Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Ayreon - The Human Equation CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.19 | 1103 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Of all the albums in the ProgArchives top 50, Human Equation seems to be one of the clear imposters--one of those albums that really sticks out from the rest (and not in a good way).

One warning sign that I've read in numerous reviews is that way too many of the 5 star ratings involve a statement such as "I've only listened to this 3-5 times, but that's all I need to know that it's a masterpiece." I just have trouble giving too much confidence on reviews such as these, because ratings may be artificially inflated.

Don't get me wrong--I have nothing against this album: I just don't see it as a masterpiece in any way. There certainly is a place in prog for overblown, pompous, even comically ridiculous projects, and that's where Human Equation fits in my book.

There are plenty of highlights--and there certainly ought to be some in 100+ minute piece!--such as instrumental ending to Isolation, the playfulness of Realization, and nicely-done ending. However, the music is too often limited by the vocals, as guitar solos are thrown in more because that's where they are expected to go rather than based on any higher direction regarding the musical impact. I appreciate the addition of other musical genres, such as the Irish-jig section, but they are mostly in the generic, familiar, and less progressive sense.

Most importantly, nearly throughout this album, I'm continually trying to push the tempo in my's simply plodding in numerous places throughout. I suppose that may be important if you want to emphasize extended vocal wailings, but in my opinion it really draws things out much longer than necessary.

Overall a well-produced, somewhat creative, utterly overblown, and definitely overlong album. It appears there will always be a place in prog for these projects, but certainly not always in my collection.

Flucktrot | 3/5 |


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