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Ayreon - The Human Equation CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.19 | 1106 ratings

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5 stars Arjen Lucassen decided, after releasing quite a few sci-fi-oriented albums, to live that thing to closet for a while. The Human Equation is a stunning and very psychological journey into brains of a man, where different emotions and important persons from his life battle. The story is pretty decent and has enough energy and variation to keep it really interesting until the end.

Perhaps the most interesting thing in Ayreon is the multiple singers. And here the cast is especially impressive, as most of my favorite singers are heard in this album. James LaBrie fits well to the leading role as 'Me', and his singing here might be one of the best in his career. My personal favorite is 'Reason', who is sung by the mighty opera voice of Eric Clayton (Saviour Machine). Epic as always. Also Mike Baker (RIP) lent his awesome voice for one track. Other highlights are furious and shocking Devin Townsend as 'Rage', Mikael Åkerfeldt as 'Fear' and Marcela Bovio as 'Wife'.

The instrumental side isn't that much varied from previous Ayreon albums as the renowned singing cast. Joost van der Broek's solo on day 2 is really rocking, and other synthguys do good as well. The influence from folk-rock is present a lot more than in any other Ayreon cd. Jeroen Goossens plays flutes with quite similar style to Ian Anderson's which is nice to hear. Arjen, of course, wrote most of the stuff here and I have to say that the structural and melodical aspects are also superb.

There is no weak or bad song on this record, with the possible exception of 'Playground' which is too folky and repetitive to me. From the rest, its hard to choose the best ones as they all have some great elements. The most obscure one, 'Loser', even got to MTV, which is pretty weird when you consider that the song is made of folk, heavy metal, Mike Baker, Devin Townsend and a didgeridoo (?!). Other highlights include 'Childhood' with its beautiful harmonies and 'Trauma' which is a really haunting song that grows as it progresses. 'Pride' has maybe the best intro in here and its a rocker song. Devin Townsend shines in the huge chorus of 'Pain'. And 'Confrontation' is the epic finale of the piece, with most of the singers in it. A nice closing act, with a totally Arjen-like ending.

One question rises to mind when listening to this album. Will there ever be such a fine cast of talented singers on a same record? I truly hope that the concept of a prog-opera will not die now as Ayreon-universe finally came to its conclusion in 01011001..

Morsenator | 5/5 |


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