The Bottom Line
'70s prog rock with a metallic crunch.
- Whatever project Arjen Lucassen does, it's bound to be spectacular.
- Awe-inspiring vocals.
- Top-notch musicianship.
- Released October 26, 2010 on InsideOut Music.
- Follow-up to Star One’s 2002 debut album Space Metal.
- Took one year to complete.
Guide Review - Star One - 'Victims Of The Modern Age'
Star One is one of musician extraordinaire Arjen Lucassen’s many projects.
On their sophomore effort Victims Of The Modern Age, the Dutchman explores heavier and darker elements, while still maintaining his fascination with space and sci-fi stories. Star One’s debut, Space Metal, had songs about sci-fi movies based in space. On his latest release, the songs are based on sci-fi movies involving time travel and adventures on earth.
As on all of his previous project’s releases, including his rock opera project Ayreon, Stream of Passion and Guilt Machine, Lucassen receives the help from some of the most prominent and influential vocalists in the rock game today. Lucassen selected Floor Jansen (ex-After Forever, Revamp) for her high voice, Damien Wilson (Threshold) for his clear voice, Russell Allen (Symphony X) for his power voice and Dan Swäno (Edge of Sanity, Bloodbath) for his low growls.
The musicianship on Victims Of The Modern Age is also top-notch. Along with the singers from the first Star One album, Lucassen chose the same musicians for this release. Drummer Ed Warby (Ayreon, Hail of Bullets, Gorefest), bassist Peter Vink (Ayreon), lead guitarist Gary “Garyeon” Wehrkamp (Ayreon, Shadow Gallery) and keyboardist Joost “Lul” van den Broek (Ayreon, ex-After Forever) all impress with their impeccable talent.
Lucassen handles rhythm guitar and keyboards.
Star One’s music is a little more straightforward and less layered and intricate than Lucassen’s Aryeon project. It explores the more metal side of Lucassen. Every song is brilliantly mixed with Hammond organs, tradeoff keyboard and guitar solos and superb vocals throughout the 43 minutes of music.
“Down the Rabbit Hole” welcomes you with its keyboard instrumental intro, which then leads right into the dominant keyboard beginning of “Digital Rain.” The trade-off solo between Wehrkamp and van den Broek, the layered vocals of Allen and Wilson, and the overall melody and tone really shines.
“Earth That Was” starts off with a heavy riff and continues with wonderfully layered vocals and a melodic chorus. The title track has a hypnotic and catchy beginning. The melodic interplay between guitar and keyboards, the progressive drum patterns and the multi-layered vocals really carry the song.
Lucassen is never short on ideas, melody or harmony. Creativeness just flows from this guy’s veins. For fans of Ayreon or anything else Lucassen is involved in, Star One’s Victims Of The Modern Age will surely please.
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