Rating:
8.4
Star One - Space Metal
April 2002


Disc I
01. Lift Off
02. Set Your Controls
03. High Moon
04. Songs Of The Ocean
05. Master Of Darkness
    1 - Master Of Darkness
    2 - Laserfight
06. The Eye Of Ra
    1 - Gateway To The Stars
    2 - The Eye Of Ra
    3 - The Seventh Sign
07. Sandrider
08. Perfect Survivor
09. Intergalactic Space Crusaders
10. Starchild
    1 - One By Four By Nine
    2 - Starchild
    3 - A New Sun

Disc II [limited edition bonus]
01. Hawkwind Medley
    1 - Master Of The Universe
    2 - Silver Machine
    3 - Psychedelic Warlords
    4 - Brainstorm
    5 - Assault And Battery
    6 - The War I Survived
    7 - Space Is Deep
    8 - Spirit Of The Age
    9 - Lost Chronicles
02. Spaced Out
03. Inseparable Enemies
04. Space Oddity [David Bowie cover]
05. Starchild [mixed In Dolby Pro-logic version]
06. Spaced Out [alternative version]
07. Intergalactic Laxative [Donovan cover]


In my eyes Arjen Anthony Lucassen is one of the absolute heroes of our scene today. Over the course of a few years he has made a lot of great albums with a number of bands. What's even more astonishing though, he has made a lot of great songs in different styles. Everyone can knock out a few songs in a trademark style but how many can do it when switching between rock, pop, folk, ambient, progressive, metal and many more genres? Well there doubtlessly are very few, and Arjen Anthony Lucassen is amongst them, I ever dare to say, he's best at it.

This review however is dedicated to only one shading of the Dutchman's rainbow of genres. It's about Star One's Space Metal. Basically the title of the album already perfectly describes the style. It's space rock's older heavy metal brother. To those of you wondering what space rock is, please let me explain. It's a progressive and psychedelic type of rock music which utilizes a lot of instrumental parts and a very dominant use of synthesizers. The general music is usually slow and the guitars often have a very experimental touch to them. A lot of space rock uses ambient music as well and bands of this style mainly employ science fiction lyrics. Examples would be Hawkwind and, more broadly known, Pink Floyd. So space metal is basically all of that, but in a heavy metal package.

This album contains a lot of what can be called Arjen's trademark keyboard and guitar sound. The drumming is, as on the Ayreon albums, done by Ed Warby, whose strength lies in his tight execution. Lyrically the album revolves around some of Arjen's favourite science fiction movies. This includes Star Gate, Star Trek, Star Wars and many other starry things. Speaking of which, the guest stars on this album are shining greatly as well. Especially Damian Wilson and Sir Russel Allen do an amazing job on the vocal section. The other half of it of the vocal part consists of Dan Swanö, who really doesn't manage to convince me throughout the whole album though, and Floor Jansen who does a good job, but isn't anywhere near the greatness of Wilson and Allen. Jens Johansson and Erik Norlander threw in a few synth solos as well. The bulk of the music, though, is created by Lucassen who does the bass, Hammond, mellotron, analog synths and solina strings here. And of course he wrote the whole album.

The cover art isn't really much but the booklet in the limited edition is great. There is a wonderful and fitting picture made especially for every single song. There's also a second disc on the limited edition, but to be honest it really wasn't able to blow me away nearly as much as the album, so I've barely listened to it till now.

Musically this CD is extremely interesting to listen to because it's so interesting and so "spacey." It's also extremely catchy and it really seems impossible for me to not sing along to songs like Intergalactic Space Crusaders and Songs Of The Ocean. Technically it's also absolute top notch.

I recommend this album to everyone who likes an interesting and "special" CD once in a while and of course all fans of Ayreon. Actually this album is catchy enough that generally any fan of melodic metal, be it heavy, power, progressive or whatever else, will be able to appreciate this for what it is. A homage to creativity in music.

Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 10
Production: 8


Band profile: Star One
Album: Space Metal


 


written by Bas | 10.05.2007


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.

Guest review by
Immortalist

Rating:
10
Arjen Lucassen is mainly known for his band Ayreon, which makes it quite a surprise that so few people are aware of his another project called Star One. The style of Star One is not as similar to Ayreon as you would think. Progressive elements remain in this music, but not as strongly as they can be heard when listening to Ayreon. Star One's music could be called space-themed progressive heavy metal. Here Arjen has clearly taken some influences from one of the fathers of the space rock-genre, Hawkwind.

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published 26.08.2005 | Comments (12)



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Bitch Boy - 11.05.2007 at 05:08  
This review is perfectly written, it explains the whole essence of the album. I only disagree with what you said about Floor, but I totally agree with the rest. I must give a try to the limited edition but I think that, as you said, its content isn't as good as the album itself.
Susan - 11.05.2007 at 05:12  
Written by Bitch Boy on 11.05.2007 at 05:08

This review is perfectly written, it explains the whole essence of the album. I only disagree with what you said about Floor, but I totally agree with the rest. I must give a try to the limited edition but I think that, as you said, its content isn't as good as the album itself.


Ditto!!! Great review, lots of good points but give Floor a break She didn't have a lot of big "parts" and couldn't show off as much as the others but she kicked ass with what she had (in my oh so humble opinion, heheh)

I love this album, thanks for reviewing it
Storchillarn - 13.05.2007 at 10:01  
Great review! I really like Ayreon but I haven't checked out this side-project. Now I feel I have to...
Thryce - 13.05.2007 at 15:16  
Indeed, great review of a great album. I remember it took me a while to find this album somewhere. And I initially was looking for it because of the contributions of Dan Swanö.

As said, a very creative and experimental album but also a highly succesful effort! Makes me want to listen to it again.

"Space Metal" is surely a recommendation. It's a discovery of a superb piece of metal.

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