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GUILT MACHINE

Progressive Metal • Netherlands


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Guilt Machine biography
GUILT MACHINE is a progressive metal project by Arjen Lucassen of AYREON among many other projects and bands. It was formed earlier in 2009 in the Netherlands by Arjen Lucassen, Jasper Steverlinck (lead vocals), Lori Linstruth (guitar), and Chris Maitland (drums).

They have released one album as of now, titled "On This Perfect Day" under Mascot Records. The album is very impressive, and is surely one of the best 2009 albums. Arjen Lucassen pulled off another excellent project with GUILT MACHINE, and I hope to see more of them in the future. They will appeal to fans of AYREON, DREAM THEATER, and SYMPHONY X.

Why this band is on PA:

Undeniably a progressive metal project by Arjen Lucassen and approved by the Prog Metal Team.

-Written by Jeff Ballew (J-Man)

See also:

- Ayreon

Guilt Machine official website

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On This Perfect Day By Guilt Machine (2009-09-07)On This Perfect Day By Guilt Machine (2009-09-07)
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3.90 | 169 ratings
On This Perfect Day
2009

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GUILT MACHINE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 On This Perfect Day by GUILT MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.90 | 169 ratings

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On This Perfect Day
Guilt Machine Progressive Metal

Review by VianaProghead

4 stars Review Nº 92

As with Ambeon project, Guilt Machine is a Dutch progressive metal act, a project of the multi-instrumentalist and composer Arjen Anthony Lucassen, the mastermind of Ayreon. Their debut and only album, until now, "On This Perfect Day" was released in 2009. For this new project, Arjen (rhythm and acoustic guitars, bass, keyboards, mandolin and backing vocals), gathered new musicians around him like the singer Jasper Steverlinck, from a Belgian band called Arid (lead vocals), his current partner and manager Lori Linstruth, ex-Stream Of Passion (lead guitar), Chris Maitland, ex-Porcupine Tree and ex-Kino (drums) and still Ben Mathot (violin) and David Faber (cello).

Arjen wanted that Guilt Machine was a more manageable and small scale project with only one vocalist and few musicians. He wanted that Guilt Machine was built around one vocalist and two other musicians besides himself. So, beyond him and Lori, he had to find a singer that could cover the entire spectrum of emotions and who was also versatile enough to keep the listener's interest until the last track. He chose Jasper because he had a perfect pronunciation, had got an incredible broad range and his delivery was full of emotions. For drumming, he needed a drummer, with a different style of Ed Warby, who could hit hard when needed, but who would also be able to shine in the subtle passages. He chose Chris because he had proved in Porcupine Tree to be the versatile drummer he needed.

"On This Perfect Day" has six tracks. All music was written by Lucassen and all lyrics were written by Lori. The first track "Twisted Coil" opens the album. It starts out slowly and soft, and fluctuates between serene and atmospheric passages permeated by Lucassen's many keyboards and guitar patterns. It has moments of hard progressive rock with great intensity. The vocals of Steverlinck are very good, especially for someone that has never sung on a progressive album before. His soaring, passionate and yet husky delivery fits perfectly right here. The second track "Leland Street" is almost a Pink Floydian dreamy track where he puts on a powerful display, with more than a slight nod to Freddie Mercury, and is sure to catch even the strictest attention of the progressive rock fans. The verses are very atmospheric and almost a bit psychedelic and again Steverlinck is delivering both, power and emotion. As the previous track, it features also some backing vocals by Arjen. The third track "Green And Cream" rides the line between progressive rock and progressive metal with boldly. A highlight of the album, the song boasts several huge high points and is the closest to sounding like an Ayreon's song, with the folk-influenced melodies, acoustic guitar, and epic instrumental build up. So, once more, the main focus is again on the battle between the mellow atmospheric progressive and the mighty progressive metal. The fourth track "Season Of Denial" is a tranquil symphonic progressive track, mostly keyboard and vocal dominated, until some heavier riffs come into play towards the middle of the track. It was added to it rich instrumental textures including strings, choral effects and violin. The blaze of weighty guitar chords during the chorus is in stark contrast to the folky acoustic interludes. The fifth track "Over" is a song with equally large synthesizer parts, guitar solos, and varied vocals. It has a Floydian overture, vocals more in the vein of pop music and the choruses are in remembrance of bands such as Queen and Uriah Heep. It also reveals the Steverlinck's impressive vocal range. Easily in the camp of Freddie Mercury and Jeff Buckley, Steverlinck boasts a clarity and definition very impressive. In a certain way, it sounds to me like a mix of Queen and Uriah Heep. The sixth track "Perfection?" is a song of three parts with an acoustic led theme, succumbing to bombastic guitar and keyboards at the midway point and an anthemic conclusion with superbly choreographed vocal exchanges between Lucassen and Steverlinck. It's near 11 minute symphonic progressive gem featuring some nifty guitar riffs and plenty of orchestral keyboards and strings. It ends nicely the album with the most drastic instrumental sections of the album.

