Victims of the Modern Age

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Band Name Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One
Album Name Victims of the Modern Age
Type Album
Data de aparición 01 Noviembre 2010
Estilo MusicalProgressive Heavy
Miembros poseen este álbum63


1. Down the Rabbit Hole 01:21
2. Digital Rain 06:23
3. Earth That Was 06:09
4. Victim of the Modern Age 06:27
5. Human See, Human Do 05:15
6. 24 Hours 07:21
7. Cassandra Complex 05:24
8. It’s Alive, She’s Alive, We’re Alive 05:08
9. It All Ends Here 09:47
DISC 2 (Limited Edition)
1. As the Crow Dies 04:42
2. Two Plus Two Equals Five 05:05
3. Lastday 04:47
4. Closer to the Stars 05:11
5. Knife Edge 04:25
6. The Making of Victims of the Modern Age (Video) 36:07
Total playing time 1:53:32

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Crónica @ darknessguide

08 Noviembre 2010
The name of the Dutch genius Arjen Lucassen, one of the main suspects behind the permanent endurance of progressive into the contemporary heavy music industry, has long pass turned into a template of brilliant grade. The actual work marks a semi-anniversary – 30 years on stage with a start under the shadow of the "first love" of the maestro – the electric guitar, in bands like Vengeance and Bodine. The subsequent solo career built a bridge between those first music steps which stayed under the radar and what is to this day the essence of the true creative of Arjen – namely masterpieces as Ayreon, Star One, Stream of Passion, Ambeon, etc.

Eight years stand between the cosmic debut of Star One and his newly born successor – a time interval during which the focus was mainly fixed upon the massive prog-metal opera Ayreon, the most respected offspring of Mr. Lucassen. The year of 2009 saw the birth of Guilt Machine, a side project with a modest participation of only one vocalist, something uncommon for the grand plans of the mastermind. Gradually, the response wasn’t delayed and "Victims of the Modern Age" was brought to light – the highly anticipated second Star One album, which, despite being more straightforward, comes to show who the real Godfather of progressive metal is.

The successful formula behind the multi-star cast is exercised once more – in Arjen’s own words, once you’ve worked with the most qualitative singers in the world, it’s logical to repeat the same experiment yet again which is why "Victims of the Modern Age" shines brightly with the magnificent partnership in the quartet Russell Allen (Symphony X), Damian Willson (Threshold), Dan Swanö (Edge of Sanity, Demiurg) and Floor Jansen (ReVamp, After Forever). The second trick is the instrumental side of the epos, coming to live thanks to the alien keyboards of Joost van der Broek (After Forever), the guitars of Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery), the thick bass of Peter Vink (Ayreon), the drum attacks of ?d Warby (Hail of Bullets, Gorefest) and the contribution of the Maestro himself, who is in his dualistic role of both executor and composer all at once.

As for the album, it shares a common lineage with its predecessor – as much musical as lyrical, which exhausts most of the principal aspects between the two magnum opuses. There’s an anxious dystopian feeling soaked into each and every sound of the effort – one of the heaviest works in the entire discography in a long time, deriving from the obvious guitar domination turned into a trademark of the tracks. Once again, the concept story is inspired by Arjen’s favorite Sci-Fi movies, but the action is finally brought down to Earth, presented through a crucial post-apocalyptic prism of perception.

Somber vitality, energy and violent power make their way through the compositions – the analog intro "Down the Rabbit Hole" greets the listeners with the well-known Hammond B-3 organ and flows together with the keyboard manner of "Digital Rain" (The Matrix) with the first vocal bacchanalia of many to come. "Earth That Was" (Firefly) and "Victim of the Modern Age" (A Clockwork Orange) are two of the most typical songs in the entire record, party-coloured with a solid guitar overdose as a basis for the singing equilibristic which the performers unleash as if on a signal. "Human See, Human Do" (Planet of the Apes) takes a sudden power metal twist when Ed Warby and Joost van der Broek brand the track with an incandescent virtuoso drum-key synchronization, polished by the contrast between Floor’s electrifying voice and the low-pitched growls of Dan Swanö. The peak "24 Hours" (Escape from New York) is an unquestionable territory of Damian and Russell who write their own history with the vocal duet of the year; "Cassandra Complex" (12 Monkeys) and "It’s Alive, She’s Alive, We’re Alive" (Children of Men) enrich the mosaic with a hard rock fragmentary, while the 10 min. long pseudo-doom reverence "It All Ends Here" (Blade Runner) weaves all vocal lines in one sonorous mix with a razor-sharp distributed unison. The bonus tracks from the second CD deserve additional compliments – "As the Crow Dies" (The Road) is entrusted to Mike Andersson (Cloudscape), "Two Plus Two Equals Five" (1984) is in the hands of Rodney Blaze, "Lastday" (Logan’s Run) surprises with the hippie effusions of Arjen; in the Black Sabbath wannabe "Closer to the Stars" (Gattaca) we even get to hear Tony Martin himself, and the cover of Emerson, Lake & Palmer - "Knife Edge", marks a thrilling finale of the entire musical setting.

Defining the record as "the progressive metal album of the year" is unnecessary enough, for the throne always remains vacant by default until Arjen decides to please his followers. Carved with a sense of details as if by a classical composer who went through time, with a power capable enough to rival the cruel messages of the legendary "War of the Worlds" interpretation of Jeff Wayne – this is "Victims of the Modern Age" in flesh and blood. An intoxicating experience, presented to us by one of the very best.

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