Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One
This third ARJEN ANTHONY LUCASSEN'S STAR ONE album "Revel in Time" is a reaction and definitely a contrast to Arjen Lucassen's previous album, the Ayreon album "Transitus". "Transitus" is a very cinematic album, almost a musical. The music very much serves the story, and the emphasis is mainly on the vocals. There are hardly any lengthy instrumental parts, and the music is not primarily based on guitar riffs. In contrast, "Revel in Time" is ? as with other Star One albums ? pretty much riff based and there is more focus on virtuoso musicianship. It turned out to be a pretty heavy album, especially compared to "Transitus". While Star One albums are not technically rock operas with a storyline like Ayreon, they can still be considered concept albums. On the first Star One album "Space Metal" all the tracks are inspired by movies set entirely in space, like "Alien". On the second Star One album "Victims of the Modern Age" all the tracks are based on apocalyptic, dystopian movies like "A Clockwork Orange". For "'Revel in Time" the tracks are all inspired by movies that deal with some kind of manipulation of time. The title of the album is a mash-up of "Travel in Time" without the first "T", and "revel in your time", which some of you fellow-sci-fi-movie nerds may know is a quote from "Blade Runner", one of Arjen's favorite movies of all time. There is one thing this time around that is quite different compared to the earlier Star One albums. The first two had the same cast of four singers: Floor Jansen, Russell Allen, Damian Wilson and Dan Swano. They each sang parts in all the songs, interacting with each other. But this time Lucassen chose to feature a different singer for each song. One reason for this was that the international travel restrictions due to the pandemic meant that he was unable to fly the singers to The Netherlands and record them in his own studio. Usually, the different singers would interact with one another on a given song, but this time, Arjen decided to generally have mainly one singer per track, and a different for almost each track that is. This shows especially on CD 2, the "Same Songs, Different Singers"-CD as Arjen likes to call it. The guide vocals that were recorded (for the other singers) were way too good to just be guide vocals. It felt like it would be a real shame if they were never heard by anyone else, but Arjen and the actual singers planned to sing on the album. So Arjen decided to release a second version of the songs with the guide vocals on them as CD2. And then at some point he started spontaneously inviting other singers to sing some of these tracks, because he was curious how the songs would sound with their voices. So CD2 ended up with no less than 9 different singers, all equally good as the those on CD1. In the end no less than about 30 different musicians contributed to the new album, not all of them being singers though. So another reason for this change of course was simply the fact that there were just so many good musicians out there and Arjen just chose to include them all. In terms of style "Revel in Time" falls somewhere between the first and second Star One albums. It is quite a multifaceted album; each song has a completely different feel musically and having different singers on each song only enhances this. That being said, the solid basis of Ed Warby's powerful drums and Arjen's guitar and bass work hold it all together and give it that typical Star One sound. The front cover art was created by Arjen's trusted favorite artist Jef Bertels.