Arjen Lucassen is probably best known for being the mastermind behind Ayreon. Records like Into The Electric Castle, The Human Equation and 01011001 are massive prog behemoths built around difficult storylines and countless guests. His latest project Guilt Machine is way more basic in its approach but not less impressive…
Guilt Machine basically consists of Arjen himself as the creative mastermind, Lori Linstruth (ex-Stream Of Passion) on lead guitar, Jasper Steverlinck (Arid) on vocals and Chris Maitland (ex-Porcupine Tree) on drums. It’s almost a band like setup, certainly compared to Ayreon.
The music on On This Perfect Day is way darker than I’m used to from Arjen Lucassen, but it bears many similarities to his previous work as well. Songs like Twisted Coil, Green and Cream, Season Of Denial and Perfection are still well over 10 minutes in length and they are filled to the brim with massive atmospheric layers, special effects and other Pink Floyd/Beatles inspired musical trickery. Yes, Arjen Lucassen still knows his classics. The overall mood on this album isn’t just as proggy and jubilant as on most of the Ayreon material.
The biggest surprise on On This Perfect Day are the vocals by Jasper Steverlinck. He isn’t the typical progrock singer and that’s exactly what gives this album its specific sound. Jasper’s vocals are way more in the alternative/stoner rock style, but they work very well.
As with most projects done by Arjen Lucassen the production is almost immaculate, though I wouldn’t mind a rougher edge. It would have strengthened the overall depressive undertones on this album.
On This Perfect Day by Guilt Machine is certainly something different than you would expect from Arjen Lucassen. This gives the album its freshness. There are also enough familiar references, so most Ayreon fans should like it, too. Impressive!
written by Raymond Westland