Genre/Influences: Cold-wave, wave-rock, post-punk.
Content: Babel 17 is a band with a rather animated history. The French band saw the daylight end of the 80s and went through two splits. Babel 17 has been back for a few years lead by Jean Franceschi –who’s the single member on board from the early years. Franceschi remains the leading spirit of the band and gets the help from a few contributors on every new album.
“Leviathan” brings us back to the typical 80s mood Babel 17 has always evoked. The influences are constantly moving in between new-wave, post-punk and even rock music. A few synthesizer parts inject an extra dark touch to the work. Jean Franceschi’s vocals are filled with passion and devotion, being a quiet essential item to the production.
A song like “Schizophrenia” reminds me of some quieter songs of The Virgin Prunes. It’s a real noticeable cut although the best is yet to some with the punk-inspired tracks like “Harmony By Conflict”, “Nuclear Rising Sun” and especially “Threats”. Babel 17 has this magical touch to bring old 80s memories back to life.
Last, but not least, I also have to mention the final cut of the album, which sounds totally different. I’m referring to the title song, which has nothing in common with the other songs of the album. This is a pure sound experiment joined by uplifting rhythms, but without the typical 80s input of the band.
Conclusion: “Leviathan” is one of the most noticeable albums of Babel 17 in years. We are getting back to the post-punk years and new-wave decade.
Best songs: “Threats”, “Harmony By Conflict”, “Nuclear Rising Sun”.
Rate: (Elise Din:8)ED.