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The Godless, The Godforsaken and the God Damned
Artist: Babylon Mystery Orchestra
Label: Independent
Time: 12 tracks/59:50 min.

I have been struggling with how to write a review for the latest album by Babylon Mystery Orchestra.  All I can really say about The Godless, The Godforsaken and the God Damned is that it is twelve songs of Sidney Allen Johnson giving full vent to his anger. I am not a big fan of political correctness and diluting the truth, but there is a difference between speaking the truth and just being angry to the level that your point gets lost on those that need to hear it.  The weird thing is that most of the people Johnson is preaching at would not give this album a second listen due to all the judgment pouring out.

Most of this would at least be excusable if it was based on solid theology.  But there is just so much in here that is so off Biblically that I don't even know where to start.  There are valid points all over the place, as well as some well pointed fingers at the problems in Hollywood. But I can't help but hearing the words of the Pharisees and Sadducees echoed over and over again throughout the lyrics.  I think Jesus was pretty serious when he taught about casting stones and not condemning people.

Then there are the really weird ideas, like the song that seems like Johnson is accusing NASA of creating the whole moon landing hoax from the beginning in order to cover up the discovery of an ancient civilization on the moon. Or something like that.  I kept reading the lyrics hoping to find some sign of sarcasm meant to indicate that he was just mocking this theory... but I couldn't.
Johnson seems to have a real problem with the concept of social justice: "Social justice is the process whereby moral cowards combine their collective weaknesses to…" blah, blah, blah. Huh? Social justice is a wide category that includes everything from corrupt government agencies creating dependency to people adopting orphans and taking care of forgotten people in nursing homes.  There are good things and bad things about it, but let's not throw out the baby with the bath water.  "He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God." (Proverb 14:31).  Many people do not realize that this scripture was written at a time when governmental systems empowered people to stay in poverty (who do you think was "oppressing the poor"?), but God still commanded people to care for them no matter how they got there.

Musically, this is an album of decent gothic metal. The vocals are sung in a very deep extremely monotone that gets boring after a while.  The overall effect is like listening to a long fire and brimstone sermon that never ends or offers hope or love.  Some people just don't get that God's call to righteousness goes hand-in-hand with God's love and mercy ­ it is not an either/or choice.

Matt Crosslin (May 21, 2010)

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