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Articles Home » 2002 Articles » Star One - 2002 Space Metal
 
Star One - 2002 Space Metal



ARTIST: Star One
ALBUM: Space Metal
LABEL: Inside Out
SERIAL: IOMCD099
YEAR: 2002

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Vocalists: Sir Russell Allen, Damian Wilson, Floor Jansen, Dan Swano, Robert Soeterboek, Dave Brock * Instrumentalists: Arjen Anthony Lucassen, Ed Warby, Jens Johansson, Erik Norlander, Gary Wehrkamp

TRACK LISTING: Disc 1: 01 Lift-Off * 02 Set Your Controls * 03 High Noon * 04 Songs Of The Ocean * 05 Master Of Darkness * 06 The Eye Of Ra * 07 Sandrider * 08 Perfect Survivor * 09 Intergalactic Space Crusaders * 10 Starchild

Disc 2: 11 Hawkwind Medley* 12 Spaced Out * 13 Inseperable Enemies * 14 Space Oddity * 15 Starchild (Mixed In Dolby Pro-Logic) * 16 Spaced Out (Alternative Version)

WEBLINKS: www.ayreon.com


Background
Here it is then - Star One, the eagerly awaited new project from Arjen Lucassen, Holland's favourite prog metal son. I'm not a great expert on Lucassen's previous outings with Ayreon, so that puts me in a great position to review this album - I can review it completely on its own merits.


The Songs
'Set the Controls' gets things underway with hammering bass drums, solid guitar riffage and a huge Hammond B3 organ. It's very old-school indeed, in the Deep Purple Mk II sense. It's nowhere near as hard to swallow as most of Yngwie J Malmsteen's output though and for that at least we should be grateful! 'High Moon' provides very little variation. If I didn't know better I'd swear I could hear Jon Lord hammering away from behind his oversized facial hair! The first track here which, in my opinion, makes any real impression is 'Songs Of The Ocean', which is far less bombastic. It has a solid rhythmic quality and a great guitar riff - this one really hits the mark. Its best quality though has to be the vocals. There's a complete contrast between Symphony X's Russell Allen (verses), ex-Threshold man Damian Wilson (bridge sections) and Floor Jansen on the choruses. I must find out more about her band After Forever. She has a great voice. 'Master of Darkness' sees each of them trading off vocal parts - once again - and here it's Damian Wilson, who is in excellent voice (rejoin Threshold, mate - please!). 'Sandrider' is another track with a Purple tint - nothing outstanding, but certainly not terrible. 'Perfect Survivor' is better. I love the guitar horse-noises (technical term) in the opening riff. Closing the album is 'Starchild' which is absolutely huge. Russell Allen sings like he's in a stage play and Edge of Sanity vocalist Dan Swano provides an interesting counterpoint with his Type O Negative style voice. Arjen plays solos here which are both sweeping and majestic, a great alternative to the Deep Purple-isms gracing Star One elsewhere. Initial copies of the album come with a seven track bonus CD, featuring two album leftovers amongst other odds and sods. Probably the most interesting thing here is a dark Marilyn Manson-esque re-working of David Bowie's classic 'Space Oddity'. Of probable interest to a lot of you though, will be the Hawkwind medley, complete with a guest appearance from Dave Brock on vocals. I'm not much of a Hawkwind person, so to be fair, I'll reserve judgment.


In Summary
A solid release overall and quite enjoyable, but definitely not as essential as some of the other recent Inside Out releases. One final thought.. Each of the songs here were inspired by science fiction movies and TV shows. I can't place any of them! If anyone out there can help, drop us a line!


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