In the early 2000’s, bands like 30 Seconds To Mars and Breaking Benjamin gave us a sound that could only be described as “sci-fi” or “space rock.” It was progressive rock that featured a lot of synth, power chords and other in-studio programming effects. You couldn’t deny their energy and catchy choruses. Fast-forward 17 years, and that sound has transformed. With the rise of EDM, a lot of bands have mixed modern dance/electronic music into rock and morphed that space rock into something powerful.
As a fan of that style, I had to listen to Starset and I’m so glad I found them. Their sophomore album, Vessels, is very, very good. Starset utilizes the best aspects of progressive and space rock to deliver an epic record. Of the 15 mighty songs included, every one feels like it belongs in an action sequence. Dustin Bates, Starset’s lead vocalist, has the perfect voice for this music, with lyrics that are imaginative and right out of a sci-fi novel.
Vessels starts off with “Satellite,” which immediately throws you into the world that Starset is constructing. It’s full of energy and packs the punch you’d probably expect. “Last to Fall” and “Starlight” would be the more radio-friendly, pop/rock tracks on the album, serving as intermissions from the vigor of the rest of the album. The raw intensity delivered in tracks such as “Gravity of You” and “Unbecoming” are both beautiful and chaotic. It all comes to a triumphant end in “Everglow,” which begins soft then builds to an intense finale.
If you’re a fan of bands like Muse, Breaking Benjamin, 30 Seconds to Mars and Nine Inch Nails, Vessels is for you. Starset’s sound will make you feel like you’re up in space and never let you down.