Guilt Machine
On This Perfect Day



by Jackalos USER (2 Reviews)
April 7th, 2012 | 8 replies

Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Arjen Lucassen's Guilt Machine differs quite drastically from his work with Ayreon. With a dark, melancholic sound, this is one for fans of Porcupine Tree and Opeth.

Arjen Lucassen's Guilt Machine differs quite drastically from his other projects, featuring a dark, melancholic vibe in favour of the more bombastic elements found in his work with Ayreon. Also distinct from his other work is Arjen's decision to have one vocalist (and a relatively unknown one too) in the form of Jasper Steverlinck from alternative rock band Arid. Despite these differences, Guilt Machine is undeniably the work of Arjen, with a sound closer to Ayreon than any of his other projects.

Chris Maitland of Porcupine Tree and Lori Linstruth fill the remaining band positions: Maitland replaces Ayreon's Ed Warby in light of the album's mellower elements whilst Lori Linstruth returns to record all the guitar solos.

Also in Lori Linstruth's hands is the task of writing lyrics. With a focus on themes such as guilt, regret and despair, On This Perfect Day's lyrics are a far cry from the more 'operatic' styles found on Ayreon and Star One albums. No disrespect towards Arjen's lyrics but, in my opinion, this helps identify Guilt Machine as one of his better projects.

The overall sound of the album is audibly influenced by bands such as Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, with Arjen playing most of the atmospheric and rhythm guitar work, as well as the bass. This is in stark contrast to Linstruth's approach to the solos scattered across the album. Trademarked by her extensive use of vibrato and wah, it brings beautiful sound and dynamic contrast to the album.

Although drums stand out less than the other instruments on this album, this is no poor judgement of Maitland's contribution. In fact, this is complimentary to the album's mellower vibe.

Lastly, are the vocals of Jasper Steverlinck. Having never heard of Arid or Steverlinck before Guilt Machine, it is quite surprising how well he copes with the variety found in this album. His pronunctiation is excellent and delivery is outstanding yet unique - a good choice by Arjen here.

It comes a bit of a shame then that the album has only six main tracks. Even with such long track lengths, it leaves you begging for more. In the meantime, this is certainly an album that any fan of Porcupine Tree, Opeth, or Lucassen's other work needs to check out.

user ratings (76)
other reviews of this album
Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF (4)
Arjen Lucassen's newest musical venture takes a dip into the feelings of guilt with a haunting, yet ...

e210013 (4)
Guilt Machine is another venture from the Dutch composer Arjen Lucassen. It’s a departure from the...

Comments:Add a Comment 
April 6th 2012


Album Rating: 4.5

First review so I thought I would start with something I like...

April 7th 2012


Good first review. Doesn't quite read like a 5, but judging by your recommendations and mentioning of Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, I'm going to have to listen to this anyways.

April 7th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed, this doesn't read like a five. There's only one sentence that really suggests the album is even worth 4.5.

I have mixed feelings about this album; on the right day, much of it is brilliant, but some of it just doesn't work for me, and in the wrong mood, I can barely enjoy this at all. The best times, however, have been rides of haunting emotion; the lyrics are gut-wrenching and pull me through the feelings described. I'll never forget the time I listened to this in a basement with only a lightbulb on; I turned out the light as the busy signal outro was echoing away, and rarely have I felt so haunted.

April 7th 2012


Is this really a 5?
Naah, wouldn't say that

April 7th 2012


Well, I actually enjoyed your review, but why the NW and BG references in the summary? lol

Staff Reviewer
April 7th 2012


Album Rating: 4.0

Even I like this album.

April 7th 2012


I don't know why, but I could never get into Arjen's works. I think it's his vocals or the arrogant orchestration. Dunno. Just that I can't get into them no matter how many times I listen to them.

April 8th 2012


Album Rating: 4.5

Changed this to a 4.5 although I still think this album is Arjen's best work.

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