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Ayreon - Universal Migrator, Part 1: The Dream Sequencer CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.60 | 483 ratings

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3 stars The Dream Sequencer doesn't rate amongst the fan's favourites. So for someone that only gets an occasional kick from this project it might be a surprising discovery. Unlike the usual Ayreon output, this album and its companion Flight of The Migrator mostly features only one vocalist per track.

The album takes a slow start, The Dream Sequencer is meant to bring us into a Floydian dream mood but the music is hardly compelling enough to achieve that. Prog muzak. My House On Mars is something else entirely, with the morose vocals of Tiamat's Johan Edlund at the helm, it's probably an acquired taste for Ayreon fans but for lovers of Tiamat this is sweet as honey. There's plenty of orchestral bombast in the middle but due to the deadly vocals it works quite well. An interesting mix.

2084 is an album highlight, the solemn mood is maintained but Arjen's bright and colourful arrangements make it pleasantly lush and light. The vocalist Lana Lane is excellent. Also One Small Step and Shooting Company are a lovely journey into Ayreon's more atmospheric and moody side. Dragon of The Sea is another fine track featuring Lana Lane. After two folksy samples, Damien Wilson is allowed to sparkle on And The Druids Turned to Stone. An uninteresting Beatles singalong, The First Man and a reprise of the dull intro round up the album.

Even in a less operatic manifestation such as this album, Ayreon remains an overblown and bombastic endeavour that quickly becomes a weary listen. If it all had been just a bit 'less' I would have opted for 4 stars. The song material is certainly deserving it. 3.5 stars

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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