Transmission received. Starset’s new sonic codex, Vessels, builds upon a schema where
futurism has become fact and imagination is opportunity. The sophomore release from Starset’s
aural architect, Dustin Bates, is a data-stream-rendered-in-sound where Bates’ plaintive howl
becomes the deus-ex-machina in an age of information overload - the wail of a ghost in an
increasingly complex yet ultimately human machine.
Starset’s 2014 Razor & Tie debut, Transmissions introduced not only Starset but also The Starset
Society, a shadowy, anonymous-like group of real-world rooted scientists admonishing the
dangers of technology and dystopia gone amuck. Now, just a mere two years later, we are seeing
Bates’ scientific speculation become science fact. While fully fleshed-out in his recently selfpublished
novel, The Prox Transmissions, Bates’ lyrical themes of exo-planet discovery and
colonization, coupled with the impact of rapid advances in technology including 3-D printing,
are proving Starset a truly visionary multi-media collective.
While Transmissions was indeed a landmark album, selling in excess of a quarter million
combined albums, streams and downloads, and propelled by singles including the unforgettable
“My Demons” (which spent an unprecedented 43 weeks scaling rock charts), Bates approached
Vessels with a singular intent on pushing boundaries.
Once again produced by Rob Graves (Halestorm, Red) and mixed by Ben Grosse (Breaking
Benjamin, Filter) the results speak for themselves. From atmospheric opener, “Back To The
Earth” to the driving hooks of the album’s first single, “Monster” to the catchy, nearly
progressive moments of “Frequency,” Bates has succeeded in escaping the gravity of formula
radio rock. Instead, he has reimagined his genre-defying vision as an arena where Hans Zimmer
interfaces with Radiohead and Trent Reznor.
Where Transmissions’ over-arching concept focused on a message from the planet Prox a future
haven from a dying Earth, Vessels splits its narrative into an interconnected interzone of four
separate dangerous visions. From a return to Prox to an admonishment of the dangers of genetic
engineering to a near future where advances in artificial intelligence defy convenient notions of
love, life and death, Bates (who is a PhD candidate in electrical engineering and has done
research for the US Air Force) has engineered an aural anthology that will challenge the Starset
faithful while delivering on the first album’s powerful promise.
In addition to shattering convention on record, Starset’s live “demonstrations” are slaked on that
same alloy of ambition, technology and raw emotion. With over 300 shows logged to date, Bates
and his helmeted-and-pressure-suited crew (bassist Ron DeChant, guitarist Brock Richards and
drummer Adam Gilbert) have distinguished themselves touring with the likes of Breaking
Benjamin and In This Moment, while igniting audiences on major US festivals including Rock
On The Range. However, it was four planetarium performances in 2015 including Boulder,
Colorado’s Fiske Planetarium and Long Island, New York’s Vanderbilt Museum Planetarium
that brought Starset’s live promise into laser-enhanced, telescopic focus.
What began as a near-planetary collision of sound, vision and iconoclastic ideologies inspired by
the likes of Nikola Tesla and Ray Kurzweil (AKA: The Father of Singularity) has taken a bold
step forward with Vessels. Starset’s message has been received and downloaded. Transmission



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