Conclusion: "On This Perfect Day" is a very solid and enjoyable release. I'm sure there are going to be plenty of Ayreon's fans who might balk at the overabundance of atmospheric and mellow moments here and miss the more upbeat and bombastic elements of Lucassen's other releases. This is an album that will take a few listens to really appreciate it. I couldn't discover any weak track on the album. All songs are of high quality level. Tuneful electric and acoustic guitar riffs, wonderful synthesizer waves, emotional shouting, inventive drumming and wonderful melodies. You get it all in this musical adventure. A special thing about the lyrics: They're very personal and emotional, written straight from the heart. Arjen combines guilt and regret, the two emotional themes into one, by using short lyrics in different languages. This is the ultimate fusion of progressive, heavy, pop, rock, electronic and space rock music.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 On This Perfect Day by GUILT MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.90 | 169 ratings

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On This Perfect Day
Guilt Machine Progressive Metal

Review by poito

4 stars Another one album project by Lucassen. The members vary but the composition is about the same, clean, filling, bombastic sound, catchy melodies and, in this occasion, great vocals by Jasper Steverlink and a few guitar riffs played with high sensitivity by Lori Linstruth. It does not move much from his style, but the material is good as usual, pleasant to the ear, carefully crafted, and varied enough. You know you are listening to Lucassen's. All themes have something, no highs, no lows. My favorite here is Green and Cream. One may think Lucassen's music is too similar to itself, but if the overall product is so pleasant, why change it. It's like a good dish of food. Although it is normally classified as prog metal, there is little metal here; rather it is floydian slow style, with some background repetitive motifs a la Philip Glass, the characteristic machine beating, and smashing keys a la Tangerine Dream. Lucassen is one of a kind.
 On This Perfect Day by GUILT MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.90 | 169 ratings

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On This Perfect Day
Guilt Machine Progressive Metal

Review by justaguy

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.

 On This Perfect Day by GUILT MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.90 | 169 ratings

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On This Perfect Day
Guilt Machine Progressive Metal

Review by Memo_anathemo

3 stars Guilt Machine is another project by the incredible Arjen Lucassen. The sound is pretty much similar to what he does with the project AYREON; however, with Ayreon is a project where he always invites a dozen of musicians from different bands to perform a conceptual album. Here, he just gathered a singer (Jasper Steverlinck, with an amazing voice by the way); a guitar player (Lori Linstruth, whose style of playing resembles all Ayreon's guitar riffs) and a drummer (former Porcupine Tree, Chris Maitland, with an accurate job). The album is really good, it is constant and well designed. Most of the tracks have the effects used by Lucassen in most of his projects, that may be the only drawback, because it is something not different, if you're expecting such thing. But if you love Ayreon's sound, definitely you will enjoy it!
 On This Perfect Day by GUILT MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.90 | 169 ratings

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On This Perfect Day
Guilt Machine Progressive Metal

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I'm not much of a fan of Arjen Lucassen, but I think this may be my favorite of his projects. Ayreon and Avanstasia are both good, but this project has a great amount of emotion and scale to it. On top of that, the music is interesting, as I'm not sure this is really prog metal. It is mostly driven my symphonics, and is augmented with a some great riffing and awesome vocals.

