Vessels (Starset album)

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Starset Vessels.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 20, 2017 (2017-01-20) (Vessels)
September 28, 2018 (2018-09-28) (Vessels 2.0)
Length70:21 (Vessels)
109:07 (Vessels 2.0)
LabelRazor & Tie
ProducerRob Graves[1]
Starset chronology
Singles from Vessels
  1. "Monster"
    Released: October 28, 2016
  2. "Satellite"
    Released: August 12, 2017
  3. "Ricochet"
    Released: April 25, 2018
  4. "Telepathic"
    Released: September 21, 2018
Deluxe edition cover
Vessels 2.0 artwork
Vessels 2.0 artwork

Vessels (stylized as ▽ESSELS) is the second studio album by American rock band Starset, released on January 20, 2017 through Razor & Tie.[1] The album peaked at number 11 on the Billboard 200. The first single from the album, "Monster", peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart in May 2017, becoming the band's highest-charting song to date.[2] The second single, "Satellite", peaked at number 12 on the same chart in November 2017.[3] A deluxe edition of the album titled Vessels 2.0 was released on September 28, 2018.[4]

Writing and recording[edit]

Frontman Dustin Bates outlines the process for creating the album:

I start with sonic goals. This time I had a greater understanding of what instrumentation and even arrangements and genres, to an extent, would be amalgamated into these songs… and then chord structures. Once there’s a great chord structure then I always scat melodies. Then once I have the melody I spend an exorbitant amount of time coming up with lyrics that fit the theme that I want, over that melody. I think it is the way I’ve always written, then after that a readdressing of the musical soundscape and flushing out of the atmosphere of it as well.[5]

Work on the album started as early as June 2015.[6] Bates estimates that it took collectively 9 months to create the album, with small interspersed breaks for touring in support of the band's prior album, Transmissions.[5]

Composition and sound[edit]

Bates described the album's sound in comparison to their prior album, Transmissions:

Trying to push the sonic boundaries or even the boundaries that were set by Transmissions. Whereas it was centred in the hard rock lane before, now it goes more metal at times, and the guitar work borrows from djent stylings, and it gets more ambient at times, using electronics at a more deeply integrated level. Whereas the strings were more cinematic, there was more of a quartet before, on this record it’s more of an orchestration I would say. Hopefully increasing in breadth and depth and making it more difficult to tie it to a specific genre.[5]

Vessels has been described as hard rock,[7][8][9][10][11] electronic rock,[9] and progressive rock,[12] by professional critics. Bates also stated he implemented some elements of EDM into the music.[13]


The album was strongly praised by Loudwire, stating that "Vessels works on multiple levels. If you're looking for engaging singular tracks to fill your playlist, this album has several songs that could keep the band on radio for a long run. But if you're looking for a deeper connection and a full listening experience, Vessels truly takes the listener on a journey both musically and thematically, utilizing synths, drums, guitars and Bates' at times dreamlike, at other times aggressive vocal approach."[14]

Track listing[edit]

1."The Order"1:06
4."Die for You"5:17
7."Into the Unknown"4:30
8."Gravity of You"4:46
9."Back to the Earth"4:13
10."Last to Fall"5:03
11."Bringing It Down"5:48
Total length:70:21


  • Dustin Bates – lead vocals, keyboard, guitars
  • Brock Richards – lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Ron DeChant – bass, keyboard, backing vocals
  • Adam Gilbert – drums


Chart (2017) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[15] 52
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[16] 56
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[17] 60
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[18] 85
US Billboard 200[19] 11
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[20] 2


  1. ^ a b "Starset Unleash 'Monster' Single, Announce 'Vessels' Album". November 4, 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-16.
  2. ^ "Starset - Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  3. ^ "Starset Chart History". Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  4. ^ "Starset announces "Vessels 2.0" deluxe album". Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Kennedy, Jade (February 1, 2017). "With Starset's New Album 'Vessels' Dustin Bates Seeks To Bring Out The Scientist In All Of Us". Music Feeds. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  6. ^ Hadsall, Joe (June 12, 2015). "Sci-fi songwriting: Dystopian story fuels Starset's music | Lifestyles: Entertainment, Life and more". Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  7. ^ "25 Best Hard Rock Albums of 2017". Loudwire. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  8. ^ "2017 Loudwire Music Awards Nominees Revealed". Loudwire. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Album Review: Starset – Vessels – Rocked". Archived from the original on 2017-01-20. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  10. ^ Price, Jeremy. "Starset - "Vessels" [Album Review]". Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  11. ^ "Album Review: Starset - 'Vessels' - New Noise Magazine". January 20, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  12. ^ "Starset - Vessels (Album Review)". Cryptic Rock. January 13, 2017. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  13. ^ Mettler, Mike (April 7, 2017). "Starset's Dustin Bates Talks VR Audio, Hi-res Streaming, and Life On Mars". Digital Trends. Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  14. ^ "Starset, 'Vessels' - Album Review". Retrieved 2017-05-24.
  15. ^ "ARIA CHART WATCH #405". auspOp. January 28, 2017. Retrieved January 28, 2017.
  16. ^ " – Starset – Vessels" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved February 2, 2017.
  17. ^ "Starset Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved February 1, 2017.
  18. ^ " – Starset – Vessels" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  19. ^ "Starset Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  20. ^ "Starset Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved May 24, 2017.