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


Guilt Machine


Progressive Metal

3.90 | 180 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Space Metal?

It is no mystery for anyone familiarized with Arjen Anthony Lucassen's many works and projects, like Ayreon, Star One, Stream of Passion, among others, that the mastermind behind all those projects is a huge Pink Floyd / space rock and science fiction fan. That is because, in almost every project he does, there is a reference to either one of those or even to all of them, as we can see in the Ayreon albums Into the Electric Castle and Universal Migrator part 1: The Dream Sequencer. The album On This Perfect Day, from Arjen's newest project so far, called Guilt Machine, is no exception to that rule: it is drenched with space rock influences, along with other classic / traditional progressive rock references and heavy metal touches. This mix creates a quite interesting music, something that is in a crossroad between space rock, heavy metal and classic rock, though being slightly more inclined towards space rock than the others parts of this musical concoction.

Guilt Machine, despite fitting in what you would expect from something made by Mr. Lucassen, have some differences that should be noted from his other works. In the first place, On This Perfect Day is much more rock driven than his latest Ayreon release, despite sounding quite closely to it and having some kind of a goth / depressive / dark tone to it, just like Ayreon's 01011001. The unrestricted usage of minor scales, organs and (somehow) dark-sounding synthesizers contribute heavily to that, along with the gloomy phrases spread throughout the album in a big variety of different languages. These features fit quite well with the direction taken here, because, let's face it, outgoing and bright space rock would be an oxymoron.

In the second place, there is only one singer! Well, two actually, but Arjen is only making backing vocals, so he doesn't really count for that matter. That is a huge reduction from what we are used to see in Ayreon (just for the sake of comparison, 01011001 had 16 guess vocalists). In the third place, On This Perfect Day is an album that is much more focused in making some music for the band, so the center of attention here is the band, in the contrary to what happens in traditional Ayreon albums and in some of Arjen's side projects, where there is more focus on the vocalist(s) than in the band. As a result, the music sounds simpler and the album sounds very balanced and cohere. By the way, this new vocalist Mr. Lucassen called to join the band has a very good voice and, overall, sings well. His tone and vocal timbre are quite pleasant and match very well with the music being played here, but there is one downside: when he tries to hit high notes or tries to sing forte, his voice (along with whatever he tries to deliver) suffers a lot.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Although having positive features, Guilt Machine's On This perfect Day is not perfect. The main reason for it is because the songs are not what we can call perfect nor the whole package is something that is worth that title. Despite starting very well, with the great song Twisted Coil, by the time the third and fourth songs are playing the album have downgraded itself from the exceptional to the average and good, respectively, reaching the rock bottom on the forgettable song Over. The album can recover much of its quality with the last song, but the damage was already done: though being far from bad, the album had the potential to me much better. Some of the problems that kept this album from being better are overlong songs, the vocalist trying to reach notes he can't or barely can and other minor things that simply break the mood of some song and the mood of the album. Gladly, such bad features are the exception, making Arjen Anthony Lucassen's space metal release highly enjoyable for anyone.

CCVP | 4/5 |


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