Star One

Battle Dagorath – II – Frozen Light of Eternal Darkness Review

Battle Dagorath – II – Frozen Light of Eternal Darkness Review

“Space is fucking big, and there’s an appropriately sizeable array of space-themed metal bands to match. Some artists approach the infinite blackness with a sense of child-like wonder, with bands like Star One and Keldian playing up sci-fi tropes in admiration of the majesty of the star ocean. Others, like Darkspace, channel the cosmos as an unparalleled force of nature; empty, suffocating, and impossibly cold. Battle Dagaroth, a band I had expected to be pure Summoning worship based on their name and ‘atmospheric black metal’ tag, is yet another act intent on aurally replicating the incomprehensible vastness of space.” In space no one can hear you frown.

The Gentle Storm – The Diary [Vinyl Review]

The Gentle Storm – The Diary [Vinyl Review]

“It’s not news that I’m a big fan of Arjen Lucassen’s output from the last 5 or 6 years. Starting with 2009’s unparalleled Guilt Machine, Arjen has released a string of records that I love. In full defiance of Angry Metal Guy’s Law of Diminishing Recordings™, the “poofy-haired Dutchman” has seemingly upped his game on every release: a great solo release, a seriously enjoyable Star One disc, and a stellar Ayreon album which landed #2 on my Top 10(ish) of 2013. So it was with unabashed enthusiasm that I began my countdown when I heard he was working with Anneke van Giersbergen, formerly of The Gathering, on a project entitled The Gentle Storm.” And it’s not like anticipation has ever led to disappointment or anything…

Arjen Lucassen – Lost in the New Real Review

Arjen Lucassen – Lost in the New Real Review

A few years back when Guilt Machine released, Arjen Lucassen (of—deep breath—Ayreon, Star One, Arjen Lucassen, Guilt Machine, Galexia, Stream of Passion, Vengeance, Ambeon and a myriad of other projects I probably don’t even know exist) is reported to have said that if he’d had to do it over again, Ayreon would have sounded like Guilt Machine. Whether that was just talk in the build up for a new record or not, it appears that to a certain extent he meant it, as his new Lost in the New Real sounds like the combination of the two projects. On the one hand, Lost in the New Real is a concept record and (faux) double album, featuring the dulcet tones of Rutger Hauer as narrator and “psychologist,” like one would expect from an Ayreon record. However, like Guilt Machine, the record features primarily only one vocalist (Arjen himself), and the music is largely a post-Pink Floyd progressive rock heavy with atmospherics and sweet, but melancholic, melodies. As a fan of Guilt Machine and not of Ayreon, I can say that I was curious to see how this sort of combination would work and I was pleasantly surprised.

Adrenaline Mob – Omerta

Adrenaline Mob – Omerta

I’m a Russell Allen fanboy. I sing his praises every chance I get because he’s one of the best vocalists to ever grace the metal genre. Whether its his work with Symphony X, Allen/Lande or Star One, his vocals make good music great and great music stupendous. It was only a matter of time however, until we found out what his vocals could do for average or bad music.

Voyager – The Meaning of I Review

Voyager – The Meaning of I Review

Now here’s something quite a bit different! Australia’s Voyager has been tinkering with their odd blend of progressive space metal for a while now. However, here on album number four The Meaning of I, they’ve really hit on the perfect blend of influences and styles. Taking elements of traditional, power, progressive and even death metal, Voyager fuses it all together and the result is an odd, hyper-melodic and unique album that’s as intelligent as it is catchy (and its VERY catchy). As a big fan of their 2009 release I Am the Revolution, I expected great things and even I was surprised by how good this ended up. With traces of Nevermore, Star One, Tyr, Pagan’s Mind, Scar Symmetry, Vanden Plas and Anubis Gate swirling about in a creative maelstrom, you should certainly expect the unexpected. Despite the plethora of influences, The Meaning of I ends up a cohesive and compelling release with one killer song after another and brains til Tuesday. In case that doesn’t have you interested yet, they may be the only metal band currently using a melodica both in the studio and live. Call them spacey-prog or astral-metal but whatever tag you throw on them, they rock muchly. Can you tell Steel Druhm is impressed? He is.

Steel Druhm’s Top 10(ish) of 2010

Steel Druhm’s Top 10(ish) of 2010

Well, it’s been a very interesting year for me, Steel Druhm since joining Angry Metal Guy Industries in April. Despite the no pay, brutal hours, an Angry Metal Boss based overseas and enough hate mail to choke a Belgian aardvark, it’s been tons of fun and I wouldn’t trade one minute of it for a million Amorphis CDs. This year, like every other year, saw it’s fair share of shining metal moments and plenty of steaming crap as well. All things considered though, it’s a great time to be a fan of metal and there’s so much out there to choose from, it can get overwhelming trying to stay current and hear all the worthwhile releases. As the year winds down and we get set for the start of 2011, I want to wish all our readers a happy holiday season and give a big metal salute to all of you (and an extra big salute to the Angry Metal Guy himself for giving me a forum for my metal rants). I hope we were able to turn folks on to some quality music and generally entertain with our opinionated and self-righteous musings, ramblings, tirades, manifestos and diatribes.

Allen/Lande – The Showdown Review

Allen/Lande – The Showdown Review

Regular readers of the Angry Metal Guy’s mighty webpage will have noticed that I consider Sir Russell Allen (Symphony X, Star One, Avantasia) and Jorn Lande (Jorn, Masterplan, Avantasia, Ark) two of the very best metal vocalists in operation today. It was only last week I was ranting and raving about Allen’s performance on the new Star One opus and now I must rant anew, but what else can Steel Druhm do? Allen and Lande are both such enormously versatile and talented vocalists and it’s always a pleasure to hear them show off said talents. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I’ve gone hog wild over the previous Allen/Lande recordings where the two masters engaged in epic battles for metal pipes supremacy. Both their previous albums have become mainstays in my music rotation and hold up admirably to the repeated spins they receive. Now we are blessed with their third album The Showdown and the masters have once again delivered the goods and reaffirmed their place at the top of the metal vocalist food chain.

Star One – Victims of the Modern Age Review

Star One – Victims of the Modern Age Review

Arjen Lucassen, I may have misjudged you. You see, Mr. Lucassen and his projects tend to invoke very different reactions depending on which segment of the Angry Metal demographic one asks. To some, his celebrity studded prog-rock and metal projects with Ayreon and Star One are overblown, self-indulgent, pretentious and worthy of scorn and ruthless mockery (I’ve heard “Gayreon” tossed around more than a little). Others will tell you the man is a musical genius and crafts some of the most adventurous progressive metal out there today. Yours truly was firmly rooted in the former camp (as is AMG, admit it!!) but I’ll concede that parts of Star One’s first album Space Metal ended up being a guilty pleasure despite the cheesy and lightweight “sci-fi metal” concept and sound [Whereas, I reviewed it back in the day on Unchain the Underground and thought it was self-indulgent shit. – AMG]. Well, I’m mighty shocked at the direction Mr. Lucassen has opted to take album number two, Victims of the Modern Age. This is a far FAR heavier, more metallic album, taking the basic foundation of Star One and toughening it up in every way. This is so metallic and straight forward that it sounds nothing like any of Mr. Lucassen’s other works.