I have much respect for the unique aspects of this album. The female voice-overs are a great touch, as are the wonderful song structures. The themes display a great amount of profundity, especially the final track. Speaking of, I think the two best tracks are "Season of Denial" and "Perfection?" as these two tracks represent stunning structures and the whole array of styles displayed on this album. All in all, this a great and unique album that deserves at least a few listens.

 On This Perfect Day by GUILT MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.90 | 169 ratings

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On This Perfect Day
Guilt Machine Progressive Metal

Review by Daedalus

5 stars Guilt Machine is a new project by Dutch prog legend Arjen Lucassen. This is something different from his usual projects like Ayreon, in that the band only exists out of 4 members. This album is also different in that it's not a rock opera. It's not about sci-fi, not about fantasy, but instead the main theme of this album (as the band's name certainly suggests) is guilt. The style of the music on this album reflects that. This album sounds a lot darker and more melancholic than most of his others. All songs start out with some atmospheric sounds accompanied by people talking about guilt and everything involved with guilt in many different languages, giving an eery feel.

What's not different compared to his other albums, are the complex rhythms, harmonics and great variety in the songs. Most of the songs on this album start out softly, with subtle guitar play complimented by Jasper's magnificent voice, only to later burst out in a whirlwind of soaring guitar riffs combined with some very aggressive and powerful drumming. The album differs a lot from Lucassen's usual stuff, but you can still clearly hear his sound in hear. The guitar rhythms are unmistakeably Arjen's style. The album only counts 6 songs, but since most of the songs are very long (The shortest is 6:11 and 4 songs are just over 10 minutes) the album still clocks in at nearly an hour.

Twisted coil starts out slowly and softly, Jasper's voice complimented by some backing vocals from Arjen himself. At around six minutes the song takes a turn for the aggressive, and the heavy guitars kick in. Before the end it slows down for a bit, and then gets aggressive again, ending in a fantastic earthshaking finale.

Leland Street starts of particularly dark, with a rhodes like synth playing complimented by some great drumming by Chris Maitland, who really excels throughout the album as a showcase for his versatility. He has no trouble whatsoever playing the dark subtle parts and later playing some of the most aggressive drumming I've heard with the same ease. Again this song features some backing vocals by Arjen.

Green and Cream is probably my least favourite song on the album, though since I really love this album, that doesn't mean I think it's a bad song. In fact, it's still quite good.

Season of Denial is one of my favourites on the album. I'm still undecided as to whether I like this one better or 'Perfection?'. This is probably the darkest song on the album, and also one of the most powerful. It starts slow again with some really nice guitar play. Jasper's just has a fantastic voice, and he sings this song sublime. Seemingly having no problem to start out a song with a dark low tone, only to give a soaring finale which blows me away. After the intro a synth bass kicks in accompanied by a melotron choir, remembering me of the old Genesis song 'Entangled'. Occasionally this part is amplified by a well placed kick drum and crash, and then a beautiful violin solo. After this the chorus kicks in, the guitars getting progressively more powerful. From a single power chord, to some heavy palm muted playing, and then finally going all out and once again accompanied by the magnificent violin solo from before. After that it slows back down and showcases some really nice acoustic guitar play. The chorus in the finale is even more powerful than the chorus from before, with Jasper just going all out with that fantastic voice of his.

Over, at 6:11, is the shortest song on the album. But no lesser in quality. The song has a more traditional structure, with a regular chorus and regular verses. I've always found the guitar riff of Over rather strange, but still very pleasing. It's strange how it's somewhere in between uplifting and dark.

