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Guilt Machine - On This Perfect Day CD (album) cover


Guilt Machine


Progressive Metal

3.91 | 196 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars A strong album by the new project of Dutch prog-rock hero and multi-instrumentalist Arjen Lucassen, the mastermind behind Ayreon, Star One and Stream of Passion. He is picking up the pieces again, after a little disappointing Ayreon's release '01011001', a year earlier. It must be said however, that my expectations after Ayreon's 'Human Equation' and Stream of Passion's 'Embrace the Storm' were very high. It did cost me this time a little difficulty to start appreciating the album, it's not too easily accessible. I would say, it is a grower: one should give it at least a few listens, before dismissing it. In my case, it paid off, after a few tries I started to enjoy the record, both the music and the lyrics, and I think now, this will last long enough, so that 'On This Perfect Day' will become one of my favourite albums of the year 2009.

Comparing to other Arjen's projects, Guilt Machine is a different cake. To begin with, the band consists of only four members (the two guests on the strings not included). Then, the music has simpler, more spacious and less dense arrangements. Quite long songs pick up their tempo without any haste. I guess that Pink Floyd was the most looked up guideline this time. Of course, the album still has the typical Lucassen's signature: the outbursts of the metallic rhythm guitars, heavy but intelligent Floydian synthesizers and tasty string arrangements are still there. Another welcome and recognisable feature is the presence of the wonderful Swedish lead guitarist Lori Linstruth. Just like in Stream of Passion, she produces outrageously clever and original guitar solo's, unfortunately a little too little of them, to my taste. This time Lori's input was not limited by the inventing of intelligent solo's. She also wrote the lyrics for the whole album. The concept is quite personal, about fighting a psychological depression, which both Arjen and Lori experienced recently. I wonder however, whether they are going to do something with this concept one more time. Writing another album within the frame of the psychoanalytical term Guilt Machine, as one of the explanations of the workings of the psychological depression, would not be easy. I think, stretching this theme to the whole album, making it a concept, is already daring enough. I can imagine that it will not work for some prog-rock funs, and most probably, not the second time. So my guess is, that there will not be such a thing, as the second Guilt Machine's album. I have a reason to believe, that that will not necessarily mean the end of the collaboration between Arjen and Lori. I already wonder, what they will come up with next.

One of Lucassen's talents is his ability to find the right people for his projects. For every one of them he succeeded to get the best vocalists there are to be found, and every time - the different ones! Well, if they collect stamps or dead insects, why can't somebody collect vocalists?.. This time he has attracted a young Belgian talent Jasper Steverlinck, who sings in the Indie band Arid, which is not something special yet, except for the vocals of course. His very flexible and rich voice perfectly fits in the Guilt Machine's concept, easily changing in order to show various emotions, from tenderness to despair.

The forth member of the project is Porcupine Tree's drummer Chris Maitland. With his tasty, modest and not too heavy work, he gives a nice finishing touch to Guilt Machine's compositions.

'On This Perfect Day' is a very solid prog album, definitely a must have for all Ayreonauts, and quite recommended for any progressive rock fun.

justaguy | 3/5 |


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