Released: 2010, InsideOut
I really loved the debut album by Star One. Back in 2002 I gave SPACE METAL a perfect score on this very site. I was also really impressed by the Live follow up and the DVD. My expectations were really high for this next installment, and I disappointed to say VICTIMS OF THE MODERN WORLD doesn’t match up.
Star One is Arjen’s project to get darker and heavier than his other works. I admire that and saw that vision realized in the debut. The album is a bit too keyboard heavy. Don’t get me wrong; I love keyboards. I’m not one of these ‘Keyboards Aren’t Metal’ type of guys. However, when the instrument replaces the guitar as the key instrument much of the time, I’m not as pleased. There are a few heavier moments like on ‘Human See, Human Do’ but the album seems to have been held back a notch.
It’s not a bad album by any means. The production and presentation are top-notch. It sounds great! It a vocalist paradise with the usual cast of characters dropping by for a guest vocal slot or two, namely Russell Allen, Damien Wilson, and Dan Swano among others. We hear little hints of very gruff vocals for which come out of nowhere in cuts like the title cut. Ed Warby puts in a good performance as always. It’s well arranged and composed, good songs but they aren’t as instantly memorable in my mind.
The album has a lot of depth and character and is very enjoyable. The band has embraced a similar Sci-Fi theme but more along the lines of man’s alienation in modern times as the title would suggest. Arjen in pre-release material says it’s heavier and darker but I’m not hearing it. When considering your purchases and listening choices, keep in my mind my rating of this album reflects the fact that it is an above average album, I like it but my comments are tempered by my love for the debut.