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Star One

Progressive Metal

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Star One Space Metal (Special Edition) album cover
3.95 | 99 ratings | 10 reviews | 24% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (55:44)
1. Lift-Off (1:13)
2. Set Your Controls (6:01)
3. High Moon (5:36)
4. Songs of the Ocean (5:23)
5. Master of Darkness (5:14)
6. The Eye of Ra (7:34)
7. Sandrider (5:31)
8. Perfect Survivor (4:46)
9. Intergalactic Space Crusaders (5:22)
10. Starchild (9:04)

CD 2 (38:19)
1. Hawkwind Medley (9:46)
2. Spaced Out (4:53)
3. Inseparable Enemies (4:15)
4. Space Oddity (4:59)
5. Starchild (mixed in Dolby Pro-Logic) (9:31)
6. Spaced Out (alternative version) (4:55)

Total Time 94:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Arjen Anthony Lucassen / guitars, bass, keyboards
- Ed Warby / drums
- Sir Russell Allen / vocals
- Damian Wilson / vocals
- Dan Swano / vocals
- Floor Jansen / vocals

Additional musicians:
- Jens Johansson / keyboards
- Erik Norlander / keyboards
- Gary Wehrkamp / guitar
- Robert Soeterboek / backing vocals
- Dave Brock / lead & backing vocals (Hawkwind medley)

Releases information


InsideOut #IOMA 2036-2

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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STAR ONE Space Metal (Special Edition) ratings distribution

(99 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(51%)
Good, but non-essential (19%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

STAR ONE Space Metal (Special Edition) reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 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.

Review by Menswear
4 stars Ayreon could've made a great mailman.

Yes indeed, as a conscentious mailman, Arjen delivers. He delivers music as easily as mail. And this record is a big brown box full of colorful explosives. A huge blend of mental fantasy, sci-fi movie addiction metal. This is absolutely 'what you see is what you get': space metal, period.

On the same vein of Universal Migrator part 2, Space Metal is mostly nothing new. You heard it before on Migrator 2 and Human Equation. What's up then? The concept, of taking his passion for sci-fi movies (Star Wars, Stargate, Star Treck and other stars...) and melting it into a song that relates the story instead of copying catch phrases ('Luke, I'm your father...' and such), is kinda cool. In fact, this was the main attraction for me with the need of hearing more melodic goodies by the same crew of super talented no-names (Wilson, Russell...).

And again, you cannot argue with results: it's metal in a spacey atmosphere. But actually, Migrator 2 was also (if not equally) spacey. But, credit goes to Star One by being less pedal to the floor and taking a bit more time to breathe. Wheew, thank you lord.

The main reason for the record company to make you pay 50 bucks for this special edition is of course the extra cd containing 3 more songs about movies (Enemy Mine being one) and the famous Space Oddity reprise by the thin white duke: Ziggy Stardust. There's also some tracks remixed and one compatible with the digital dolby pro-logic system.

Last but not least is the absolutely crazy 'Intergalactic Laxative'. I read somewhere this is an actual song written by long time Beatles friend Donovan. It's a quite clever song about how astronauts 'go number 1 and 2'. It's actually the first song about cosmic constipation I heard (and probably the only one!). Lucassen performed it only with an acoustic guitar in an irresistible Monty Python way. A real fan will enjoy more of Ayreon's gunpowered songs that's desintegrating speakers in such an effective way. A nice bonus, but the price of the cd is a tad high considering the cheap booklet unworthy of Ayreon's reputation. On top of that, can someone explain me why there's some Russian writing on the back on my jewel case? Strange indeed!

I would start here for discovering Ayreon, due to the redundant style of the record (being metal) and a tendency to make it more accessible. I think this time more than usual, Ayreon made a concept to please himself first. But the results were so great that Ayreon made a live album after and a successful DVD praised by...well..everybody I met who watched it. I'd give a lot to see Ayreon prancing around in an aluminium replica space suit a la Ace Frehley...Boy, cheesy town here I come.

