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S. Hartwell (England)

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Live On Earth (2CDs + DVD)
Live On Earth (2CDs + DVD)
Offered by Hot Shot Records Mailorder
Price: 35.54

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Long Overdue Live Album!, 23 July 2003
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The lack of live albums from Lucassen's projects makes this a real treat for Ayreon and Star One fans. "Live On Earth" spans several albums; it isn't confined to Star One's offerings and the Ayreon material is by far the strongest content. The scene is set with the Jarre-like "Lift Off" and Ayreon-esque "Set Your Controls" with its furiously paced guitars and percussion coupled with harpsichord-like synths though these transition into wailing synths and an irritating wailing female vocal. "High Moon" begins dark and raw, but doesn't live up to this dark promise. "Songs of the Ocean" disappointingly lacked sparkle. "Valley of the Queens" is beautifully and ethereally executed.
While the first part of the live concert has a disjointed feel, the second part is meatier and the mix of vocals and instruments is, in my opinion, better.. "Amazing Flight in Space" is quite simply a superb prog rock track full of unashamedly self-indulgent keyboards and guitars and ideally suited to live performance. "Intergalactic Space Crusaders" is essentially "Blakes 7 The Musical" and this energetic live version works better than the studio version. "Castle Hall" is suitably dark and brooding and, along with "The Eye of Ra", is another track which really works. The finale is a satisfyingly meaty rendition of "The Two Gates".
Throughout the first half, the vocals (especially the female vocals) needed to be stronger in the mix. If you want something to contrast the polished studio albums, you'll enjoy this (and with 2 CDs and a DVD it's good value), but if you are mainly attracted to the polish of an Ayreon/Star One studio album, you may be disappointed with the first part of this live concert.

Space Metal
Space Metal

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Space Metal and Spot the Film Title, 22 July 2003
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This review is from: Space Metal (Audio CD)
Certainly different from earlier Ayreon projects, but no less enjoyable and unmistakeably a Lucassen project. Reminiscent in places to his Dream Sequencer project (as Ayreon) and continues the theme of space. If you like sci-fi as well as well-executed rock music, there is the bonus of spotting the film references.

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