|Review: Star One - Victims of the Modern Age|
|Victims of the Modern Age|
Label: Inside Out Music
Year released: 2010
Genre: Progressive Power Metal
Review online: November 1, 2010
Reviewed by: Hermer Arroyo
for:Victims of the Modern Age
Rated 4.07/5 (81.43%) (14 Votes)
This is the second album for Star One, a side project of Ayreon's guitarist Arjen Anthony Lucassen. For those that don't know, this band plays a brand of Progressive Power Metal based on sci-fi concepts (movies, books, etc.), therefore this is different from his main band. But if you have listened to Space Metal then you know what to expect here, as Victims of the Modern Age is really a continuation of that sound. And that is fine by me since I loved their debut and I didn't want them to change all that much.
The album has once again the same talented singing cast that was on the debut (Russell Allen, Damian Wilson, Floor Jansen, Dan Swano). Needless to say that each of them shine on their own but a special mention must go to Allen. In short, he's fucking awesome, his identifiable voice elevates the tracks to another plateau, just listen to the title track, "Digital Rain" and "24 Hours". The rest of the musicians aren't too bad either, they do what is necessary to get the job done and even take some of the lead as it was the case with keyboardist Joost van der Broek.
Another part of the equation that makes this album so good is Lucassen himself, not only did he write all the songs here but he also plays the guitar and bass. He's one of the few songwriters that doesn't take all of the spotlight when doing a side project. He is smart enough to use the talents of the people he has recruited, not only that but he doesn't overstay his welcome. The songs themselves also are a little bit improved compared to the debut, they are more complex and have more variety while maintaining the same level of catchiness and accessibility.
On the other hand, this is not a perfect record. Some of the songs are a bit too long for their own good as is the case with the closer "It All Ends Here". But the positives of Victims of the Modern Age far outweigh the negatives and after listening to this album a bunch of times, I have to say that it was worth the eight-year wait. Is it better that Space Metal? I can't decide, but I know that this is a good album to have, especially if you liked the debut.
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