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Ayreon - 01011001 CD (album) cover

01011001

Ayreon

 

Progressive Metal

3.84 | 491 ratings

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Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The capstone in Arjen's sci-fi epic, 01011001 suffers only in its somewhat bland delivery and pervasive feeling of sameness to Arjen's other work. In other words, fans of Ayreon have heard (almost) all of this before.

The Good: the music itself is finely produced and tightly performed, delivering lavishly epic (i.e. corny) melodies and hooks throughout. There are also a few new instrumental sounds fans might recognize as well, mostly in an improved set of keyboards; however, this is still VERY much what we might call Arjen's classic sound of spacey/light metal. Vocals are good as always, but do not approach the level of memorability we heard on Human Equation, nor do they display the range on that album. However, it is still very fun to pick out and identify vocalists you know from other bands belting out Arjen's goofy lyrics. Heck, Daniel Gildenlow's performance here is better than the entirety of Scarsick.

As the final piece of his sci-fi opus, 01011001's lyrics put all the pieces together. If you're a fan of Ayreon, then you'll love it. This album explains the entire mythology going on behind the scenes in previous releases and closes the story appropriately. If you're new, than you'll probably be put off by the extreme corn-ballness of what these great singers are singing about.

The Bad: 01011001 is essentially bits and pieces of every album Ayreon has released up to this point. I don't imply that Arjen is cutting and pasting old recordings into this one, I mean that there is virtually no sonic progression here at all; this might as well be Electric Castle pt. 2. Additionally, 01011001 does not have nearly as many WOW moments as one would hope. The music is more subdued, somber even, and as a general thing does not demand much from the listener.

I don't discourage fans of Ayreon from picking this one up-- which they should, it concludes the story-- but those investigating Ayreon's rising popularity would do better to pick up Human Equation/Electric Castle first. Finely played and produced though it is, 01011001 does not have what it takes to elevate it above the group's other offerings.

Songwriting: 3 Instrumental Performances: 4 Lyrics/Vocals: 2 Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Prog Leviathan | 3/5 |

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