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Ayreon - Into the Electric Castle CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.14 | 784 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Into the Electric Castle is the third album from Arjen Lucassen's main project, Ayreon, and was his first big success (relatively speaking) in the prog world. What you have here is a traditional style prog metal album that takes the most grandiose aspects of prog and delivers them in a two disc concept album. Musically this album is filled with lush keyboards, clinical (on purpose) electronics and powerful guitars and drums. Arjen's demonstrates an ability to create interesting and multi- sectioned songs that don't sound like repeats of a single theme and intertwines that with a complex story about a group of people snatched from various times from Earths history (and future) as they travel to the Electric Castle. In fact its the use of a story and multiple singers, each playing a different role, that makes this into a rock opera and provides the main strength for the album. Particular stand out vocal performances are form Fish, who gives a performance filled with more character than some of his solo work, Damien Wilson and Anneke van Giersbergen. Though this album can make for a highly enjoyable listen, it does have a good few drawbacks to it. First off, the musicianship is hardly stunning, especially the bass playing which is particularly unadventurous, and the music can be described as prog by numbers, not exactly a bad thing, but it can get old after a few/several listens and as such hurts the longevity of this album. Worst of all, though, the concept and Arjen's lyrics (Fish, and if I remember correctly, Anneke both wrote their own) are rather cheesy to say the least and this will not go down to well with many people, so don't take it too seriously. Good for a bit of easy listening, in prog terms at least, but its not challenging and can grow stale quickly, but enjoyable for the times you do listen to it.
sleeper | 3/5 |


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