Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Ayreon - The Human Equation CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.19 | 1102 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I'm actually surprised that this is Ayreon's highest rated album on Progarchives. This album is Very good... but I certainly think there have been better Ayreon albums.

The Human Equation is a progressive metal psychodrama that takes the listener through the world of an unconscious man's dreams as he copes with the various manifestations of emotions within his head. Rather than continue with the medieval pilgrimages, progressive metal space odysseys, or amazing star-powered adventures into fantasy that were on his previous albums, Arjen decided to change something for once... which is good, I think. It's always good to have a change once in a while. While I think his space odysseys are much more interesting, we are in need of an album like the human equation to balance it.

The storyline is much more like a Pink Floyd The Wall type of story, in that it's a rock opera that speaks of an ordinary person's extraordinary adventures in his life... rather than extraordinary things happening in surreal environments like Rush's 2112. Just my opinion in saying that the epic space odysseys are way more interesting, but it's not like this story doesn't capture your mind as well. Each emotion is represented by a vocalist with Dream Theater's James LaBrie singing as Me, the main character of the story. Me's father, wife and best friend are also portrayed, and best friend is also the Hippie from Into the Electric Castle as well as Mr. L from 01011001, to link those albums together. Actually this album is probably the most independant of any other Ayreon release. Some might argue Actual Fantasy is, but there are many themes in Actual Fantasy that are later built upon in subsequent releases. There are only 2 real connections between this album and the rest of the Ayreon saga, and that is the best friend being the hippie/Mr. L and the very ending, where it's revealed that Forever has been observing Me's emotions through the Dream Sequencer as part of an experiment. This ending both disappointed me and intrigued me... as I love it when things are linked together... but I hate endings that are very anticlimactic and random.

As for the music, it's very diverse and unbalanced... not that that's a bad thing. Each song has different influences, there is just so many things to hear on this album, progressive electronic, there are some heavy parts, progressive parts, acoustic melodies, folk music, and all that good stuff. It's very impressive, like all other Ayreon releases.

The reason that this album gets a 4 instead of a 5 is the fact that it's melodies are not very memorable... they are incredible, but after I've listened to it, honestly I can't remember what I just heard with the exception of Day 16: Loser, and Day 11: Love... the ending (because I just heard it) and a progressive electronic section in the beginning. The album is definitely an amazing progressive metal album, but Ayreon has done better in the past.

By the way, the second disk put the beginning of day 12 in 11 small tracks in order to keep up the track numbers with the number of days that passed in the story. On my iPod, I just combined all the mini tracks into one.

HammerOfPink | 4/5 |


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