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Ayreon - The Human Equation CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.19 | 1113 ratings

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kev rowland
Special Collaborator
Crossover Prog Team
4 stars This is a modern concept rock opera on a huge scale. The double CD only just manages to cram it all in, this is epic on an epic scale. Arjen Lucassen has really out done himself this time as the different singers and musicians create something magical. I mean, for starters look who is involved in this project with Arjen, who as well as providing Electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar, analogue synthesizers, Hammond, Mellotron and additional keyboards also sings the part of 'Best Friend'. He is joined on vocals by Devon Graves (Dead Soul Tribe) as 'Agony', Devin Townsend (SYL) as 'Rage', Eric Clayton (Saviour Machine) as 'Reason', Mikael Åkerfeldt (Opeth) as 'Fear', Magnus Ekwall (The Quill) as 'Pride', Heather Findlay (Mostly Autumn) as 'Love', Irene Jansen (Karma) as 'Passion', James LaBrie (Dream Theater) as 'Me', Marcela Bovio (Elfonia) as 'Wife', Mike Baker (Shadow Gallery) as 'Father' with the following musicians: Ken Hensley (Uriah Heep, Various) ?Hammond, Oliver Wakeman (Nolan & Wakeman) ? Keyboards, Martin Orford (IQ, Jadis) ? Keyboards, Ed Warby (Gorefest, Various) ? Drums, Joost van den Broek (Ayreon) ? keyboards, John McManus - Low-flute, tin-whistle, Jeroen Goossens ? Flute, Robert Baba ? Violins, Marieke van der Heyden ? Cello. You can see already that this is something that is out of the ordinary.

When this rocks it does that in spades, but there are areas within this are that are pure beauty. This is a prog album that is setting new standards when it comes to imagination and construction. It is an album that is compelling, but each theme leads seamlessly on from the one before. This is more like a symphony ever changing and developing than a series of songs telling a story and the result is that the listener is truly transported into a new world.

I have been listening to the double CD, but it is also available as a deluxe edition containing the double CD, a DVD and a book. Inside Out have put a lot into this release and I can see why. This is setting new standards for concept albums ? superb.

Originally appeared in Feedback #79, May 2004

kev rowland | 4/5 |


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