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Ayreon - Into The Electric Castle CD (album) cover

INTO THE ELECTRIC CASTLE

Ayreon

 

Progressive Metal

4.12 | 546 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

SentimentalMercenary
5 stars Electrifying !

Into the Electric Castle marks the point where the Ayreon project (orchestrated by the multi- talented dutch guitarist Arjen A. Luccassen) became a worldclass act. After the promising but uneven debut The Final Experiment and the disparate Actual Fantasy, Ayreon finally gathered an all-star cast, and they put up quite a show.

It seems pointless to repeat the storyline of this grandiose and eccentric space opera here, as others have already given the details.

This double CD album, to me, feels like a successful big studio party which was attended by an array of inspired musicians and signers, among them the fabled Fish, where they were all given a free ride to let go their talent, whilst being all conducted by Lucassen's compositions as they came out of his creative genius. The result is an unstoppable series of coherent but disparate prog melodies mostly in the symphonic metal genre, intertwined with pleasurable voice segments. Some parts are even simply jaw-dropping, such as that guitar solo at the end of Amazing Flight, that elevated chorus repeat in Time Beyond Time, or that finale in canon to The Mirror Maze.

In some regards, and notably with regard to Lucassen's compositions, Into the Electric Castle was uncharted territory. Overall it sounds both symphonic and metal, with touches here and there of folk, heavy, grunt, and even classic rock, and still remain very melodic all the way. Even Forever of the Stars, which consists of a voice reciting its story over some spacey/computer sounds, gets somewhat catchy!

Had it not been such a good album, it could have been the end for me with regard to Ayreon. Instead, it convinced me to keep buying his albums, and I've been more than satisfied with every one of them since. It was also good enough, obviously, to steadily attract several excellent artists into the further Ayreon albums.

Essential. Into the Electric Castle fully deserves 5 stars, among other reasons for its creativeness, its steadily engaging melodies through the full 2 CDs, and for its contribution to the addition of a very appreciated symphonic dimension to metal prog.

SentimentalMercenary | 5/5 |

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