Babylon A.D. – ‘Revelation Highway’


THE BAND:
Derek Davis - lead Vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, tambourine
Ron Freschi - guitar, backing vocals
Danny De La Rosa - guitar, banjo, backing vocals
Robb Reid - bass guitar, backing vocals
James "Jamey" Pacheco - drums, percussion

 

     

 

 

TRACK FRAGMENTS:
1.)” Crash And Burn” -This track opens with what sounded like a double bass drum pattern followed by a snare drum crack and cymbal crash.  This lead to a single measure drum rhythm. This single rhythm kicked in the main musical intro.  The rhythm guitar of the intro opens with a pick slide that lead to a rhythm guitar arrangement.  Over the top Derek sings the lyrics “Baby put your seat beast on”.  The rhythm guitar arrangement of the intro consisted of a palm muting effect.  For the musical verse there wasn’t much of a rhythm guitar change.  There was a musical rest underneath the first lyric line.  There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical chorus.  Over the top of the rhythm guitar there was a lead guitar rhythm.  The vocal and musical chorus consisted a huge Babylon A.D. sound!  Outside of the opening drum pattern there was as repeat of the intro to connect the first chorus with the second verse.  After the second chorus there was a twin lead guitar solo.

2.)” Fool On Fire” – This intro consisted of an acoustic guitar arrangement.  For the musical verse, underneath the acoustic guitar and vocal lines there are whole-notes played on an electric guitar.  These guitar arrangements are usually backwards.  The electric guitar is usually over the top of the electric.  This just goes to show not only how well of a songwriter Derek is but just how underrated of a songwriter he is.  The opening first two lyric lines of the verse kind of reminded you of the mid-nineties band 3 Doors Down.  Underneath that 3 Doors Down sound you can still tell that it is Derek of Babylon A.D. singing.  Underneath the third lyric line there was a cymbal crash along with three overdubbed lead guitar licks. Underneath the fourth lyric line James kicks-in the drum rhythm for the song.  The musical chorus opened with a lead guitar lick then a rhythm guitar change.  It is also at this point in the song where the band drops the acoustic guitar and opts for an electric guitar rhythm.  The chorus consisted of a huge Babylon A.D. hook.  There was four repeated lead guitar licked connecting the first chorus with the second verse.  The second verse opened with an acoustic guitar arrangement. Underneath the fourth lyric line there was a lead guitar lick.  At this time an electric guitar arrangement kicks-in underneath the acoustic guitar.  After the second chorus there was a small lyrical section that lead to the lead guitar solo.  For the fifth chorus Derek carried out the lyric fool showing that he still has the vocal pipes to belt one out.  For the coda of the song the band slowly slows the song down.                               
3.)” One Million Miles” -  This is bay far the best Babylon A.D. song I have ever heard.  Then I had to listen to the song on repeat before I made the statement I’m about to make.  This may be the greatest song I have ever heard in a very long time.  It was just one of those songs that was very very well written!!!! 

4.)” Tears” -This intro consisted of two different acoustic guitars playing two different arrangements.  Underneath the arrangements James is keeping time with his ride cymbal.  These two acoustic guitars had an amazing rig to them which gave them an amazing sound.  The acoustic rhythms and sound was so good that the band used them for the verse.  There was a cymbal roll connecting the intro with the opening lyric line of the first verse.  Derek carried out some of the notes of the some of the lyrics of each lyric line.  In between the third and fourth lyric line there was a cymbal roll.  There was a second cymbal roll After the sixth lyric line After this cymbal roll there was a few hi-hat notes that kicked in the main body of the song.  It is at this point the electric guitars kick in along with the drum and bass line.  After the third lyric line there was a short drum fill.  There was a rhythm change for the musical chorus.  The chorus consisted of a huge hook.  The guitar arrangement for this track consisted of a rhythm guitar track underneath a lead guitar track.  In arranging the song this way gave the song a very sweet musical hook.  After the second chorus there was a twin lead guitar solo.  The twin lead guitar solo turned to a single solo.         
5.)” She Likes To Give It” – This track opens with a single rhythm guitar arrangement.   Underneath the arrangement James kept time on his ride cymbal.  After James hits his ride cymbal ten times with the last two being faster than the first eight a second rhythm guitar kicks in.  At this time there was a huge cymbal crash.  Then a sixteenth-note cymbal crash.  At which point you hear Derek whistle.  Which leads to a tom-tom fill.  There was a vocal accent where you hear Derek sing “yeah”.  The rhythm guitar for the musical verse was pretty much the same one the band used for the musical intro.  One of the changes they made to it was add a few musical rest which aloud for the drum and bass line to shine through.  James’s hi-hat had an amazing sound for this song.  There was a short tom-tom fill to connect the first verse with the first chorus.  After the first chorus there was a lead guitar solo.  After the solo there was a breakdown section.  Underneath the lead vocals of the breakdown there was little lead little lead licks.  Though I really liked this track so far it was my least favorite on the CD.