Perfection? is the brilliant finale to this brilliant album. As stated before, my favourite along with Season of Denial. I really love the first part here. The first verse and chorus are sung very low, and the second is the same but sung with a high voice instead giving a nice contrast. The song then bursts out into a massive wall of guitar riffs, organs and powerful drumming only to fall back into the soft intro chorus, and then taking a very different turn. The last part has some great lyrics. (What's one more year, a trip around the sun?) And after that it ends in a soaring finale, bringing this fantastic ablum to an end.

On This Perfect Day is one of the most enjoyable albums I've had the pleasure of listening to in the past few years. Especially Perfection? and Season of Denial are true masterpieces in my book. I'd give it a 4,5 normally, but since that's not a possibility I'm gonna round it down to a nice 5 star rating. I'm not quick to hand these out, but I truly consider this album a masterpiece. Bravo Arjen.

 On This Perfect Day by GUILT MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.90 | 169 ratings

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On This Perfect Day
Guilt Machine Progressive Metal

Review by praj912

5 stars Out of all the things Arjen Lucassen produces, I must say I that I like this the best. There's no cringey bits on this release, it's all moody and there's an underlying rage. It doesn't have the all star singers (aka "We are the world"/Dio's "Stars"), but it does has one great singer, clear and expressive with an excellent range.

Musically, there are lots of quiet moody melodic atmospheric guitars, keyboards, cello, many tension building sections which I love, heavy guitars when needed, and some tasty guitar solos. Very similar to where Ayreon is on 0111100110101010101001, with the industrial feel but less of the folk (...and, and, no cringe ;o).

The first four tracks are the heaviest, climaxing with Season of Denial. Track 5 takes a lighter path before the final track builds moodily to the heavy end.

It's a superb progresive metal album that'd appeal to more people than Ayreon, that's why I give it a 5, maybe 4.5 if I'm mean. P.S. The singer's own band "Arid" is alas, a bit average in comparison. So if you want hear him at his best, this is it.

 On This Perfect Day by GUILT MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.90 | 169 ratings

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On This Perfect Day
Guilt Machine Progressive Metal

Review by CCVP
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.

 On This Perfect Day by GUILT MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.90 | 169 ratings

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On This Perfect Day
Guilt Machine Progressive Metal

Review by Muzikman
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Arjen Lucassen's latest release for his new band Guilt Machine is On This Perfect Day. This release is a departure from the complex Ayreon projects that included a multitude of musicians and vocalists. Instead he favors one small consistent lineup made up of his partner, manager and lyricist Lori Linstruth (lead guitar) who was also with him in Stream of Passion, Jasper Steverlinck (lead vocalist) from Belgian alternative rock band Arid and ex- Porcupine Tree member Chris Matiland (drums) while Ben Mathot (violin) and David Faber (cello) contribute their fair share of well placed and appropriate parts and of course Arjen showing the way playing guitars, mandolin, bass, keyboards and providing some vocals. The album was recorded at Arjen's Electric Castle in the Netherlands.

This release is more interesting and unique because of the contributions of several people from all over the world speaking in their own language on life, regret, death, guilt, and human nature. Although you will not be able to understand what they are saying (well most of us won't) it lends a different atmosphere and kind of "get the chills" feel to the tracks. Lucassen has always had an ability to give each of his projects their own stamp of uniqueness and this one is no exception. I had no idea what to expect because I have always had some sort of insight prior to each release because of the ongoing story with Ayreon and the well known configuration of supergroups he would assemble for every project. I knew I would not be disappointed with On This Perfect Day, in fact it was a nice surprise and it turned out to be an excellent album.

There are six tracks on this CD; there is also a two disc special edition available with bonus tracks and videos. Not one of the tracks is less than six minutes with the longest being the lead off track "Twisted Coil" clocking in at 11:43. The lead singer Jasper Steverlinck sounds like he would have been a great for Arjen's previous projects but he does make his own distinct mark here. Also Lori is no slouch on lead guitar. I already respected her for the previous work I have heard but this output is exceptional. Arjen contributes immeasurable amounts of across the board talent as usual on guitars both acoustic and electric amongst other things. Chris is excellent with all the drum parts, driving the Guilt Machine along a steady course that seems to falter. If Jaspar sounds familiar it's because he was a guest vocalist on the third CD of Timeline on an unreleased song, called "Epilogue: The Memory Remains".

