Album Reviews

Star One – Victims Of The Modern Age

Released by Inside/Out Music

Release Date: 01 November, 2010

Genre: Progressive Metal

Links: http://www.arjenlucassen.com/

Links: http://www.myspace.com/ayreonauts


Line Up:

Vocalists

Sir Russell Allen

Damian Wilson

Dan Swanö

Floor Jansen

Instrumentalists

Arjen Anthony Lucassen – guitars,

Hammond, Mellotron, Minimoog, Solina

strings

Ed Warby – drums

Peter Vink – bass

Joost van den Broek – keyboard solos

Gary Wehrkamp – guitar solos

Special guest vocalists

Tony Martin

Mike Andersson

Rodney Blaze


Tracklist:

1. Down The Rabbit Hole (1:20)

2. Digital Rain (6:23)

3. Earth That Was (6:08)

4. Victim Of The Modern Age (6:27)

5. Human See, Human Do (5:14)

6. 24 Hours (7:20)

7. Cassandra Complex (5:24)

8. It’s Alive, She’s Alive, We’re Alive (5:07)

9. It All Ends Here (9:46)


I have nothing but praise for the Arjen Lucaseen and his immense talent when it comes to the progressive genre. He is already a pioneer and a leader in the genre when it comes to using synths and transcending his unique view of concept story telling and  making it his own. From such star projects as Ayreon to his Guilt Machine project all of these projects all explore different aspects of Lucassen’s musical personality, and with this visionary guidance many talented musicians have participated in his works and with good reason. I happen to have discover Arjen with his Space Metal project by Star One back in 2002 and then the amazing live cd of “Live On Earth” which to this day it’s one of my favorite live albums of recent time. The voices that participated then we’re the likes of Russell Allen (Symphony X), Damian Wilson (Threshold), Floor Jansen (After Forever) and another all star cast with guest musicians especially contributing with certain instruments throughout the project. Allen , Wilson and Jansen return this time around once more and Arjen insisted he wanted to keep the core of the same vocalists who participated last time.

The new record is titled “Victims Of The Modern Age” starts off things more darker as promised by Arjen due to some criticism of his more laid back and experimental project Guilt Machine, the fans suggested he released something a bit “heavier”, and well he definitely responded because the new Star One is a lot boisterous and nebulous then the debut, and each song is suppose to be based on a different Sci-Fi Film and no I couldn’t figure all of them out either so don’t feel bad. It will surely take a few spins to digest this magic opus.

On stand out tracks “Earth That Was” for instance you hear the jam packed vocals of Russell Allen with a contrast in backing vocals by Floor Jansen, all together creating a super power punch of scifi dark matter energy. Damn it feels good to hear Allen again since we have not heard nothing from him since Symphony X’s last record. Leave it to Arjen to create a progressive metal spiral of some of the strangest most beautiful music you’ll ever hear. The title track exhibits another churn of transgression along with it’s dark brooding keys that give light to this powerful record.

While the first Star One project let the premier vocalists carry on the course of each song, the sophomore release relies heavily on an obscure and abstract musical instrumentation that blows the first one out of the water. The fun parts of the first are still found in scarcity but with the amazing talent involved here once more is like hearing a giant wall of sound that will absolutely blow your ears off. All the vocalist and guest musicians due one hell of a job, big props to Joost van den Broek on keybords and Gary Wherkamp on guitars solos which both provide a tremendous added punch. You add the rhythm guitars of Lucassen and you what you have is one of the best records of the year with a perfect balance equation of dark, experimental, scifi and power that I have not heard all year. Here comes the year of the Dutchman once more huh? As if he needed any more crowning achievements this one will top anything he has ever done in the past easily. Highly Recommended!!!

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys   9/10

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