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Ayreon - The Final Experiment CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.41 | 352 ratings

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2 stars Arjen Lucassen is quite a phenomenon in recent prog history. His unique blend of musical-fantasy-rock-opera-all-stars-cast-Celtic-folk-pomposity isn't everybody's preferred type of progressive rock, but he's a great composer and arranger and I've find myself enjoying his works quite a lot. He often cites influences from all classic prog rock artists. Marillion, Rush, Pink Floyd, Yes, Tangerine Dream and ELP being the most prominent ones (or did I now list all classic bands).

There's very little metal on this debut, symphonic neo-prog would be a more fitting tag then progressive metal. It isn't very consistent and has too much sticky AOR tendencies. But there is plenty to relish as well. The Awareness is a bombastic blues with a soulful male lead and operatic female vocals. Also Eyes of Time is enjoyable. Yes I confess I like the lead singer Lenny Wolf from Zeppelin-clone band Kingdom Come. It's one of my indulgences really. Ye Courtyard Minstrel Boy has a charming Celtic main theme but the vocals are quite grating, especially if you know the version that Arjen later recorded for his Ambeon project. Computer Reign and Waracle are the most powerful songs on the album. The Charm of The Seer is a folksy tune that also would get a makeover on the Ambeon album. Other songs like The Banishment and Sail Away are hurtful for my ears. Professional but empty and pompous. Lots of Yes and ELP influences though.

Except for the following album, Ayreon wouldn't change his formula very much. Only the execution got a lot better over time. With only 25 quality minutes, 2.5 stars will have to do.

Bonnek | 2/5 |


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