Here at the Send Me Your Ears Studio today, we’ve been listening to the debut single from London-based band, Velour Fog. Black Babylon was released on May 5th, 2023.
Black Babylon is an interesting mix of both grunge and prog rock, without being a crossover of the two genres. There are definite sections. The song doesn’t stick to the general rules of verses and choruses and feels deliberately unstructured – almost like a rock opera.
The song starts with some gentle and atmospheric picked guitar before moving into a 90s grunge rock style, reminiscent of Alice in Chains.
Black Babylon gives the lead guitarist ample opportunities to demonstrate his chops with lots of intricate soloing – we particularly liked the soloing that panned from side to side. The playing was skilful and precise and gave us the impression the guitarist is clearly a fan of Steve Vai.
The rise and fall within this track is interesting. There is definitely a dynamic soundscape to listen to, which keeps the listener engaged.
The strong and powerful vocals evoke the emotions of 80s 90s rock vocalists (Jane’s Addiction/ Alice in Chains) and each member of the band is clearly pulling their weight here!
The section with double kick drum to die for gives the drummer the chance to shine, and we love that, even in a debut single, plenty of thought has been given to making sure each musician shows what they can do.
The repeated “hey hey hey” vocal line is one that we could imagine working well in a live situation with a stadium crowd. The band clearly have plenty of ambition and perhaps this is something they considered when they wrote this track.
Ideas from our ears
The track is a little heavy around 90-100Hz so a cut in this area might tidy up the low end a touch. A small low-mid boost around 350Hz could add to the overall fullness in the sound too. A high-shelf boost set around 8kHz could increase the brightness and presence. Lastly, a light compressor/limiter with maybe 5dB of make up gain would increase the overall punch as well as raise the volume. As always, these are just some ideas from our ears.
Velour Fog’s debut single, Black Babylon, is a truly unique track which mixes up influences from prog, grunge and 90s rock with plenty of intricate playing and soloing to make your jaw drop! A promising debut!