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Ayreon - Into the Electric Castle CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.14 | 784 ratings

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5 stars Into the Electric Castle or ITEC is truly one of the most satisfying prog rock albums or albums at all of the last 10-15 years. The prodigally talented Arjen A. Lucassen creates a masterful work which, unlike most others of his albums, has no flaws. Only "Tower of Hope" is not a masterpiece, but all other songs are. Especially the opener "Isis and Osiris" is an epic adventure and a prog rock classic which rightfully belongs in the gallery of greatest prog rock songs and the greatest 90's songs. Lasting over 11 minutes, it never gets boring nor is any solo or instrumental passage excessive or dull. "Time Beyond Time" is one of the most beautiful songs I've heard with a psychedelic undertone. Also "Amazing Flight", "Garden of Emotions", "Cosmic Fusion" (featuring an incredible speedy synth solo by Ton Scherpenzeel!) and "Two Gates" are all true treats. The lady singers Sharon Den Adel and Anneke van Giersbergen are adept in their roles and enhance the songs with their delicate and beautiful voices. Fish does his best in the role of Highlander and Edwin Balogh is superb as The Roman. Although Edward Reekers is dull as Futureman and Damian Wilson a bit too feminine-sounding to play a knight, Jay Van Feggelen is a perfect Barbarian and Arjen himself is funny as the Hippie.

The instrumentalist list features some of Holland's and Europe's finest names. Ton Scherpenzeel, legendary Thijs Van Leer of Focus, Clive Nolan of Arena and Robby Valentine, along with the standard drummer Ed Warby firing up on all cyllinders. This is a rare gem to be found among the late 90's releases which are far below the standard of ITEC. While the songs on Ayreon's next album The Universal Migrator vary from melodic to two-dimensional, every song is three-dimensional here. What else is there to say but: hail Arjen A. Lucassen and his great masterpiecce!

| 5/5 |


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