During the A to Z Challenge, Jamie highlighted a different metal album every day that featured an element of fantasy. Since I like both metal and fantasy, I enjoyed his posts and discovered new bands.
That got me to thinking – what about the connection between metal and science fiction? This geek is proud to say there are lots of bands with science fiction themes and songs!
Blue Oyster Cult has dipped into science fiction many times, with songs such as Godzilla and Take Me Away. Several of their albums were themed from start to finish. Fire of Unknown Origin was comprised of songs written especially for the animated movie, Heavy Metal. (Sadly only Veteran of the Psychic Wars made it into the film.) Imaginos was a concept album – a modified child called Imaginos, gifted with superhuman powers by aliens, navigates two hundred years of history searching for an artifact. (No, he did not work for Warehouse 13.)
Rush has several albums heavy on science fiction elements – Grace Under Pressure, Power Windows, and Moving Pictures. Clockwork Angels, their latest album, is the story of a man traveling through a steampunk world.
Symphony X’s Iconoclast is a concept album based on machines taking over everything and leading to our demise.
Everyone knows that Rob Zombie’s theme is old horror films. But his brother, Spider One (not his given name, I’m sure), fronts a science-fiction themed band called Powerman 5000.
When it comes to science fiction and rock, no one does it like Arjen A. Lucassen though. This progressive rock master has created more science fiction bands and albums than anyone else, including Ayreon, Guilt Machine, and Star One.
Ayreon – Into the Electric Castle tells the story of eight people from different times taken to another dimension as part of an experiment – who will survive to become the Universal Migrator?
Ayreon – Universal Migrator focuses on the last man on Mars and the Universal Migrator’s journey. (It’s progressive rock, but so unique, iTunes doesn’t even know how to classify it!)
Ayreon – 01011001 follows a dying race desperate for a second chance. They find it in on Earth but what destroyed their world nearly destroys humans as well. (And in keeping with theme, the Universal Migrator is mentioned.)
Arjen’s Star One project is definitely the most science fiction based. Dubbed “Space Metal,” each song is based on a science fiction film or TV show. There are two Star One albums, each featuring a variety of singers. The inspiration for each song is not listed on the album, which makes it fun to guess. (Or go crazy trying to figure it out.)
Can you guess the movie on which Digital Rain is based? (Singing starts near the three minute mark.)
And because I am all about the movie trivia, here are the titles to some of Star One’s songs, along with a couple lines. Can you guess the movie/show?
1 – Songs of the Ocean “It’s not with man they’re communicating, We’re going back in time, back in history.”
2 – Cassandra Complex “I think you may be right, I’m insane after all, this is all in my mind, I just want to stay here with you, and leave the bad dream behind.”
3 – Master of Darkness “That’s not the way, the darkness will absorb you, You should never attack.”
4 – 24 Hours “You’ve got 24 hours to trace our man and set him free, our very last chance, our fate is in your hands.”
5 – It All Ends Here “Four years slipped by too fast, Four years, without a past, and a future we’ll never know.”
Watch for the answers in Jamie’s next post!
Thanks again, Jamie!
Any other science fiction bands you can name?