Despite the classic metal approach, Lucassen will treat your ears VERY nicely with memorable yet complex melodies. Highlights like High Moon, The Eye of Ra and Intergalactic Space Crusaders will rock your world for days by drilling the choruses right to your brain.


Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars 3.5 stars.This is in the style of the AYREON projects with different vocalists singing the parts of people in the story line. These songs are taken from different Science Fiction movies or shows, and so we have "Space Metal". Floor Jansen from AFTER FOREVER really provides some beautiful backup vocals and lead vocals at times, Russell Allen from SYMPHONY X has the bulk of the vocal work though, and is outstanding !

"Set The Controls" opens with heavy duty drums and bass, and the guitar just smokes ! There is also some organ and two synth solos. I must admit i'm not a fan of the harmonies on this one. One of my favourites is "High Moon", it's heavy with chunky riffs and hammond organ. "Songs Of The Ocean" has an addicting beat to it, and some killer riffs. Floor, Damian and Russell share the vocals."Master Of Darkness" is another standout, with amazing solos by SHADOW GALLERY's lead guitarist Gary Wehrkamp. "The Eye Of Ra" contrasts light and heavy soundscapes.

"Sandrider" is one cool song, Dan Swano takes the lead on vocals for this one. "Perfect Survivor" features a great guitar melody, some organ play and some standout guitar riffs. "Starchild" features some beautiful soaring guitar and I like Damian's vocal presence. I'm so glad I got the "Special Edition" double disc. The second disc is as good as the first. And keeping with the space metal theme there is a HAWKWIND medley of songs for almost ten minutes with non other than Dave Brock doing the vocals on it ! It sounds fantastic ! The David Bowie cover "Space Oddity" again keeping in theme, is a refreshing cover.

I think AYREON fans will love this, unfortunately i'm not big on that style of music where it feels like i'm listening to a musical, even if it is Prog-Metal. And the harmonies bother me but I think that's just because it reminds me of AYREON

Review by evenless
4 stars Star One is a straightforward and hard-edge metal side-project which Arjen Lucassen created as a reaction to the soft and atmospheric Ambeon release a year earlier.

Although Star One was initially intended to be a single-singer project, it quickly transformed into a multi-singer project featuring singers Russell Allen, Dan Swanö, Damian Wilson and Floor Jansen, and later that year Arjen toured with most of this stellar cast during the Intergalactic Space Crusader Tour 2002.

Nearly all the songs are based on science fiction movies situated in space. The name Star One come comes from a 70s cult British television series named Blakes 7 in which an artificial planet called Star One is featured. The song Intergalactic Space Crusaders is also based on this series.

My personal favourites of this album are "High Moon" and "Intergalactic Space Crusaders", but all tracks are really worth it. I really don't see too much difference between Arjen's AYREON and STAR ONE, except that STAR ONE is about space. Yes, STAR ONE is somewhat heavier than "Into the Electric Castle", but with AYREON's "Human Equation" Arjen has also took a somewhat heavier approach on his latest AYREON album. To me STAR ONE is just as good as AYREON!

P.S. The Inside-Out double disc version comes with some great booklet and artwork!

Review by Tarcisio Moura
5 stars One of the best ever releases by the genius songwriter Arjen Anthony Lucassen: a mix of heavy metal guitars, spacey keyboards and sci-fi lyrics. Like always he is surrounded by great musicians (drummer extraordinaire Ed Warby, keboardists Jens Johansson from Stratovarius and Erik Norlander from the Rocket Scientists) plus superb singers: Russel Allen (symphony X), Damian Wilson (ex Threshold and Landmark), Floor Jansen (After Forever). With such stellar team he could hardly go wrong, but there is more: my CD edition has a bonus album that includes a homage to Hawkwind (a much underrated band) through a medley that includes that band´s leader, Dave Brock, as a special guest!

