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Ayreon - The Theory of Everything CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.05 | 653 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars An ambitious title and album, AYREON has yet again produced another rock opera masterpiece. After five years since the release of "01011001", the creative genius Arjen Lucassen and the amazing line-up of talented musicians created one of AYREON's best efforts yet: "The Theory of Everything". I consider this album to be on par with "Into the Electric Castle" and "The Human Equation".

"The Theory of Everything" has shown a progression while still maintaining AYREON's fundamental sound. There are still male and female vocalists and guest instrumentalists that make the album a rock opera. "The Theory of Everything" is unique in that there are only four songs, each of which is 20+ minutes in length. Each song is split into smaller segments, but as a whole they combine to make four strong epics. I generally like this idea and I think it works well for AYREON. There was nice progression in "The Human Equation" and songs were generally linked together well; it's no different in "The Theory of Everything". Like past albums, "The Theory of Everything" tells a story, however it is not in a sci-fi context like the rest of AYREON's albums (excluding "The Human Equation").

"The Theory of Everything" is sporting a dream team of a line-up. Legendary keyboardists Rick Wakeman (YES), Keith Emerson (ELP), and Jordan Rudess (DREAM THEATER) contribute solos on "Surface Tension" and "Progressive Waves", ranging from fast and technical to slower and melodic, each of which are very impressive and memorable. Steve Hackett (GENESIS) plays lead guitar and contributes a solid solo on "The Parting". Of course, there is no AYREON without the flutes and pipes, and they are very prominent on this album.

This album also showcases a variety of strong vocalists. The most notable mention is Tommy Karevik (KAMELOT, SEVENTH WONDER) and his befitting role as the prodigy. For someone who did not have vocal lessons, Tommy Karevik has superior singing talent. At his age, he can be considered a prodigy in the progressive rock / metal vein. His singing is very similar to the work he's done in SEVENTH WONDER, and I think it's the best range for him. His presence definitely strengthens the album, though he doesn't have as many parts as I would have preferred. I am unfamiliar with the other vocalists, but they do not disappoint. Also, Arjen Lucassen doesn't sing on this album, which is disappointing because his vocal ability is understated.

However, Arjen is still doing the majority of the musical composition. He also plays a wide variety of instruments on this album, from the Hammond organ and analog synthesizers to the acoustic and electric guitars. The melodies on this album are a testament to his musical genius. Let us not forget the drummer, Ed Warby, who has done the drumming work on almost every AYREON album. I've loved his drumming since I first listened to "Into the Electric Castle" and "The Human Equation". His proficiency creatively adds to the musical mix that is "The Theory of Everything".

Overall this album is one of the best releases of 2013. Like every AYREON album, "The Theory of Everything" is a little bit on the long side, clocking in at 1 hour 30 minutes. The long album length should not deter new listeners, as the album is broken up into four songs. Also, there is a lot of material on this album, so it takes a while for it to sink in and truly appreciate.

This album left me with this phenomenal feeling that I got when I first listened to "The Human Equation". A jaw-dropping and hair-raising musical journey produced from yet another masterpiece. I recommend this album to anyone, especially fans of AYREON and progressive metal.

SevDawg | 5/5 |


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