By Carl Begai
Ayreon founder Arjen Lucassen’s new project, Guilt Machine, is as Pink Floydian dark as one can get. It amounts to a soundtrack for the inevitable soul search, deep and introspective to the point that calling the debut On This Perfect Day almost seems like tongue-in-cheek irony. Musically it’s something of a return to form for Lucassen following the plodding Ayreon record 01011001 from 2008, but it enters unfamiliar and unexpectedly dark lyrical territory at the hands of former Stream Of Passion guitarist Lori Linstruth. What makes this particularly noteworthy is that Linstruth doesn’t suffer from a This Sucks outlook on life. On the contrary, she tackles subjects like having the best hair in metal – “I don’t do anything special; it’s all genetic” – her career thus far, and being roped into writing for a high profile release all with a good natured “Pretty cool, huh?” approach.