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Star One - Space Metal (Special Edition) CD (album) cover

SPACE METAL (SPECIAL EDITION)

Star One

 

Progressive Metal

3.92 | 74 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars It's metal, and it's about space

The title of this offering from the Ayreon/Arjen A Lucassen stable tells you all you need to know. As they say in an advert in the UK, "it does exactly what it says on the tin". The music is loud and powerful, whilst also being extremely melodic. At times, such as on "Songs of the ocean" and "Intergalactic space crusaders", it verges on becoming pop. The Sweet in their heyday could well have taken the latter to the top of the charts! The songs are generally less complex than those of Ayreon, but there's still much to enjoy, with tracks like "The eye of Ra" and "Starchild" being developed into longer, slightly more progressive pieces.

The production and performance are excellent, as you would expect, with the usual array of guest vocalists and musicians. The album was inspired by "films that take place entirely in space", with the vocalists performing dialogue "roles" on each track. Some may feel the space theme is wearing a bit thin these days, but it appears to be where Arjen finds the inspiration to create some of his best works.

The special edition comes in a luxurious digipak sleeve, and includes a bonus disc. This features additional tracks, re-workings and cover versions. The version of "Space Oddity" is interesting, somewhat heavier and darker than the original, whilst retaining strong echoes of Bowie's vocals. Dave Brock of Hawkwind makes a personal appearance on vocals on the ""Hawkwind medley", a 9 minute run through of some of that bands better know tracks. The music of Hawkwind does not really lend itself to the medley format, thus while the track is enjoyable, it might have been better to simply cover a couple of their tracks in full.

For those who enjoy a harder edge to their music, while still wishing to hear strong melodies, and solid performances this album fits the bill very nicely.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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