Of course the highlights are Lucassen´s inspired, melodic and strong compositions. The guy is such a great writer! he seems to write fantastic classics almost at will: High Moon, The Eye Of Ra, Songs Of The Ocean and so on. he is a master craftsman who understand like so few others how to blend heavy rock to progressive with balance and good taste. The production is superb, which helps to enhance the overall sound. The second CD has the Howkwind medley (a highlight, excellent!), two new, very good songs, Spaced Out and Inseparable Enemies, an only regular version of Bowie´s Space Oddity and two different versions of Stachild and Spaced Out.

Exciting, powerful, beautiful. A great record that was, deservely, a great success at the time it was released. If you like th mix of SF themes and prog rock, this is a must have. Highly recommended!

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Space Metal" is debut full-length studio album by Ayreon mainman Arjen Anthony Lucassen´s sci-fi progressive metal project Star One. The album was released through InsideOut Music in May 2002.

The music on "Space Metal" is unmistakably in the sound and style of Arjen Anthony Lucassen. The man has a distinct sound and an original songwriting style which is recognisable regardless of project or band name. The music on "Space Metal" is inspired by seventies and eighties symphonic and epic heavy metal. The spacy synth sounds which remind me sligthly of Hawkwind are a bit different from the usual Ayreon sound and all lyrics are influenced by different science fiction movies, but it´s really only the choice of lyrical theme and the spacy synth sounds that set Star One apart from Ayreon. Most tracks on the album are in the heavy mid paced and epic symphonic style that we know so well from Ayreon, while the last song "Starchild" is more epic and slow building. The material are generally of a high standard.

What is always exciting about Lucassen´s projects is his choice of guest vocalists and "Space Metal" is no exception. There are four different vocalists on the album. Russell Allen (Symphony X), Damian Wilson (Ayreon, Threshold, Headspace), Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Nightingale, Bloodbath, Maceration, Unicorn, Second Sky, Pan- thy-monium...among others) and the young female vocalist Floor Jansen (After Forever). They all sing different parts in the songs and in that way play different characters from the movies that the lyrics are about. This means that Russell Allen might sing the first vers of a song while Dan Swanö sings the chorus and Damian Wilson sings the second verse. This approach works brilliantly and and helps along the diversity of the album. The tracks are vers/chorus structured most of the time which gives them a somewhat formulaic sound. A few more experiments with that rather rigid formula could have worked wonders IMO.

Arjen Anthony Lucassen as usual plays all guitars, basses and keyboards except for a few guest appearences by people like Jens Johansson (Yngwie Malmsteen, Stratovarius) on keyboards and Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery) on guitar. The drums are as always on Lucassen´s projects played by Ed Warby (Gorefest).

The sound production is massive, heavy and clear.

From an objective point of view, there is not doubt "Space Metal" is a quality release, but personally it has always left me a bit cold. I hear brilliant vocal performances, professional instrumental performances and a detailed and professional sounding production but it´s the formulaic song structures that drags my rating down. Throw in a few surprises and "Space Metal" would have been a much more interesting album. Still a 3.5 star (70%) rating is fully deserved.

Bonus CD:

The special Edition of "Space Metal" features an extra CD with six tracks. Two of those tracks are alternate versions of "Starchild" and "Spaced Out". The other four bonus tracks are two outtakes, which are "Spaced Out" and "Inseperable Enemies" (both tracks are of equal quality to the tracks on the original album), while the last two tracks are a Hawkwind medley which includes among others "Silver Machine" and guest vocals by Dave Brock and "Space Oddity" by David Bowie. The Hawkwind medley is the most interesting extra feature on the bonus CD IMO but overall it´s a nice limited edition bonus CD which won´t change my overall rating though.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Science Fiction themes and incredible metal make a formidable combination! Star One's "Space Metal" is Ayreon's pet project that never disappoints with incredible compositions based on sci fi themes from novels, TV and movies. There are some genuinely masterful metal riffs, some played at blinding speeds, others breathing melancholy ambience. I love the way the songs are based on well known sci fi themes, and one listen to the lyrics makes it obvious to the average sci fi freak, such as myself. It is a pleasant surprise when one discovers what the songs are about, which are usually excellent sci fi films. Part of the fun is finding within the lyrics the references to specific sci fi icons. The players are icons of prog metal including on vocals Russell Allen from Symphony X, Damian Wilson, Floor Jansen from after Forever, Irene Jansen of Karma, and Robert Soeterboek, as well as guest Dave Brock of Hawkwind. Arjen Anthony Lucassen is the main lead guitarist, joined by After Forever's keyboardist Joost van den Broek, Peter Vink on bass, and Ed Warby on drums from Gorefest.

