I’ll be posting from time to time about some noteworthy appearances of science fiction in music. For my first entry, I can think of no more worthy example than Star One’s Space Metal.
Star One is a side project of Arjen Anthony Lucassen, who is better known for his band Ayreon, a Dutch progressive rock outfit which also draws heavily from sci-fi and fantasy. Star One is like a heavier, more metal version of Ayreon. And as usual for Lucassen, he has a group of guest vocalists from other bands to help him out. Space Metal showcases the voices of Russell Allen (Symphony X), Damian Wilson (Threshold), Dan Swano (Nightingale), and to balance all the guys with some beautiful female vocals, Floor Jansen (After Forever).
This album is Lucassen’s way of paying tribute to science fiction. Most of the songs are based on various movies and tv shows (although somewhat loosely at times). Here’s the tracklist, along with each song’s inspiration:
- Lift Off
- Set Your Controls
- High Moon (Outland)
- Songs of the Ocean (Star Trek IV)
- Master of Darkness (Star Wars/ESB)
- The Eye of Ra (Stargate)
- Sandrider (Dune)
- Perfect Survivor (Alien)
- Intergalactic Space Crusaders (Blake’s 7)
- Starchild (2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010: The Year We Make Contact)
My favorite song is “Master of Darkness” with its dark brooding sound and blistering Hammond organ. However, my favorite lyrics come from “Songs of the Ocean”:
We shape light, we travel space,
but we don’t know the words to the songs of the ocean.
We survive, the human race,
But we don’t know the words to the songs of the ocean.
But enough words; you really just wanna know what it sounds like, right? Here are some YouTube clips of some live Star One performances:
Songs of the Ocean:
The Eye of Ra: