Arjen Lucassen’s Supersonic Revolution – Golden Age Of Music – Album Review18th May 2023
The most prolific man in the musical universe returns with yet another project. You could almost describe Arjen Lucassen as the Doctor Who of Prog. He appears in so many guises, projects, and different musical worlds you always look forward to his next adventure off into the stratosphere. This time he takes his Supersonic Revolution and hops into a time machine back to the seventies to visit the Golden Age Of Music.
The genesis of this album was Arjen contributing a track to a magazine cover CD. Having been asked to choose a cover version for inclusion, he quickly assembled a band of friends to record a cracking version of ZZ Top‘s I Heard It On The X, which is also included here. Once completed, an inspired Arjen decided to form a band, make an album, and simply have fun.You notice a big difference in this album, compared to Arjen‘s other work immediately. Whereas his previous albums have been almost entirely solo efforts, with Arjen playing everything, this time this is undoubtedly a band album. It has a vibrant live sound, you can tell that this is the result of a band playing together. Everyone involved is clearly enjoying themselves.
Musically, there is a serious Deep Purple and Uriah Heep vibe going on here. Like those two bands, the Hammond organ provides a solid base on which to build the music upon it. Indeed, it provides an organic ambiance, helping to give the album a real depth of sound once you add the heavy guitar riffs and vocals on top. The sound is certainly very seventies influenced, without ever sounding dated.Unlike a lot of his previous work, this album isn’t a concept album per se this time. Each track is a standalone, lyrically about the seventies. For example, The Glamattack deals with the Glam rock explosion in 1971, with numerous references back to its impact on the world. However, the music can never be described as glam. It sticks to its organ lead heavy rock approach throughout. Indeed this is no bad thing, as it would’ve sounded silly had he tried to sound like David Bowie on The Rise Of The Starman for example.
The best track on here for me is Burn It Down. If you think it sounds strangely reminiscent of Deep Purple‘s classic Smoke On The Water, that’s no coincidence. The song is written from the point of view of the ‘stupid with a flare gun’, who indeed does Burn it Down and cause casino-based chaos!As I previously mentioned, this project was inspired by his being asked to record a cover version. Not only is the aforementioned I Heard It On The X included, but also three others too. Whilst some cover versions can be a little vanilla, here they all get a vibrant treatment and are clearly songs he loves. In particular his version of the criminally overlooked Roger Glover/Ronnie James Dio song Love Is All, really is a joy to hear.
Overall, this is a very enjoyable album. The sense of fun that the band is having is infectious, and it flies by in no time at all. Having an album of individual tracks without a central storyline threaded throughout it lets you just sit back and enjoy it. Is it up there with his best work? No, of course, it’s not. It has the feel of almost being a side project when you compare it to the conceptual bonkers-ness of something like 2020’s Transitus for example. Ultimately, however, this latest stop-off by Arjen Lucassen’s musical Tardis is well worth checking out. I can’t wait to hear where it lands next!
1 – SR Prelude
2 – The Glamattack
3 – Golden Age Of Music
4 – The Rise Of The Starman
5 – Burn It Down
6 – Odyssey
7 – They Took Us By Storm
8 – Golden Boy
9 – Holy Holy Ground
10 – Fight Of The Century
11 – Came To Mock, Stayed To Rock
12 – Children Of The Revolution (Bonus Track)
13 – I Heard It On The X (Bonus Track)
14 – Fantasy (Bonus Track)
15 – Love Is All (Bonus Track)
Label: Music Theories Recordings
Release Date: 19th May 2023