The second Star One album “Victims of the Modern Age,” the follow-up to the Star One debut album, “Space Metal” (2002).
For “Victims of the Modern Age” he reunited the stellar cast of lead vocalists from the Space Metal: Russell Allen (Symphony X), Damian Wilson (Headspace, Threshold), Floor Jansen (ReVamp, ex-After Forever), and Dan Swanö (Nightingale, Second Sky, ex-Edge Of Sanity). Ranging from soaring power vocals to hauntingly melodic passages to brutal growls, the contrasting vocal styles of these magnificent vocalists provide each song with a stunning variety of vocal textures.
When it comes to instruments, the tall Dutchman played the rhythm guitars, Hammond organ, Mellotron, Solina strings and analog synths himself, and invited drummer Ed Warby (Ayreon, Hail of Bullets, Gorefest) and bassist Peter Vink to lay down the powerful rhythm tracks. He also enlisted the intimidating solo skills of former After Forever keyboardist Joost van den Broek and guitarist Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery), each of whom provide their trademark scorching solos.
On top of this formidable cast, Lucassen recruited three other singers — Mike Andersson (Cloudscape, Full Force, Silent Memorial), Rodney Blaze, and former Black Sabbath front man Tony Martin — for some additional tracks to be featured on the album’s CD2 (Special Edition only). These tracks are by no means just leftover “bonus” tracks; they are, as Lucassen puts it, “songs that didn’t fit in with the overall sound and concept of ‘Victims of the Modern Age,’ but were simply too good not to use. These songs also gave me the chance to work with other fantastic vocalists who aren’t part of the actual Star One line-up.”
Arjen describes the concept of “Victims Of The Modern Age” as follows: “I based the songs on dystopian and post-apocalyptic sci-fi movies that have made an impression on me throughout my life. Unlike the first Star One album ‘Space Metal,’ where all the songs were set in space, this time most of the songs take place right here on Earth. No, I’m not going to tell you which movies inspired the tracks — that would spoil all the fun! And I do hope that the dark subject matter won’t keep people from enjoying this journey through time to some of the more grim possible outcomes for humanity’s future.”
Compared to 2002’s “Space Metal,” the overall sound of “Victims Of The Modern Age” is darker, heavier, more guitar-oriented, and slightly less “spacey.” Arjen has also raised the bar significantly when it comes to the album’s sound: “I think it’s my best sounding album to date; it’s a huge difference compared to the first Star One. For the guitars I spent weeks experimenting with different amps and settings in every combination imaginable — and it was worth it. The drums sound fantastic, and the vocalists all outdid themselves, putting in even stronger performances than they did the first time around.”
Victims of the Modern Age is available in two editions:
Limited Edition first pressing 2-CD Mediabook: CD1 contains the 8 album tracks, CD2 contains 5 extra tracks plus a behind the scenes video documenting the making of the album.
1] Down the Rabbit Hole (01:20)
2] Digital Rain (06:23)
3] Earth that Was (06:08)
4] Victim of the Modern Age (06:27)
5] Human See, Human Do (05:14)
6] 24 Hours (07:20)
7] Cassandra Complex (05:24)
8] It’s Alive, She’s Alive, We’re Alive (05:07)
9] It All Ends Here (09:46)
CD2 (Enhanced Multi-media CD)
1] As the Crow Dies (04:42)
2] Two Plus Two Equals Five (05:04)
3] Lastday (04:46)
4] Closer to the Stars (05:11)
5] Knife Edge (ELP cover) (04:25)
6] The Making of Victims of the Moedern Age (36.00)
There is also a “Regular Edition” 1-CD jewel case with 8 album tracks. This version does NOT contain the second CD of audio and video.
Sir Russell Allen
Arjen Anthony Lucassen
(guitars, Hammond, Mellotron, Minimoog, Solina strings)
Joost van den Broek
Special guest vocalists