6.)” Rags To Riches” -This track opens with three snare, small toms then floor tom patterns (not that it sounded like it in any way however, in many ways it reminded me a lot of what Carmine opened Blue Murder’s “Valley of the Kings”) before going into a standard hi-hat drum pattern.  After two measures of the drum rhythm a bass line kicks in.  After two measures with the bass line the rhythm guitar kicks in.  So far unless this song takes a drastic change, it will sound nothing like anything Babylon has ever written.  Which isn’t such a bad thing.  About two measures into the rhythm guitar arrangement and a twin lead guitar rhythm kicks.   in.  The band used the same rhythm arrangement for the musical verse as the one for the long musical intro.  An when I say long, I mean long the lead vocals do not kick in until 1:12 into the song and the song runs at only 4:09.  There was a rhythm change for the musical chorus.  There was a snare drum fill connecting the second verse with the second chorus.  After the second chorus there was a small lead guitar solo.  There was a minor lead guitar solo that ran underneath the last few choruses of the coda.                   
7.)” Last Time For Love” – Though nothing compares to track three.  This was an amazingly well-written semi-ballad written by Derek.

8.)” I'm No Good For You” -This song was just an amazing Babylon A.D song.  Just everything about the song screams Derek Davis and Robb Reid!   It is almost as if this was a track left over from their first CD release in September 1989.
9.)” Saturday Night” -  There really was no three second pause between this track and track eight.  This intro opened with a guitar pick slide.  The full band play on this simpler musical intro.  After two measures there was a vocal accent with Derek saying “yeah come on”.  After the vocal accent instead of a rhythm change it sounded like there was a key change.  There was a snare drum fill leading into the opening lyric line.  This is when there was a rhythm guitar change.  The rhythm change consisted of the rhythm guitars having several musical rests.  This aloud the drums and bass lines to bleed through and be at the forefront.  I loved the rhythm change of the chorus.  I thought it was cool as hell.  After the first chorus there was a minor leads guitar solo.  The second lyric line of the second verse consisted of a backing vocal.  After the second chorus there was a lead twin guitar solo.  There was a minor twin lead guitar solo underneath the last chorus.           
10.)” Don't Tell Me Tonight” – Though you can tell this song was written by seasoned professionals it has a raw sound to it.  Almost as if it was one of the first songs Derek and Robb had written together.


    I have been a fan of Babylon A.D. and Derek Davis’s songwriting since I first heard their single taken off of their freshman self-titled CD. Released in June of 1989 titled, “Bang Goes The Bells”. Still to this day when I listen to the track “Desperate” the hairs will stand up on the back of my neck. 
    ‘Revelation Highway’ is the bands fourth studio release since releasing their self-titled CD in 1989. That’s mot many releases when you take account that their first CD came out in 1989. In 2000, after the release of ‘American Blitzkrieg’ the band took a seventeen-year hiatus. In 2017, the band returns with ‘Revelation Highway’. From the opening track, “Crash And Burn” it is like stepping into a time warp back to 1989. The only think that sets “Crash And Burn” apart from songs off their first release was the fact that Derek and Ron’s songwriting shows their maturity it music writing. One of the first things you will notice is Derek sounds just as good today as he did back then. Ok, lets talk about track three titled, “One Million Miles”. This track is by far not only the best Babylon A.D. song ever written however ranks up there as one of the greatest songs I have ever heard! There are no words to express how amazing this song sounds. The rest of the seven tracks are equally as great as tracks one and two. I am not counting track three because of how amazingly well-written it is.

    I love all of the stuff Babylon A.D. has released.  However, nothing that they have released compares to ‘Revelation Road’.  ‘Revelation Road’ is the greatest CD I have heard in a very very long time!  an absolute must buy for not only Babylon fans but also hard rock fans!