'Lift-Off' is a nice intro with spacey elements leading to 'Set Your Controls', a fast chugging riffer with awesome Ayreon style vocals. Manic keyboard wizardry, and cranking metal riffs drive this. The lead break is amazing, and this is one of the best album openers for Ayreon. Thematically it could be based on just about any saga where a spacecraft lifts off for an alien planet. Actually it is based on "Doctor Who" though you will have to listen carefully to pick up the references as I missed it and had to look it up.

'High Moon' has Deep Purple style grinding organ and the crawling metal riffs are awesome. The sound is huge with deep crunching riffs and slow vocals. It is all based on the movie "Outland" and certainly works as a tribute to the Sean Connery movie of the 70s. It follows the plot closely, the drugs, the deaths and the final shoot out in space. I love it.

'Songs Of The Ocean' has the trademark female and male voices working together that permeates the Ayreon albums. This one is based on "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" where the whales are transmitting important messages that cannot be interpreted or answered when whales are extinct in the future. So the Enterprise has to go back in time to the 80s when whales existed. It is in interesting idea and Star One capitalises on this "we survived the human race, but don't know the words to the songs of the ocean." It is a memorable melody and has some nice submarine effects. It segues seamlessly into 'Master Of Darkness'.

The next song is quite heavy with emotional deep vocals trading off with higher register vocals very effectively. Who is the master of darkness? Definitely based on the evil villain of just about any sci fi story. However this one is based on "Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back" though is not as blatant lyrically which is perhaps a good thing as it may have sounded corny if it had mentioned Luke or Darth Vader. 'The Eye Of Ra' is a longer song at 7:34, based on a traveller from another galaxy, finding a comet, gaining powers and finding a gateway to the stars; "Stargate" anyone? I am not a fan of the series but it definitely rings of the Egyptian themes in that saga. The song is great in any case, atmospheric and powerful, with great majestic vocals that are mixed to the front at the end but are a bit too bombastic really.

'Sandrider' must be based on "Dune" I speculated before I heard it, and I was right, Frank Herbert's classic novel is given the Star One treatment with admirable guitar ferocity and some fantastic keyboards. The low vocals are effective; "I had seen places man has never seen, am I the one to fulfil the prophecy on the desert planet in our galaxy." The Arabian style melodies enhance the atmosphere, as well as that brilliant lead guitar.

'Perfect Survivor' had me stumped for a while as to what is was based on until I heard the lyrics; "my secret mission brings me back to reality, I had to bring it back alive," thus it is from the point of view of robot Ash in "Alien". Other lyrics that indicate this include, "you should know that you all are expendable, I have been programmed to put you out of action." The riffs in this track are killer and very dark and it is a definite highlight of the album. The odd time sigs are augmented by powerful lead breaks and the harmonies are great too.

'Intergalactic Space Crusaders' begins with shimmering organ and a steady chugging metal riff. The lyrics are about a prison in space, and a man who has had his memory blanked, innocent dying, and 7 people fighting against the Federation's system, okay it is definitely "Blakes 7". The lyrics "dominator, Liberator" make it even more blatant. Now that I have ascertained what it is about I can enjoy the lyrics even more. I love how Star One are using sci fi themes from my favourite movies and TV shows. This has a strong melodic chorus and delightful keyboard solos. A fantastic song, and incidentally the title of the 'Star One' name is lifted directly from an episode title in the "Blakes 7" series.

