Tag Archives: arjen anthony lucassen

“Live In The Real World” by Stream Of Passion

Artist: Stream Of Passion
Title: “Live In The Real World”
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: 7/18/2006
Genre: Gothic Melodic Rock
Rating: 5/5

Simply put the Stream Of Passion is another sign of the genius that is Arjen Lucassen. The guitarist best known for his creative output in sorcery and medieval themed Ayreon formed this group that brings his musical ideas into an entirely new and different direction. Focused on lead singer Marcela Bovio, this Gothic Melodic Rock outfit was set loose on an unsuspecting public in 2005 with their debut release “Embrace The Storm”. The album was full of deep and rich melody that with every cut showcased the talents of this amazing singer. It was not a Progressive or Power Metal band like Ayreon, or his other Star One project but it was not some lame commercial production either. Fans of the music of Evanescence and perhaps even a little of the slower Nightwish tracks would be able to find a level of appeal to this group. There was an intelligence and groove in every song and once you hear Marcela sing, you will be an instant fan. She has also recorded “The Human Equation” with Ayreon and I am sure that outside of this recording we have not heard the last of her. The concert was recorded in Arjen’s native Holland in front of a sold out audience. To make it more interesting for the fans the group does not only focus on the Stream material but also treats you to a great number of Ayreon tunes and makes sure to slip a little Star One in there as well. There is a booklet that features pictures of the band from the concert and some liner notes but the main news is that this product is also available as a DVD.
Continue reading “Live In The Real World” by Stream Of Passion

“Live In The Real World” (DVD) by Stream Of Passion

Artist: Stream Of Passion featuring Ayreon
Title: “Live In The Real World” (DVD)
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: 7/18/2006
Genre: Progressive Gothic
Rating: 5/5

When I first heard the Stream Of Passion project created by Arjen Lucassen I was completely blown away with how different the band had come out. If you have followed any of Arjens work with his Melodic Power Metal group Aryeon you already know of his capabilities in that area. Aryeon has given fans of this genre a series of well-written epics full of melody and tasty musicianship. He formed Stream Of Passion to be a different sort of group and one that would follow the female vocals of Marcela Bovio, whom he had worked on “The Human Equation” with. Marcela is not only an amazing vocal talent but she is also one of the most beautiful women in Melodic Rock music today and together Arjen and she were able to create a very interesting project. SOP is a band that can appeal to those fans of Nightwish, Evanescence and The Gathering for many of the basic principles they hold are also present in this group. “Embrace The Storm” is a very interesting record and while heavy at moments is no where near being a Metal recording. It is more of a Melodic Gothic Rock that makes use of some interesting keyboards and string arrangements while having a solid heavy guitar crunch underneath. The DVD captures the group live in concert in Arjen’s native Holland in front of a sold-out crowd and much to the delight of the viewer and fans present the band does not only perform SOP material. Since the album and bands debut was only released last year around this time it makes no sense to immediately follow it with a live performance of the same album. So instead of this, Arjen and Company bring to the stage a great amount of his work with Aryeon as they touch upon some of the bands back catalog including “The Final Experiment” and “The Human Equation”. The Ayreon tracks are also sung by Damian Wilson. I enjoyed the fact that he even slipped a little “Star One” in to the mix, and for those that don’t know this project it is another album that you should look into. There is also a DVD concert for that recording which is spectacular in its performance content.
Continue reading “Live In The Real World” (DVD) by Stream Of Passion

“Embrace The Storm” by Stream Of Passion

Artist: Stream Of Passion
Title: “Embrace The Storm”
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: 10/25/2005
Genre: Gothic Melodic
Rating: 8/10

Proving that he is never one to rest of his laurels Arjen Lucassens has done it once again. His last album was the epic “Human Equation” (released with Ayreon) and it would be received with considerable acclaim and justifiably so. He would put aside Ayreon for the next musical adventure and bring us a totally new band entitled “Stream Of Passion”. The band would be new but listeners would not be a stranger to some of the players for joining Lucassens would be Mexican singing sensation Marcela Bovio who recently recorded with Ayreon. The remainder of the band would be filled by an internet contest and with members residing all around the world a truly unique musical experience was the end result. Marcela is an amazing talent and her voice will instantly appeal to those who enjoy the presence of a beautiful female vocal on top of their rock. It’s a Gothic meets Progressive meets Atmospheric group that will appeal very much to fans of The Gathering more than something like Nightwish. Ms. Bovio’s voice while powerful is not one of the operatic styled ones. The other members of the group are Davy Mickers (drums), Lori Linstruth (guitar), Alejandro Milan (piano), and Johan van Stratum (bass). Arjen himself is of course a member not only providing guitars but also largely responsible for the music composition. For this release he centered his composition on Marcela’s voice and ideas in order to make her shine as much as possible. The result is fantastic and with songs like “Passion”, “I’ll Keep On Dreaming” and “Spellbound” there is a very positive result for the listener. I enjoyed these particular songs as well as “Out In The Real World” and “Calliopeia” since there was a lot of the heavy vibe I enjoy.
Continue reading “Embrace The Storm” by Stream Of Passion

“The Human Equation” by Ayreon

Artist: Ayreon
Title: “The Human Equation”
Label: Inside Out Records
Release Date: 5/25/2004
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 9/10

Multi-instrumentalist Arjen Lucassen has once again crafted a diverse and interesting piece of music for his many fans. Following his successful touring with his “Star One” project this recording might very well be considered Ayreon’s finest work of them all. Like most of his musical adventures, Arjen makes sure to use a cast of performers that are second to none in the world of Progressive and Heavy Metal music. Among them is cast the newly discovered Marcela Bovio who Lucassens found from an Internet contest entry. Her voice is amazing and one can only hope that this is only the beginning of what we will see from her. James LaBrie of the mighty Dream Theater also lends his voice to the piece as the principle character and so does Michael Akereldt of Opeth. The list continues on with Irene Jansen, Devon Townsend and many others. Truly a who’s who in the world of popular Metal and Rock. The story that is lined out this time focuses on the central character who is lying in a hospital bed after a terrible accident. This setting is the polar opposite from his space and fantasy themes of the past. The character is watched by his Wife and Best Friend in hopes of his recovery. At the same time his mind is paid visit by many different emotions and memories; all of them vying for his decisions in the healing process. This was one CD that I was finding myself lucky in seeing a lyric book inside. You need to read along with this piece as you listen. An added part of the appeal I found was the enjoyment of the story itself.
Continue reading “The Human Equation” by Ayreon

“Live On Earth” by Star One

Artist: Star One
Title: “Live On Earth”
Label: Inside Out Records
Release Date: 4/29/2003
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 8/10

The first time I had heard “Space Metal”, by Star One I was totally floored. This masterwork was created by Arjen Anthony Lucassen whom Progressive Metal fans know well for his work from his creation Aryeon. This double CD/DVD package immortalizes the final show of the tour from the album “Space Metal”. Fans of the release of the studio record will be glad that he decided to do this. He also created 2 separate releases of this release (the copy I am reviewing includes the DVD and is considered the special edition).
Continue reading “Live On Earth” by Star One