Arjen Anthony Lucassen certainly keeps himself busy these days between Aryeon, Star One, and the many guest spots on other progressive rock/metal albums. Star One is now his vehicle for heavier, progressive metal music, as opposed to more varied and proggy material that he covers with Aryeon. Live on Earth is an all-star event covering almost the entire studio album Star One, plus a bunch of tunes from all the earlier Ayreon albums, especially The Dream Sequencerand Flight of the Migrator .
Lucassen and his superb cast of Ed Warby on drums, Peter Vink on bass, Joost Ven Den Broek on keyboards, and Ewa Albering on flute, perform impeccably on this 2 CD set. The guitar work of Lucassen's is crunchy and fluid, never bordering on shred, but always tasty and perfectly fitting each piece. The staff of vocalists is like a prog-rock-opera dream come true: Damian Wilson (ex-Threshold & Landmarq), Russell Allen (Symphony X), Robert Soeterboek (Ayreon), Floor Jansen (After Forever), and Irene Jansen, who all contribute mightily. Some of the highlights; the metal bombast of "Dawn of a Million Souls", led by Lucassen's heavy guitar riffs and Allen's histrionic vocals; the guitar/keyboard duels on the instrumental "Amazing Flight in Space"; the majestic prog opus "Songs of the Ocean" featuring the amazing Damien Wilson; and the killer 1-2 punch of "Lift Off/Set Your Controls." This is space-metal the way it should be played-loud guitars, wild keys, and multi-layered vocals.
Also available as a 2CD + DVD set, which really packs some extra enjoyment to this already stacked live set. This is highly recommeded to all prog-metal fans. Mr. Lucassen is a true visionary, as his ability to write catchy songs with prog complexity and metal power, combined with assembling a non-stop roster of all-star talent to help act out his musical fantasies, continues.