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Ayreon - The Human Equation CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.19 | 1106 ratings

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5 stars From album to album, Arjen "Ayreon" Lucassen surprises us with even more elaborated and complex albums. Human Equation is the best Ayreon album to date (in virtuosism) and a fine successor of the opera rock Into the Electric Castle. The story of this double album is about a man who suffers a car accident and enters in coma. Then, day by day, he sees his past life, from the beginning to the day of the accident, reviving good and bad parts of his life. Again, his trip to the past is going to sentence is present condition, like in DREAM THEATER's Scenes from a Memory or OPETH's Still Life.

Technically, I have to say this album is performed by excellent musicians. Has we listen to the first heavy orchestration we notice that evidently, it has a RUSH vein. But we can find a lot of influences as PINK FLOYD's spacey ambiences and guitar solos (actually in Day Five: Voices, some parts sound like the melody of Dark Side of The Moon's first track), GENESIS theatrics (the beautiful melody keyboard of Day Nine: Playground sounding like a track taken from A Trick of The Tail) and CAMEL. There's a lot of variety in this record, as you can see. Lot's of instruments are performed. Adding to the classical guitar, bass, drums and keyboard, we have beautiful epical flute passages all over the album (showing the CAMEL adoration by Lucassen), hammond, violins and cellos. You have many contributors to the vocals besides Lucassen itself, the most known ones OPETH's Mikael Akerfeldt (who incarnates "Fear" superbly by growling here and there, it was an intelligent choice by Lucassen) , DREAM THEATER's James Labrie as the main character, SAVIOUR MACHINE's Eric Clapton, ELFONIA's feminine vocalist Marcela Bovio. And a bit of each one's band is added to the album. For example, Day Fourteen: Pride could be a DREAM THEATER's track, and not a vulgar one should I say!

The double album has many highlights, particularly the melody and intensity of Day Two: Isolation, Day Eight: School which presents us with some intense classical opera parts like they were extracted from THE PHANTOM OF OPERA, the space explosion of the beautiful Day Four: Mystery, the very nostalgic and beautiful Day Nine: Playground which has the backing sound of children playing (like in CAT STEVEN's schoolyard), the emotional heaviness of Day Twelve: Trauma , the middle aged epic Day Thirteen: Sign, the technical and intense Day Fourteen: Pride combined with some beautiful flute intercalations, Irish style of Day Sixteen: Loser and the superb multifaceted Day Eighteen: Realization.

Nevertheless not surpassing RUSH nor having the technical complexity of DREAM THEATER, nor being always exactly original, the combination of these several facts (many influences, instruments and singers) contributes to the majesty and diversity of the album. It has a great ambience (sometimes spacey, sometimes epic and sometimes emotional) from the beginning to the end! There are no weak parts. THIS IS A VERY GOOD ALBUM, I considerer it a masterpiece.

My congratulations to Lucassen who manage himself to captivate so many VIP's of the prog scene in his personal project (this says everything, words for what?).

My Rate: 8,5/10

TRoTZ | 5/5 |


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