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Guilt Machine: On this perfect day

29/09/09  ||  Euthanatos

Guilt Machine, or Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s Guilt Machine, is a side-project of… yeah, Arjen Anthony Lucassen. That giant of a man is surely one of the most talented fucks in the history of metal and rock music and more people should recognize him as such. I am so desperately in love with everything he releases that I want to have his babies. Well, not everything. Stream of Passion sucked. God, that band was terrible. I’m still not entirely convinced he was behind that one.

Anyway, for some reason or other, Arjen occasionally tires from releasing under his usual “Ayreon” moniker, and ventures into sights and sounds which are a tad different from his prog metal roots, yet always feel undeniably like his work. Guilt Machine is no exception.

First of all, the band could almost be called a “supergroup”, if that expression weren’t so obnoxious. It features the man, the legend on most stringed instruments and backing vocals, Jasper Steverlinck, of shitty pop band Arid on vocals, former Porcupine Tree Chris Maitland on drums, and Arjen’s agent/wife/sidekick/shredder Lori Linstruth playing the lead guitar.

So let me skip to the conclusion right away to save you the suspense; Guilt Machine is really fucking good. Imagine the softer side of Ayreon, particularly from the album “The Human Equation”, with a really good vocalist, who kinda sounds like James Labrie, except without sucking (and Labrie, mind you, was great on “The Human Equation”. Yes, Arjen makes magic happen). Imagine some insanely different and tasteful lead guitar playing. Add that to Arjen’s natural gift for memorable song writing hooks and a super talented drummer, and you’ve got chocolate covered cookies. It’s just fucking delicious. It’s as good as sticking your dick in peanut butter. Trust me on this.

The album is quite an introspective journey, and an interesting addition was asking for fans to send recorded messages in their mother tongue. Thus, you get this myriad of spoken passages which really connect greatly with the music and turns the album into a sort of epic confession of the soul.

Lori Linstruth also contributes with a hidden talent of hers, lyrics, which are quite far from the usual fantasy realm rant that Arjen is known for. These are all about exploring emotion and personality, and the writing never seems tacky or cliche. That’s a surprising and welcome treat, and I hope Lori will further explore that side of hers in future releases.

There are only six tracks, but all are very long, as is usual with Arjen’s work, and they navigate a multitude of passages and tempos. If you’re a fan of his work with Ayreon and Star One, you’ll definitely dig this.

The cover: Ohhh, pretty. Another awesome thing about Arjen is that he always takes extreme care of the artwork of his albums, and this is no different. There are always great booklets, a beautiful cover, and extra DVD, the whole package. Bands should fucking take note of this. This is how you sell something.

8,5

  • Information
  • Released: 2009
  • Label: Mascot Records
  • Website: Guilt Machine MySpace
  • Band
  • Arjen Anthony Lucassen: instruments, vocals, huge dick
  • Jasper Steverlinck: vocals
  • Chris Maitland: drums
  • Lori Linstruth: lead guitar, lyrics
  • Tracklist
  • 01. Twisted Coil
  • 02. Leland Street
  • 03. Green and Cream
  • 04. Season of Denial
  • 05. Over
  • 06. Perfection