Fall Babylon Fall is the debut full-length studio album by Swedish Symphonic and progressive doom metal/ melodic heavy metal act Veni Domine. The album was released in 1991 by Edge Records to much critical acclaim. The album was re-released by Massacre Records in 1992. Veni Domine is a Christian band and the lyrics on Fall Babylon Fall pre-dominantly deal with the content of the Book of Revelation. There were 7 tracks on the original album and an additional 8th instrumental track called Visions on the 2006 Edge Records re-issue of the album. The 1995 R.E.X ( Label specialized in Christian album releases) re-release also featured Visions.
The music is slow to mid-paced semi-progressive doom metal/ heavy metal with references to bands such as Trouble ( eighties), Candlemass, Solitude Aeturnus, Helloween ( the Keeper albums), Fates Warning ( John Arch era), Queensrÿche ( The Warning (1984)) and Iron Maiden. There´s a symphonic and epic edge to the music which gives the music a grand sound. The vocals are the focal point the music and rightly so. ´Cause while the music is good and powerful it´s the vocals by Fredrik Ohlsson that really takes the prize on Fall Babylon Fall. His voice is very similar to that of Geoff Tate ( Queensrÿche) but singers like Michael Kiske ( Helloween), John Arch ( Fates Warning) and Bruce Dickinson ( Iron Maiden) should also be mentioned here. Both because of the vocal style but also because of how the vocal melodies are constructed. And boy can Fredrik Ohlsson sing. This is not one of those weak attempts at trying to sound like your heroes. Fredrik Ohlsson is way up there along side the big ones. What a powerful and skilled vocalist.
The instrumental side of the album is generally good too but not excellent IMO. I could have done with a few faster paced tracks too but Armageddon does come close with its semi-fast double bass drum beat. It´s not really fast though. The guitars are heavy but also melodic. The rythm section is the thing on the album I enjoy the least. Especially drummer Thomas Weinesjö. He is the weak link here. He keeps the beat and not much more and it gets a bit trivial to listen to for almost 70 minutes. A better rythm section would have given the album another dimension.
All songs are rather long which means about 6-8 minutes long but the seventh track is a 21:21 minute long epic track called The Chronicle of Seven Seals which should definitely be considered the most progressive track on the album. A rather impressive song that one. I´m reminded a bit of the epic title track on Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II (1988) by German heavy metal/ power metal act Helloween. Opener Face of the Prosecutor is a powerful and epic song too but all songs are generally well written. They tend to drag on a bit too long for my taste though and most songs could easily have benefitted from being 2 minutes shorter.
The production is not really good. It´s not that I can´t hear what´s going on but the sound is a bit empty. It lacks bottom and warmth.
Fall Babylon Fall is a good album by Veni Domine despite some obvious flaws and a 3.5 star rating is deserved. I´m just sitting here with the feeling that a few changes could have given me an even better experience and I´m sure that the right producer would have done the trick. So much unfulfilled promise. The talent is big though and promises something extraordinaire to come in the future. So the conclusion is that Fall Babylon Fall is an enjoyable album with lots of promise but with some flaws that will need to be corrected on the next album to satisfy my taste.