'Starchild' is a 9 minute progressive track based on "2001: A Space Odyssey" of course. I knew that before it even started and then hearing the atmospheric opening with spacey vocal chorus and weird lyrics; "touch me now and feel my force", indicate the Monolith is speaking. Then we hear a different style of vocal singing, "something strange I feel confused I don't know why, I've been designed to tell the truth, I cannot lie," and it is obvious that HAL is speaking. It is interesting to hear from the computers POV here. It is one of my all time favourite movies so to hear it in song form is a compelling experience. Star One really captures the awe and mystery of Kubrick's classic, and the lead break soars beautifully. The lyrics even touch on the trip through the stargate, the all-seeing eye and the transformation of Bowman to the Starchild.

Disc 2 is a great bonus on the Limited Edition running for only 41 minutes but well worth it for a couple of masterpieces. One of these is 'Hawkwind Medley' an awesome Hawkwind feast of memorable melodies clocking 9:40. It is made all the better as legendary Dave Brock is on vocals and this is a must for all Hawkwind fanatics. A simply brilliant tribute to the band and very heavy. We have a terrific medley of such classics as 'Master of the Universe', 'Silver Machine', 'Brainstorm', 'Assault and Battery', 'The War I Survived', 'Spirit of the Age' among others. They blend together well and are an absolute delight to the ears.

'Spaced Out' is the next track of note, with a heavy riff and fast pace. The lyrics indicate that this is based on John Carpenter's iconic debut movie "Dark Star"; "emergency override, information overload, we are all about to explode." The keyboards on this are incredible and this rocks harder than a lot of stuff on CD 1.

'Inseparable Enemies' has a cool squealing riff driving it. The song is about the end of a war and coming to the realisation "that we are not alone". The "fortress in space" with men dying in a blood red sky could be based on many sci fi films or TV shows I have seen, such as "Babylon 5" or "Fortress" for that matter. "The birth of a brand new race, the turning of a new page" gave it away, as this is actually based on "Enemy Mine", though I had no idea till I looked that up. The music is a steady tempo and some accomplished vocals trading off enhance it.

'Space Oddity' is a darker amazing cover of Bowie's well known classic. The vocals have a Bowie-esque flavour but this is way different musically, with low droning synths and keyboard pads. The bridge is atmospheric with echo vocals, and the crescendo is a blast of really heavy distorted crunching riffs, then a clean guitar takes over beautifully. The result is a stunning cover version enhancing the rather sparse original on every level.

There is also a cover version of Donovan's 'Intergalactic Laxative', which works as a curio with some hilarious lyrics about the interminable problems of pooping in space. Moving on. 'Starchild' Mixed In Dolby Pro-Logic) is the same as the Disc 1 version apart from remastered mixing making it crisp and sharp. 'Spaced Out' (Alternative Version) is rather the same musically but the vocals are slightly different. Overall the bonus disc is worth getting for at least the cover versions.

Overall, the album is not the masterpiece of the follow up "Victims of the Modern Age" but this is still quality prog metal and has some fantastic songs and awesome sci fi themes to revel in.

Latest members reviews

4 stars I thank to Progarchives for letting me discover this wonderful album. I'm a huge fan of all Lucassen's works, and when I saw this album on this site i thought Arjen Lucassen doing space metal: a dream comes true!. Using a popular Lucassen's sentence: Is this a dream or is it real?. Well, sometime ... (read more)

Report this review (#207918) | Posted by Progghettaro | Saturday, March 21, 2009 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album is amazing! Space rock was a related genre to progressive rock in the late sixties, I think. This is a perfect fusion of Space Rock and Progressive Metal. Like Ayreon, it features many guest performers. The difference is that it doesn't have a set story. Instead, following in the foots ... (read more)

Report this review (#199796) | Posted by HammerOfPink | Monday, January 19, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I don't think I have ever heard a collection of songs that gets ones blood boiling like this one. "High Moon" and "Intergalactic Space Crusader" are two powerful forces of tonality that any prog listener should hear in their lifetime, combining heavy Deep Purple-esque organs with chilling chorals ... (read more)

Report this review (#150985) | Posted by the_old_pink | Thursday, November 15, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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