This is a fine collection of progressive rock tracks complete with the usual thought provoking album art and the bonus of the lyrics included with the CD booklet, which guarantees a reflective listen by anyone's estimation.

I think prog rock fans and avid Arjen fans will find complete satisfaction with this recording. I found no weaknesses to mention. At times you are reminded of the old Ayreon with some of the musical displays however that is quickly dispelled with the Guilt Machine stamp that sounds fresh and full of energy.

Arjen mentioned in an interview in Classic Rock magazine that he feels like there is a black hole in his life if there is no project to be working on, which explains his continuous flow of music every year. Listeners benefit from the workhorse methods of this great artist. I cannot help but wonder what could be next! This is a great way to usher in the new decade of prog rock.

5/5 Stars. Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck. ©MuzikReviews.com

 On This Perfect Day by GUILT MACHINE album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.90 | 169 ratings

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On This Perfect Day
Guilt Machine Progressive Metal

Review by Nightfly
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars It seemed that Arjen A Lucassen's had taken his excellent Ayreon project just about as far as it could go on last years 01011001 album. A fitting end (or will it continue?) to a highly enjoyable series of easily accessible prog metal albums that if that's it, went out on a high. I read somewhere that Lucassen had felt that he had perhaps gone a little overboard on the amount of vocalists used on the last Ayreon project. Of course a multi singer format was one of the recognisable features of Ayreon and I certainly don't share such views on 01011001. Still whether that's the case or not he decided to use the single vocalist format on On This Perfect Day and employed Freddie Mercury...er.... I mean Jasper Steverlinck. Okay joking aside Steverlinck's vocal style does bear an uncanny resemblance to Mercury but he's a fine singer in his own right. Hats off to Lucassen for taking a chance on a relatively unknown singer, Steverlinck coming from Belgian indie band Arid which might sound like an unlikely partnership but actually works very well.

It appears that Lori Linstruth on lead guitar has had a key role in Guilt Machine, not only musically but also writing lyrics, her and Lucassen making a complimentary dual guitar team. Drum duties are handled by former Porcupine Tree man Chris Maitland who not surprisingly does an excellent job. Lucassen also handles bass and keyboards.

I've read reviews on other sites that say that Guilt Machine is a departure from the Ayreon sound. I have to disagree with this line of thought as Guilt Machine clearly has Lucassen stamped all over it. To my ears if you take the Ayreon sound as a template but reduce the amount of metallic guitar riffs, replacing them with cleaner guitar sounds and increase the atmospherics you'll be somewhere near. The pulsing synth sequencers are still there from the off on opener Twisted Coil. Like most of the 6 songs it's quite long giving it time to create some musical tension and build from subtle restraint to a powerhouse of a riff of unison synth and guitar. Steverlinck's voice is suitably dramatic and fits the part well. In fact the album is book ended by the two best tracks and closes with the suitably climatic Perfection? which follows a similar format as it builds to an exciting high.

Between those two pieces the songs follow a similar format. Although there are heavier moments, the songs rely more on an atmospheric and melancholic approach, exaggerated by Steverlinck's vocals. There's occasional ambient moments, the songs in the main building through many layers, but still allowing room for the music to breathe, with light and shade punctuating the dramatic highs. Just when you think it's reached a natural high it moves up another level.

On This perfect Day is another well crafted, melodic and accessible album from Lucassen. On first hearing it sounds a bit ordinary but stick with it and it will reveal its charms. Not quite as good as the last two Ayreon albums which set a high benchmark but fans of that band and his other projects should find much to enjoy here.

Thanks to J-Man for the artist addition. and to CCVP for the last updates

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