Lucassen's Star One, Arjen Anthony - Space Metal

Year of Release: 2002
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMLTDCD 099
Format: CD
Total Time: 96:49:00

Arjen Anthony Lucassen has definitely left his footprint in the sands of musical history by outshining himself with every release under the Ayreon banner. Now it seems that he wanted to take a break from the Ayreon phenomena in form of Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One - Space Metal. Also worthy of mention is the fact that Arjen has aroused the interest of a major label in form of Inside Out Music and his latest release under this very capable label should finally give his music the attention and distribution it deserves.

Star One contains 10 individual songs, all of which are based on different science fiction movies that relate to individual scenes or stories. References can be found to classics such as Aliens, Star Wars and 2001: A Space Odyssey but I don't want to give away too much. While listening to Arjen's lyrical descriptions of the impressions and memories of those movies it caused me to instantly recall my individual experiences and thoughts when I sat to watch those movies for the first time and I might admit to being surprised of how real the experience became. The music does not trail off too far from his previous releases and the closest comparison points towards Flight Of The Migrator (the heavier version of the Universal Migrator).

As expected, Arjen employed a long list of well-known names for the realisation of this project and has not spared any expenses in making Space Metal once again one of the best produced discs on the music shelves to date. Vocalists are "sir" Russell Allen (Symphony X), Damian Wilson (ex-Threshold), Dan Swanö (Nightingale, Edge of Sanity) and the lovely Floor Jansen (After Forever) while a great deal of guitar and keyboard solos were performed by Jens Johansson (Stratovarius), Erik Norlander and Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery). Backing vocal duties went to Robert Soeteboek (Wicked Sensation) and everything else you might hear on the disc is performed and recorded by the master himself - Arjen Anthony Lucassen. Mattias Norén was in charge of the magnificent graphics and layout of the limited edition (book-style) digipack. I haven't seen the normal version of the album yet but going by previous works from Arjen, it is safe to say it would be looking just as good.

Speaking of the limited edition; it contains a bonus CD with 6 tracks opening with an over 9 minute long "Hawkwind Medley" featuring the original Hawkwind vocalist Dave Brock. This is the only song on the entire release that doesn't fit into the space theme but for a short resurgence of Hawkwind, what the heck. Arjen also covered David Bowie's classic "Space Oddity" (remember Major Tom?) but this is probably the weakest number on the whole release. For something different he repeated the longest song on the main album for the bonus disc. This track, "Starchild," was mixed in Dolby Pro-Logic for all those surround sound buffs out there.

Limited Edition or not, Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One: Space Metal reached a well-deserved perfect score.

Also was released as a single disc (disc 1) edition (IOMCD 099) and released in North America by the now defunct InsideOut Music America (IOMACD 2036)

[This review originally appeared November 2002 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Disc One: Lift-Off (1:13) / Set Your Controls (6:01) / High Moon (5:36) / Songs Of The Ocean (5:23) / Master Of Darkness (514) / The Eye Of Ra (7:34) / Sandrider (5:31) / Perfect Survivor (4:46) / Intergalactic Space Crusaders (5:22) / Starchild (9:04)

Disc Two: Hawkwind Medley (9:46) / Spaced Out (4:53) / Inseperable Enemies (4:15) / Space Oddity (4:59) / Starchild Mixed In Dolby Pro-Logic) (9:31) / Spaced Out (Alternative Version) (4:55)

Arjen Lucassen - guitars, keyboards, vocals, bass, mellotron, synths, Solina strings
Ed Warby - drums
Jens Johansson - keyboards
Erik Norlander - keyboards
Gary Wehrkamp - guitar solos

Russell Allen - vocals
Damian Wilson - vocals
Dan Swanö - vocals
Floor Jansen - vocals
Robert Soeterboek - backing vocals

Ayreon - The Final Experiment (1995)
Ayreon - Actual Fantasy (1996)
Ayreon - Into The Electric Castle (1998)
Ayreon - The Univeral Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer (2000)
Ayreon - The Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight Of The Migrator (2000)
Ayreon - Ayreonnauts Only
Ambeon - Fate Of A Dreamer (2001)
Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One - Space Metal (2002)
Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One - Live On Earth (2003)
Ayreon - The Human Equation (2004)
Ayreon - Actual Fantasy Revisited (2004)
Ayreon - The Final Experiment - Special Edition (2005)
Ayreon - 01011001 (2008)
Arjen Lucassen's Guilt Machine - Arjen Lucassen's Guilt Machine (2009)
Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One - Victims Of The Modern Age (2010)
Arjen Anthony Lucassen - Lost In The New Real (2012)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin VA

Added: November 26th 2004
Reviewer: Peter Fundeis
Artist website:
Hits: 640
Language: english


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