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Ayreon - Into the Electric Castle CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.14 | 784 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars It's useless to hide the fact that Human Equation is probably 'the' cd of 2004. So knowing that, I thought if sooo many people are stating Electric Castle as a classic metal opus, I had to have a peek...or two...or even three.

Woah man, look at the size of that thing. Human Equation is not bigger than this one. Au contraire, while Human Equation was aggresive (if not violent) and more nu-metal- FM oriented, Electric Castle is thick and rich in sonic textures. We get not only the usual metallic/folk blend, but also some bluesy Clapton/AC DC moments. This one's harder to get into due to the complexity of most of the numbers. This is one meaty stew that only Chef Lucassen could brew.

Disc One and Two will challenge your ears because of the real progressive aspects. This is done in the old fashioned way, and it's a sound that I could qualifiy less 'du jour'. While Human Equation is super stylish, Migrator 2 being heavy form A-Z, acoustic guitar, flute and chamber music ambience is a nice break for your nerves. Ayreon is more focused on atmospheres as he makes severals keyboard efforts to transport the listener far away in outer space.

A big fat round of applause for the talent coaching, because so much talent in studio could've lead to musical chaos. Starting with, I guess, those who steal the show: Damian Wilson and Edwin Balogh (Knight and Roman). 'Get out! You won't name Fish?' Well, he's pretty much dead as the doornail on this record. We barely hear him and his character dies pretty early in the plot (which is by the way, SO cheesy, it could make Miami Vice pass for 24).

Also hurray for the very noticable presence of my favorite flutist extraordinaire: Thijs Van Leer. The ghost of Focus is prowling around and boy oh boy, we're in for a (too short) treat. I don't know what's his technique but you could almost feel the spit coming out the flute. Powerful, melodic and irresistible. Hurray!!

Noticing the help of Camel's keyboardist Scherpenzeel and Arena's maestro Clive Nolan, the brutally efficient Ed Warby on drums, this all-star band is the BEST he ever created.

What to expect? Well, you go from the Beatles to Joni Mitchell to Ac/Dc to Eric Clapton to Focus to Rush to Ayreon's famous metal mashing formula.

Forgiving Ayreon for the goofy Survivor story and his corny boring video on the Special Edition, this is a prime choice. Your money is indeed well invested considering the new low price (why? I dunno) and the new cd-rom enhancement. Basically on the video, Ayreon's showing us how much he's a fan. A fan of pretty much everything. Music, movies, even painting. Basically, the video's showing a skinny guy with a terrible haircut, sporting ordinary clothes and hairy armpits. Woohoo. Honest approach I guess. He does not look anything like the pictures. Anything I tell ya. Figure yourself a skinny redneck grimacing (stomach pain?) when he hears music, sitting in a chair. Oh yeah, I paid for THAT. *Sigh*

I guess a lot of money is spend on digital PhotoShop to fix his image because...damn!

Menswear | 4/5 |


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