[Review] Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s Star One – Revel In Time

Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s Star One is a project of the poly-instrumentalist who differs from Ayreon and Ambeon, offering always Progressive but more Heavy-inspired sounds. With this project 3 albums have been released, all with the collaboration of illustrious names of the world Prog scene. The new album “Revel In Time” was released on February 18, 2022 via InsideOut Music and contains 11 tracks. As in the artist’s previous works, the plots are highly refined and each collaborating artist gives his own stylistic contribution to the tracks. The album opens with “Fate of Man” which opens with keyboard weaves and a tight and solid rhythm session, the guitar offers massive riffs. A very intense and energetic track, with continuous accelerations and technical passages of Prog Metal matrix, as well as the acute and dynamic vocal. The instrumental sections are good and at the end they offer an intertwining of solos between keyboard and Michael Romeo‘s guitar. The next track “28 Days (Till the End of Time)” has always harsh sounds but with a darker touch, with a fine keyboard background. The vocal is an added value for the sound, with an interpretation full of pathos, adapting itself to the various passages of the song. The malgamation between the instruments is excellent as well as the tempo changes that delight the listener by mixing harder strokes and other more Progressive ones with refined interweaving between guitar and keyboard. In the instrumental sections the lead guitar of Timo Somers stands out with virtuous inserts that duet with the keyboards. Positive synth melodies open “Prescient” which in the initial part has a more Symphonic atmosphere and close to quality Prog Rock. A winning blend of heavy strokes and symphonic openings with another convincing and very expressive vocal proof with the addition of good choral parts. A high-level composition, which enhances the most Progressive nuances of the Star One sound with continuous tempo changes and elaborate textures. “Back from the Past” is a blend of Hard Rock and Prog with rock-hard guitar riffs intertwined with keyboards over a solid rhythm session. The synth fits perfectly and the vocal adds energy to the sound, which in some tempo changes becomes heavier and darker. Bumblefoot gives us a virtuoso solo part, between tempo changes and engaging plots the track flows pleasantly. We arrived at the title track “Revel in Time” with modern Prog Metal sounds, characterized by heavy guitar riffs and a leading bass line. The vocal is dynamic and expressive and the keyboards bond well to the sound, mainly focused on the guitar both in the melodies and in the solo parts. The choruses are engaging and stay in the mind for a long time. Granitic guitar riffs that tie to the organ open “The Year of ’41,” characterized by an elaborate rhythmic session. The vocal is always an added value with solo and choral parts that follow one another very engaging. The second part opens with a guitar virtuosity in the instrumental section, and in the final the intensity increases and the piece accelerates by proposing the last vocal stanzas and the last solo and then closing in crescendo. “Bridge of Life” begins with the sound of a music box anticipating heavy guitar riffs and a massive rhythm session to which are added valuable keyboard textures. The vocal is very intense and creates engaging refrains and verses loaded with pathos, while the track develops between refined tempo changes. In the second part the orchestrations and choirs add a symphonic touch to the sound, which closes with the return of the central theme. With a heavier sound “Today Is Yesterday” presents a winning blend of Symphonic traits and more modern Metal with vocal interweaving between choirs and soloists. After a first part that approaches the Symphonic Metal, in the second part it accelerates and offers valuable guitar and keyboard works, in my opinion the best parts of the track. “A Hand on the Clock” is an excellent Metal song with a Prog streak and the excellent vocal of Floor Jansen that offers a convincing proof that differs from the sounds of his band. Good mixes between guitar and keyboard and the tempo changes enhance the technique of the artists involved with an organ solo that made me jump from the chair. Electronic keyboard sounds open “Beyond the Edge of It All” where Arjen’s compositional technique is enhanced, proposing elaborate textures and tempo changes of absolute value. Complex and refined but at the same time accessible and engaging with references to the sounds of Rainbow, with their own fresh and original personal touch. Atmospheric sounds and a pompous synth characterize the intro of the final track “Lost Children of the Universe” which is also the longest in duration. The Hammond brings us back to the sounds of the golden years of Prog, while the vocal sees the presence of Roy Khan and Tony Martin as guests, and Steve Vai on the guitar. compositions by Arjen. The work that the organ does is honey for the ears, as well as the intense vocal with engaging choral parts, while in the second part Vai‘s guitar offers a valuable solo. In the finale, the intensity increases and the piece accelerates to close with a pompous choral vocal. This artist always manages to propose very interesting and current works, always managing to keep up with the times and with the evolution of Progressive sounds. Star One is a project that differs from Arjen‘s other bands and this album shows a more Heavy facet of Prog. The compositions are enriched with elaborate but accessible and engaging plots, with the right dose of vocal parts and instrumental sections, enhancing the technique of all the artists involved. A listening recommended for lovers of the most modern sounds and Progressive Metal, a concentrate of good ideas and technique, thanks also to the presence of world-class guests.

Tracklist

01. Fate of Man (5:29)
02. 28 Days (Till the End of Time) (7:21)
03. Prescient (6:34)
04. Back from the Past (4:50)
05. Revel in Time (4:38)
06. The Year of ’41 (6:20)
07. Bridge of Life (5:14)
08. Today Is Yesterday (5:46)
09. A Hand on the Clock (5:52)
10. Beyond the Edge of It All (4:52)
11. Lost Children of the Universe (9:46)

Lineup

Arjen Lucassen / Guitars, Bass, Keyboards

With:
Brittney Slayes
/ Vocals (1)
Joe Lynn Turner / Vocals (6)
Floor Jansen / Vocals (9)
Roy Khan / Vocals (11)
Marcela Bovio / Backing Vocals, Vocals (2-1)
Irene Jansen / Backing Vocals, Vocals (2-9)
Tony Martin / Vocals (2-11)
Mike Andersson / Vocals
Joost van den Broek / Hammond
Lisa Bella Donna / Moog (8)
Ed Warby / Drums
Erik van Ittersum / Solina Strings
Steve Vai / Guitar Solo (11)
Timo Somers / Guitar Solo (2)
Michael Romeo / Guitar Solo (1)
Ron Bumblefoot Thal / Guitar Solo (4)
Hellscore Choir / Vocals

Arjen Lacassen |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|Spotify|YouTube Channel|

InsideOut Music |Official Website|Facebook Page|Twitter|Instagram|YouTube Channel|

Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

1 thought on “[Review] Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s Star One – Revel In Time

Leave a Reply