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The Ohio-based Starset does a little bit of everything on their sophomore album, “Vessels.” There’s heavy influences of electro, pop, metal, and even film scores. It’s like one part Breaking Benjamin, one part Linkin Park, one part Prodigy, and one part Hanz Zimmer. It’s an insane mix that makes for an entertaining listen.

On “Vessels” there’s a lot to like, the grand scale of it all is the first thing that comes to mind. There are 14 songs and a minute intro at the beginning of the album. It’s a big prog-rock opera that will take you plenty of places as you’re listening along. The overall music and lyric writing done here by Dustin Bates is inspiring. Everything that he pulls together here is insane on both of those levels. All this music is well-crafted, but the thing that will get the most noticed is probably the most nuanced thing on the album – the strings. There are some wonderful string arrangements here that really highlight the insane mash of everything that Starset has going on.

The second album from Starset deserves a lot of attention. There’s a mix of music here that you’re unlikely to hear anywhere else and the musicianship and artistry from Dustin Bates can be appreciated too. At the very least give it a listen, you’ll find something to like.


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