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Star One - Victims Of The Modern Age CD (album) cover


Star One


Progressive Metal

3.69 | 179 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer
3 stars 'Victims Of The Modern Age' - Star One (6/10)

Having grown a bit tired with the 'atmospheric and profound' musical direction he took with Ayreon and his other latest project Guilt Machine, musical mastermind Arjen Luccassen has decided to take his exploits in a different direction once again. Wanting to do something a bit heavier and primal, it seems natural that Arjen would pursue his most metal-oriented project, 'Star One.' Self-professed as 'space metal,' this music is based greatly on heavy guitar riffs, soaring technical vocals, and a sprinkling of psychedelic, otherwordly energy to let it live up to it's label. With his second bout with Star One, Arjen has created a fairly strong release that lives up to his reputation. 'Victims Of The Modern Age' will likely not go down in history as being one of Luccassen's better works, but it is enough to surely satisfy the majority of his fans.

Somewhere up above in the stars, Arjen Luccassen, Odin, and Jimi Hendrix and the like must be looking down on Earth in utter dissapointment. As one might guess from the album's title, the music expresses Arjen's disdain for the current state of things in society. With topics generally derived from dystopic science fiction (a prevalent theme in Arjen's work) there is a generally rebellious tone in the lyrics. While the themes Luccassen is covering here are certainly ambitious to say the least, the lyrics don't really feel up to par. While I found the lyrical content on most of his work with Ayreon to be very clever and effective, the lyrics are generally kept simplistic and contribute little to the overall enjoyment of the work.

In terms of the music itself, things are kept relatively heavy throughout. Driven by crunchy guitars and the thunderous percussion of Ed Warby, it is clear that this something other than Ayreon, despite obvious similarities the two may share. While Arjen is certainly an able guitarist and performer (as has been proven by much of his prior work), the riffs here are quite simple, and generally only serve to contribute to the songwriting. A few skillful guitar and keyboard solos grace the mix as well, but the real musical highlight here are the vocalists, as well as the way they are used in the music. Among the rest of the singers are Russell Allen (of Symphony X), Damian Wilson (of Threshold) and even Dan Swanö of death metal fame. The vocals here are generally very melodic, and many of the vocal lines are drenched in catchniess. The real star here is Damian Wilson, whose brilliant operatic tone works beautifully with the heavier atmosphere of the music.

'Victims Of The Modern Age' may be a good album to rock out to, but anyone expecting a masterpiece will be dissapointed here. While the music is well executed, Star One does not seem to have the same magical quality that many of Arjen's other projects have. The album seems to be what it was meant to be however; a fun and melodic dose of melodic heavy metal; the sort of thing that would be great to hear live someday. A pretty good album nontheless, and anyone starved to hear something from Arjen Luccassen should give this album a good listen.

Conor Fynes | 3/5 |


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