Time Travel as a concept has been in the public eye and their imaginations since H.G. WELLS’ The Time Machine popularised it back in 1895. Since then, it’s been portrayed in various mediums such as literary fiction, movies and even across the silver screen. Musically it’s been utilised by artists such as HAWKWIND, URIAH HEEP, BLACK SABBATH and IRON MAIDEN. Now twenty years since the first release Space Metal, Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s STAR ONE has crossed the veil of time and delivered their third offering Revel in Time which features a compendium of tracks based upon time travel across film and tv. Select your time machine of choice and cross the fourth dimension for a sci-fi extravaganza!
In Fate Of Man Exoskeletons Arise! not only playing on compositions laid out by Brad Fiedel for The Terminator soundtrack but detailing the events from said film perfectly “the cycles complete, the timeline restored, mankind is ready for this future war”. What Arjen Anthony Lucasson has created here musically is a piece that would have perfectly tied in with the AYREON album The Source. With vocals from UNLEASH THE ARCHERS Brittney Slayes it’s an epic start to the album.
28 Days (Till the End of Time) features eerily enchanting composition pieces throughout that harmoniously details the sense of dread when one feels like they are losing their mind “you’re all alone, sole receiver. You’re on your own, trapped in time. Expand your mind, disbeliever. Unlock the rage that burns inside”
Prescient features wonderful harmonising between vocalists Micheal Mills and Ross Jennings throughout, akin to what you traditionally expect in opera with vocal exchanges between baritones and tenors. In this instance it reflects creating multiple possibilities and realities when interrupting time streams “If only I could somehow stop this bleeding from my ears… I can’t stop you but Aaron, don’t ever come back here. I’ll build a bigger one. Go back entire years!”
Jump into your DeLorean and head to Hill Valley when listening to Back from the Past Great Scott! Guest vocals from Jeff Scott Soto totally channels the vocal style of Huey Lewis and the News and if said band had transitioned to prog-metal then this song would be the ultimate result.
Revel in Time has a gritty heavy blues rock vibe about it, making you want to stamp your foot and bang your head throughout. For those unfamiliar with guest vocalist Brandon Yeagley, he has a range and pitch similar to that of Myles Kennedy. These strengths are perfectly utilised in this most excellent track! “Queue air guitar”
The Year of 41 makes good use of guest vocalist Joe Lynn Turner who should be no stranger to anyone that likes rock and metal. There is a classic rock feel here that hearkens back to the stylings of DEEP PURPLE and BLUE OYSTER CULT. It has full on space synth pieces including a keyboard solo by the master that is Jens Johansson.
Bridge of Life pierces the veil between different periods of time and presents the theme of alternate realities where changing the past, ultimately affects the present: “ignore the signs, go the other way, he wasn’t meant to die that day”.
Today is Yesterday is one of the heavier pieces featured here, detailing events of living the same day repeatedly and being stuck in a time loop: “each day the same, he’s had enough of this boring game. It’s the same old song, time drags on”
Anything with Floor Jansen on vocals is always going to be great and A Hand On The Clock is further proof of this! Floor is a long-time collaborator with Arjen throughout his other creations and you can see why. The intro has a very distorted feel about it which conjures imagery of being part of a machine and used against your wishes: “you’re just a hand on the clock, a cog in their machine, a pawn in the game”.
Beyond the Edge of it All encapsulates the great TV sci-fi scores of the 1970’s and 1980s and explores the theme of protecting timelines across history “from the 4th dimension, the solitude of space, they guard the timeline, protect our race.”
Lost Children of the Universe as the album closer is not just epic in length but also as a song. Gradually rising and slowing back down it certainly captures the essence of time travel. It features one of my favourite vocalists: Roy Khan (CONCEPTION/ Ex-KAMELOT) who always adds such emotion in the delivery of his vocals. There’s also the inclusion of the Hellscore Choir that contribute an extra layer of harmonising and depth. We are also blessed with an interstellar guitar solo from the master that is Steve Vai.
Disc 2 provides alternate versions of the aforementioned tracks but with different vocalists. These give the tracks a different vibe and totally reflect upon time travel themes such as alternate realities and different times streams.
There is no TARDIS required for the journeys in time featured throughout. Both fans of science-fiction across all mediums and of Arjen’s other works will undoubtably love this.
Words: Martin White
Revel In Time is out now.
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