Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins – Whore Of Babylon




One thing you can always count on when it comes to MIKE LEPOND’S SILENT ASSASSINS is a healthy dose of good old-fashioned traditional Heavy Metal. New album Whore of Babylon (out now, Silver Lining Music) is a testament to that fact, and once again we get a merging of metal and history. The tracks are sung with conviction by Alan Tecchio and the usual suspects are on board for guitars (Lance Barnewold and Rod Rivera), bass (LePond himself, keep up!!) and drum programming/keyboards. Those duties are handled by SYMPHONY X’S very own Michael Romeo. And if that’s not enough he also did the orchestration and played some mandolin. Just another day at the office for Mr. Romeo, huh?

With song titles like “Ironborn”, “Dracul Son”, and “The Ides of March” (featuring a hella-cool bass intro from LePond) you can see the medieval theme running throughout the record. These three are an all out metal attack, as are a few others that I’ll get to in a bit. But I really want to talk about “Night of the Long Knives” which is a modern take on a minstrel ballad, and it’s one of the most addicting tunes on the whole thing. Tecchio has a real knack for telling a story with his singing, and he never disappoints. Meanwhile the title track “Whore of Babylon” is another vehicle for the immense talent of LePond, and has a very distinct Arabic feel and motif. The band is never afraid to spread their wings in different directions, something I truly love to see.

My runaway favorite though, is “Power of Steel” which finds the group venturing into more of a hard rock territory but not at the expense of their edge. The riff is razor fucking sharp, and to call this one an anthem just might be the understatement of the year. The chorus is fist-pumping as Hell, and hopefully I will get to experience it in a live setting if and when shows return. Seriously, it’s awesome! “Lady Bathory” also goes hard in the paint, and once again Tecchio delivers a terrific vocal. “Tell Tale Heart” features more impeccable bass lines from our four & eight stringed friend alongside a galloping riff not for the faint of heart.

Closer “Avalon” is a sprawling eight-minute epic. Each MLSA record has at least one of them, and not surprisingly it winds up being an absolute favorite, as is the case here. The group weaves a tapestry of music, starting out very softly before crashing down with a thunderous vengeance. And let’s talk about the organ played by Michael Pinnella. At the 3:40 mark he simply goes all lights out, then the guitar solo comes along to accentuate it. All told Whore of Babylon is a very good album, and MIKE LEPOND’S SILENT ASSASSINS have done it once again. You really can’t go wrong when these guys put out a record, so check this one out ASAP!

STANDOUT TRACKS: “Avalon”, “Power of Steel”, “Lady Bathory”, “Night of the Long Knives”, “Dracul Son”

RATING: 9/10




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