Review ARJEN ANTHONY LUCASSEN’S STAR ONE ‘Revel in Time’

Arjen Lucassen is a very well-sounding name in the world of rock and metal. The Dutch musician and producer is a constant deliverer of excellent music that is beyond writing songs only. What Lucassen offers are compositions based in a sheer endless creative flow it seems.

Lucassen cleverly steers his creative output into two directions with quality being the common theme. There is with Ayreon the very story-based and narrative outlet with music that reminds more of a musical with the storyline being one guiding principle. And there is Star One, being the deliverer of excellent music that allows the musicianship of everybody involved to shine even brighter. This time Lucassen release with the latter a new album called ‘Revel in Time’.

Next to the excellent songwriting skills, the humble Dutchman also can rely on a huge network which allows him to always invite numerous guests for appearances on the longplayers. The first albums had with Floor Jansen, Russell Allen, Damian Wilson and Dan Swanö excellent singers that shared vocals and interacted within each of the songs. All four are also part of ‘Revel in Time’, but travel restrictions forced Lucassen to adjust the success formula while sticking to the high qualitative level. Since people had a hard time to travel, vocals have been recorded at several places which means that there is just one lead singer for each of the tracks.

Instead of only having the four known voices on board, the album also features additional guests which makes ‘Revel in Time’ equally exiting and maybe adds an extra layer of thrill to the mix. Thinking about Jeff Scott Soto’s great performance for the epic ‘Back from the Past’ makes me think of some glorious Rainbow times. Not to forget in this context is the amazing guitar solo of Ron Bumblefoot Thai, who isn’t the only six-string artist that can be listened to on ‘Revel in Time’.

Steve Vai, Michael Romeo, Joel Hoekstra, Adrian Vandenberg and a few more axemen added a piece to the total and ensure the greatness of each of the tracks on the third Star One album.

It doesn’t make any sense to highlight some of the songs since they are all equally good. What makes ‘Today is Yesterday’ to a slightly different one though is the rougher voice of Dan Swanö which is in great contrast to the female backing vocals.

As the previous longplayers also ‘Revel in Time’ is built on a concept that gives the songs a thematic framework that is less tight and narrow as it is with Ayreon. Lucassen takes his inspiration for Star One releases from movies and here it is ‘Time’ being the common denominator. Inspired by sci-fi movies and a title that relates to a well-known quote from the ‘Blade Runner’-movie, ‘Revel in Time’ looks at the manipulation of time from different aspects. The theme creates a connection without starting an obligation for dependency.

‘Revel in Time’ is the anticipated next great delivery from Arjen Lucassen. Eleven striking songs is what this album entails and for the ones that might not get enough from Star One, there is a CD II which includes the same tracklist and follows the header ‘same songs, different singers’. These versions are the guide songs and they are for sure worth to be listened to as well. So there is a lot of Star One to enjoy.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Tracklist:

1. Fate of Man
lead and backing vocals: Brittney Slayes
guitar solo: Michael Romeo

2. 28 Days (Till the End of Time)
lead vocal: Sir Russell Allen
guitar solos: Timo Somers

3. Prescient
lead and backing vocals:
Micheal Mills and Ross Jennings

4. Back from the Past
lead vocal: Jeff Scott Soto
guitar solo: Ron Bumblefoot Thal

5. Revel in Time
lead vocal: Brandon Yeagley
guitar solos: Adrian Vandenberg

6. The Year of ’41
lead vocal: Joe Lynn Turner
vocalization: Will Shaw
guitar solo: Joel Hoekstra
synthesizer solo: Jens Johansson

7. Bridge of Life
lead vocal: Damian Wilson

8. Today is Yesterday
lead vocal: Dan Swanö
Moog synthesizers: Lisa Bella Donna
guitar solo: Marcel Singor

9. A Hand on the Clock
lead and backing vocals: Floor Jansen
Hammond solo: Joost van den Broek

10. Beyond the Edge of it Al
lead vocal: John Jaycee Cuijpers
guitar solo: Arjen Lucassen

11. Lost Children of the Universe
lead vocals: Roy Khan
choir: Hellscore Choir
guitar solo: Steve Vai

Label: Inside Out Music

Genre: Prog Metal

Release Date EU: February 18th, 2022

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