Ayreon Netherlands

A200 Prog147
[Magnificent Songwriting20, Magnificent Musicianship20, Magnificent Composition20, Spectacularly Awesome Production20 and Solidly Awesome Coverart18]
added by Mike
Links:BCPA
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Review by PowerWyrm published
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01011001 2008
S Symph Modern Prog Space Metal

This album is a strong follow up to The Human Equation. Very well produced with vocalists and musicians giving the best of them. It has its good moments (I could even say it has his great moments... some of the songs here are unbelievable) and also its cheezy parts like its predecessor.

Tracks

1.

Awesome opener... a powerful first part (Age of Shadows) and an emotional second part (We Are Forever). Like on every song where they sing (they wrote their own parts), Jonas Renkse and Anneke Van Giersbergen are illuminating this record with their performance.

2.
B Comatose 4:26

A quieter song... not the best on the record, but not the worst either.

3.

Very heavy song... I like how Jorn Lande and Floor Jansen are often associated on this record - they have voices that perfectly fit for powerful duets.

4.

Oh my... this is pure mental torture. The music and lyrics are so cheesy I wouldn't recommend this song to my worst enemy...

5.

Wow.. back to the awesome songs. Heavy, with most of the vocalists singing here. One of the best on the album...

6.

I don't know... each time there is a concept song on Ayreon's albums it's always sub par, both musically and lyrically.

7.

This is a short classic hard rock/metal interlude.

8.

Another paradoxal song. The music is simply beautiful, would have been a great instrumental song... but the lyrics are ridiculous.

9.

So that's how the dinosaurs got extinct... interesting. Nice song by the way, giving the lead to the power metal vocalists again.

10.

The second Anneke/Jonas duet of the album... very quiet (sure sounds like a mix of Katatonia and The Gathering with a spacey touch).

11.

The classic folkish Ayreon tune... fun lyrics, enjoyable music. Nice relaxing song.

12.

Same problem as on "Newborn Race"... an unispired song.

13.

This is Hansi Kursch's song. A folkish tune that will appeal to Blind Guardian's fans...

14.
B E=mc^2 5:50

Another relaxing song... not one of my favorites on the album but still decent.

15.

Now the Grand Finale! Remember "Day Twelve: Trauma" on the previous album? This is the same type of song... but power x100. A complete apocalyptic song... and you have it all, melodic vocals, power vocals... even growls. Perfect for a finishing song.

Review by zitro published
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01011001 2008
B untagged

A subpar concept album about an immortal and technological advanced alien race hooked on machines deciding to plant their DNA in a comet creating humans. To their disappointment, the humans got hooked on machines and myspace.

The music is carefully crafted, but for some reason, I find the music dull, unoriginal, monotonous, and overlong. There are tons of talented musicians and vocalist trying to save this album, to no avail.

Tracks

1.

1010011010, oops, I accidentally wrote 666

2.
C Comatose 4:26

Poor songwriting in the vocal department.

3.

Ayreon woke up from his coma and wrote a surprisingly good song. Everything seems to work here and the motif during the instrumental part is fantastic.

4.

Finger-lickin' good. Nah, not really

5.
6.
7.

You are the future, you know what to .... do?

8.

"Dear stranger, I wanna marry you, by the way, who are you, I'm in love though I don't even know how you look, so I'm gonna stalk around the net to know you. mmm, stranger, he doesn't email me, I'm depressed and I'm making even worse rhymes"

"stranger: well, at least I know her name and she's smoking hot, so I want to date you, well, the plane ticket is $1000 but I'm dying for a date!!"

"we communicated but still, who are you, I'm in love, where's your myspace?"

9.
10.

Flower King to the rescue! I really like the instrumental section here

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14.
B E=mc^2 5:50

The ultimate geek tune, so let's break the equation: E equals M C squared !!!!!!!!!!!! Wooooo, and the electric guitar performs nuclear fusion! Actually, this is a guilty pleasure of mine.

15.

I like this!!

Review by Lofcaudio published
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S Melodic Prog Metal

I am stunned. For whatever reason, I’ve heard very little about Ayreon and The Human Equation. I took a chance and recently purchased this because someone told me that I might like it. Well, I think it is outstanding. This album grabbed me in the very first listen (not always a good thing) and has continued to thrill my ears on subsequent listens (definitely a good thing).

Unlike a lot of listeners, I have a softspot for double album rock operas such as this. When I consider albums that I consider to be prog masterpieces: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (Genesis) and Snow (Spock’s Beard) are two albums that immediately come to mind. The Human Equation may be just as good (if not better) due to the amazing vocalists who all contribute to make this such a special listen.

Eric Clayton, Heather Findlay, Mikael Akerfeldt and Magnus Ekwall are the most noticeable in their performances, while the rest of the vocalists provide wonderful textures to this musical landscape. If I could change anything regarding the vocalists, I would have a little less LaBrie and a little more Clayton and Lucassen.

The entire two-disc album consists of 20 tracks called “days” which comprise the conceptual story. Each vocalist plays a part of either an individual in the story or of an emotion (fear, passion, love, rage, etc.) that grips the protoganist. Arjen Lucassen pulls this whole thing off superbly with each song often becoming a dueling duet as two varying emotions oftentimes pull at the central character. And with every song being loaded with numerous vocalists, there is never a dull moment despite the length of the entire album.

I enthusiastically give this album a rating of Magnificent, but feel that I should point out two minor criticisms. The concept is very unoriginal as it has been done many times before. While the story does have a bit of a twist, the whole man-in-a-hospital-bed thing sure is cliché. The second criticism is almost not worth mentioning, but it is a shameless copy of the James Bond theme used in one of the first couple of tracks. While it sounds good, it is the James Bond theme exactly. Both of these criticisms are really very minor in comparison to the musical smorgasbord that will treat your ears. I highly recommend this piece of art. It has left me stunned.

Review by Mike published
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A Dynamic Modern Prog Art Metal/Rock

This is the most accessible Ayreon album, with many really good songs and awesome production (the re-release is a big improvement, with re-recorded drums). There's no big concept like on Electric Castle or The Human Equation, but the typical Ayreon spirit is more than enough to create a good flow.

Tracks

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8.

How cool is that? I've just listened to this (2023), after almost 15 years, and I'm hearing the origin story of the big concept albums Arjen went on to write. Amazing!

9.
Review by Mike published
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A Modern Prog Space Metal

There are no weak songs on this album. The solos are lengthy, but never directionless. However, the whole package does take some time to grow on you. I give it 3 stars, but you might want to add a star if you're a "metalhead".

If you're not a musician, you might indeed find some passages boring and repetitive. It might have something to do with the fact that many songs contain solos by different artists. If you don't know these artists, you might not recognize the "change of artist". All of the solos are beautiful and relevant - melody in favor of technique and "noodling".

For those that prefer more progressive stuff and a little less metal, I recommend Into the Electric Castle. This is the essence of Ayreon, even more so than The Human Equation. Both are masterpieces, but Into the Electric Castle is more over the top, which really is one of the key aspects of Ayreon. Consider this album as a short "journey" into the heavier realms, only to be topped a few years later by Lucassen's Star One.

Tracks

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S Chaos 5:11
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