Star One - Space Metal
InsideOut Music
"Sci-Fi" Progressive Metal
10 songs (55:45)
Release year: 2002
InsideOut Music
Reviewed by Mike
Untitled Document

Formed by Arjen Anthony Lucassen, Star One plays guitar driven progressive metal featuring many guest vocalists providing varying moods from song to song. Dan Swano (ex-Edge of Sanity, Nightingale), Russell Allen (Symphony X), Damian Wilson (ex-Threshold), and Floor Jansen (After Forever) all contribute their vocals to this album. Robert Soeterboek (Ayreon) sings the backing vocals. Jens Johansson (Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio, Stratovarius) also makes some contributions on Space Metal as well. Space Metal is not a continuous story like some of Arjen's previous works. Each individual track on this album is based on one of Arjen's favorite science fiction space films.

As for the music itself, the guitars are in the forefront of the sound accompanied by thick keyboard/synth lines to give the songs a special "science fiction / outer space" atmosphere. These "outer space" synth effects are very well done and remind me of the sounds found in some older sci-fi movies of the 70's and 80's. The riff work is tight and meticulous and the bass guitar has an exceptionally thick and driving presence to give each song a sense of urgency. Considering that some of Arjen's previous work has not been that heavy, I am pleasantly surprised with the overall power and energy of Space Metal. From an interview I had read with Arjen, he fully intended to focus this release more on guitar driven metal - and he certainly has. The songs themselves are extremely catchy as the aforementioned group of vocalists put together some amazing harmony vocal lines (checkout The Eve of Ra which is a great example). The vocal services of each of the guest musicians are used strategically in each song to portray a mood that Arjen envisions from the almost angelic chorus line found in Songs of the Ocean to the dark, ominous mood of Sandrider.

The production is crystal clear and allows each tap of the cymbal, and every synth/keyboard affect to be heard as if you are there in the studio. After listening to this CD, I feel as if Arjen has taken me through the farthest reaches of space and back again. He has certainly captured his intense interest for outer space sci-fi movies in his music with this album. I should mention that the last three tracks of the album aren't quite as intense and memorable as the rest of the album. They are still good songs, but they are easily overshadowed by some of the absolutely killer songs that exist on this album.

If you like prog metal and have an interest in sci-fi and outer space films, this is the release you are looking for. Prog fans in general should jump on this release as it features some excellent song structures that are much enhanced by the diverse talent pool Arjen has recruited for this project. The production and musicianship is top notch and I am sure the album sounds just as Arjen had envisioned it before he entered the studio.

Killing Songs :
Set Your Controls, Songs of the Ocean, The Eve of Ra, Sandrider
Mike quoted 84 / 100
Aleksie quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Star One that we have reviewed:
Star One - Victims of the Modern Age reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 90 / 100
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