Despite the sanguinary band name and the forbidding title, on this tape Collin McKelvey's Oakland, CA-based Slaughtering Dolphins offers up a relatively blissful and calm sort of music. "Babalon" begins with its title track, a wavering drone intercut with an insistent two-note pulse. Whispering textures pile up around the synthesizer, obscuring the basic riff from time to time but never quite obliterating it. McKelvey shows a deft hand with the delay pedal on "Mystery School", building the track again from a drone while various noises careen around it, keeping things energetic and interesting without any sense of showiness.
The second half of this c18 didn't hit me as hard, as both pieces work from interesting beginnings but don't develop much. "Crystals Tied Forever" bogs down in its use of some of the same tricks as "Mystery School", and the noisier textures of "Amulet Stone" offer some tonal diversity but the track ends before liftoff is achieved. There are good sounds here, though, and these warm analog tones must be massive and tactile in the live setting. 6/10 -- Mike Griffin (26 May, 2010)