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Music / Starset

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Starset is an American alternative rock band founded in 2013 by Dustin Bates. Their debut album, Transmissions, was released in 2014, followed by Vessels in 2017 and Divisions in 2019.

Their band has been compared to the likes of Linkin Park and Breaking Benjamin.


Tropes that apply to the band:

  • Caps Lock: Every track in the DIVISIONS album is in all caps, including the album title.
  • Auto-Tune: Used to great effect for the more alien and robotic sounding vocals. Especially noticeable in their song Telepathic.
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  • Call-Back: The chorus of OTHER WORLDS THAN THESE references both My Demons and Monster. Considering the overarching story of DIVISIONS and the ideas of surveillance and control seen within the aforementioned songs, the references are very appropriate.
    There are monsters in the sky
    There are demons in the sea
  • Cover Version: Vessels 2.0 – Deluxe edition has a cover of Love You To Death by Type O Negative.
  • Destructive Romance: Monster is about a relationship gone sour due to the narrator's partner abusing of their trust.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Played straight in the music video of Ricochet. A widower attempting to resurrect his wife hires several prostitutes and kills them to cloned his wife in their bodies.
  • Distress Call: Transmissions is presented as one, the song Frequency is about LOSING one and not being sure it was ever there in the first place. My Demons is about a man, who turns to someone that he thinks can help him. It's unclear whether they even exist.
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  • Face–Monster Turn: Seems to be one of the themes of My Demons.
    I cannot stop this sickness taking over
    Save me if I become my demons
  • Genre Shift:
    • Everglow the last track of Vessels is a rather soft bass driven track at the end of a rather heavy rock album that sounds like it belongs more on an EDM or Trance album until about halfway in where it goes Metal out of seemingly nowhere letting this song cover from a 4 to an almost 8 on the scale before diving into an almost fantasy movie soundtrack.
    • DIVISIONS's WAKING UP is all EDM, without a guitar or drum in sight. Despite the lighter tone however, the lyrics are all about being trapped in a false reality within the mind with no escape.
  • Insistent Terminology: They consistently refer to their concerts as "demonstrations".
  • Loss of Identity: The narrator in Carnivore asks the titular beast to remove everything that makes him, well, him.
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  • Lotus-Eater Machine: The BMIs (Brain Machine Interface) within DIVISIONS's lore allow their users to experience whatever they want, whenever they want, resulting in a population that is completely subservient since they can just live in an ideal world in their minds and ignore everything else.
  • Mohs Scale of Lyrical Hardness: Most of their stuff firmly sits on the 7 to 9 end of the spectrum with a few songs dipping to 4. The thematics of darkness and becoming a demon or a monster can spin them a little higher with Vessels sitting slightly higher on the scale than Transmissions.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Solid 6 throughout the entire career.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Their music is hard to define. They're essentially an alternative-progressive-symphonic-electronic rock/metal band.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "The Future Is Now" never drops the title in lyrics.
  • Not Christian Rock: My Demons sounds almost like something off a Skillet album with lyrics like "I need a savior to heal my pain"
  • Obsession Song: They have several songs about extreme devotion such as "Die For You", "Halo", and "Satellite".
  • Opening Narration: Two of the albums so far start with this, both narrated by the lead singer, Dustin Bates.
    • Transmissions begins with "First Light", which introduces the Starset Society and its origin and goals.
    • DIVISIONS's starts off with one titled "A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FUTURE", which describes the state of the society within the album's lore.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Vessels as whole is a loose story arc of the search for someone lost to space and time only to become a monster and ultimately realize their goal is further and further away than before.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: "Monster" is used on the 2017 reveal trailer for Arknights, while "Unbecoming" serves as the 2020 global release trailer's theme.
  • Robotic Reveal: In the music video of Ricochet, the protagonist having failed to properly resurrect his wife - his most successful attempt being an Empty Shell - commits suicide on her tombstone. It turns out that he's a robot and his "wife" was actually his owner.
  • Robot or Spaceman Alter Ego: The band, aside from Bates, performs wearing illuminated space masks and oxygen tanks. In their kayfabe, they claim that the lyrics were beamed down to them by aliens, with the theme of their album Transmissions being messages from the future beamed to the past. One of the band's members described their albums as essentially being "soundtracks for sci-fi movies". For the DIVISIONS tour, they began donning wasteland scavenger costumes, although they still switch back to the spacesuits during the second half of concerts.
  • Sanity Slippage Song:
    • My Demons is about a man dealing with his inner problems.
    • TELEKINETIC is about someone succumbing to the alluring effects of the BMI, leaving them with no free will.
  • Self-Deprecation: Narrator of Carnivore thinks he is not good enough.
  • Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Turns up in Carnivore.
    Who are you to change this world? Silly boy! No one needs to hear your words. Let it go.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Dustin Bates has a much deeper talking voice.
  • Space Opera: The music itself is one. All of the albums tell stories over their course, and the band themselves portray themselves as messengers from space.
  • You Are Worth Hell: They have a lot of songs about this level of dedication such as "Halo" and "Satellite". Their most obvious, "Die For You", uses this trope as an example (though the wording is different):
    One day the earth will open wide and I'll follow you inside
    'Cause the only Hell I know is without you

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