Back for the attack, Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins have a follow-up album to their 2018 earth-shaker.
Mike LePond is best known as the bass player for Symphony X. In 2014 he released an album titled Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins, and many thought it was a solo album. It wasn’t, though, not really. It was a new band. Four years later, they released their second album, Pawn and Prophecy. Now we have a new set from the band, Whore of Babylon, and it is another big metal album with all the heavy bells and whistles.
LePond has employed an army of musicians for this album, including Alan Tecchio, Lance Barnewold, Rod Rivera, Sarah Teets, Michael Romeo, and Michael Pinnella – and he is playing the bass, of course, both 4- and 8-string varieties plus acoustic and rhythm guitar and some background vocals in there too. The music has the feeling of bands like Savatage and Dio and Deep Purple, with roaring guitars and blistering leads.
If you glance through the track list at the titles of the songs, you get a quick feel for what is about to happen. “Dracul’s Son,” “Ides of March,” “Lady Bathory” … a lot of fantasy elements and tales of blood in there. The monster bass lines from LePond first stand out BIG on “Tell Tale Heart,” with its pummeling frontend groundwork. Most of the songs are fast an loud. The music does slow and quiet down in the middle for a 13 minute pair, “The Night of Long Knives” and “Champion,” and the title track, too, is eerie and understated. The closer is “Avalon,” an eight minute capstone to the set with gargantuan bass work and a firm nod to the stylings of Ritchie Blackmore. It is an excellent way to wrap up the album and put a seal on this metal artifact.
Available now from Silver Lining Music and pickupable at the links below. Recommended.
Band photo by Jatzi Nieto.