 15 Babylon (3:34)
  16. 16 The Beginning of Sorrows (11:06)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Skindred Primary Artist
Howard Benson Keyboards
Benji Webbe Vocals, Group Member
Mikey Dee Guitar, Group Member
Daniel Pugsley Bass Guitar
Dirty Arya Drums, Group Member
Mikey Demus Guitar
Technical Credits
Joe Strummer Composer
Johnny O. Digital Editing
Howard Benson Producer, Audio Production
Martyn Ford Digital Editing
Mike Fuller Mastering
Topper Headon Composer
Ted Jensen Mastering
Keith Nelson Guitar Techician
Paul Simonon Composer
Mike Plotnikoff Engineer, Digital Editing
Jason Bieler Producer
Herbus Derselam Interlude
Benji Webbe Creation, Interlude
Eric Miller Engineer, Digital Editing
Christina Dittmar Art Direction
Gersh Drum Technician
David Holdrege Pro-Tools
Skindred Composer, Producer
Jason Lader Digital Editing
Ginge Creation
Daniel Pugsley Programming
Andrew Goldman Engineer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

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3 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Nice album.

    This is a very good debut by Skindred. The most appealing thing about the band and this album is the variety of the sound. It's really a combination of raggae, punk, hip hop, and metal which some may find to be a really good combination. This album is very diverse ranging from a bit of raggae/ska rock to mindblowing heavy metal; the songs "Nobody", "Selector", "Bruises", and "Tears" can prove that. At times, the lead singer uses a sort of high pitched voice which can get a tad bit irritating, but if you can get past that factor, then you will undoubtably enjoy this one of a kind potpourri of sound.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    awsome band, great record

    i have the origional version of babylon, and im looking foward to getting this version too. skindred is a great band and im glad that they're starting to become popular in america too. this cd is awsome, and im looking foward to hearing the 3 bonus tracks given on this version of babylon.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews