Space Metal

Star One

If there is one thing which runs as a constant through Arjen Lucassen's musical career […]
By David Kaluza
April 25, 2002
Star One - Space Metal album cover

If there is one thing which runs as a constant through Arjen Lucassen's musical career it is the quality of his releases, and Star One is no exception to this.
The original setup of the album immediately reminds you of the Ayreon albums, due to the typical songwriting and working style of Lucassen and the use of various guest-musicians (all of them top-class like usual). However, there are a couple of differences, the main one being the fact that while the music is still symphonic rock music, it's a little less progressive and a lot harder than any of the Ayreon records so far.  A very nice addition as well is instead of assigning just one singer to one single song, you now have various people singing various parts, which is used to great effect and makes for a lot of variation.
Also, while there is a loose concept tying all the songs together (science fiction) this is not a concept-album in the true sense of the word, with nearly every song being based around a famous sf movie/story. Personal favorites include Master Of Darkness (just listen to the awesome guitar - keyboard duel in this song !), Perfect Survivor and Star child, but there's really not a single weak track  to be found on the record.
A limited edition digipack is also available, and well worth getting, featuring an excellent 10 minute Hawkwind medley, a David Bowie cover, a remix, an alternative take of another song and a couple of songs which didn't make it on the album. (Quite surprisingly, since they are absolutely not weaker than the rest of the material - and especially Inseperable Enemies actually turned out to be one of my favourite songs).
All in all another excellent release, in which everything seems to fit perfectly (artwork, music and concept) and which is bound to expand Arjen's fan base even more. Top class !

9 / 10

Almost Perfect

"Space Metal" Track-listing:

Disc 1

Lift off
Set Your Controls   
High Moon
Songs of the Ocean
Masters of Darkness   
The Eye of Ra
Perfect Survivor  
Intergalactic Space Crusaders  

Disc 2

Hawkwind Medley
Spaced Out
Inseperable Enemies
Space Oddity
Star Child (Dolby Pro Logic)
Spaced Out (Alternative Version)
(Hidden track)

Star One Lineup:

Arjen Anthony Lucassen - Guitars, bass, Hammond, Mellotron, analog synths, Solina strings
Ed Warby - Drums
Sir Russel Allen, Damian Wilson, Dan Swäno, Floor Jansen - Vocals
Jens Johansson, Erik Norlander, Gary Wehrkamp - Additional Solo's
Robert Soeterboek - Backing Vocals

Special guest - Dave Brock of Hawkwind, lead and backing vocals on the Hawkwind medley

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