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Ayreon - The Final Experiment (Special Edition) CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.71 | 72 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I give this version, with both discs combined, a 3.5, even though I can't quite raise it all the way to 4 stars.

Before you read this review, please check out my review of the original edition of The Final Experiment; it explains the concept and my thoughts on AYREON's debut album, which is unaltered in this re-release. Unfortunately, the demo tapes were lost, so ARJEN LUCASSEN had no chance to revisit the original as he did with Actual Fantasy.

What's been added to this one is a second disk with semi-acoustic versions of many songs from the album. These songs have been re-arranged extensively from the originals, and in many cases the vocalists approach their songs with entirely different techniques. Sometimes female vocalists sing in the place of males. Fans of MARCELA BOVIO from The Human Equation and LUCASSEN's upcoming project, STREAMS OF PASSION, will be pleased to note that she appears on "Waracle". IRENE JANSEN, also from The Human Equation, sings on "Merlin's Will", outdoing the original, in my opinion. Finally, some prog fans will recognize PETER DALTREY, the singer who did the spoken-word parts on Into the Electric Castle, singing on "Nature's Dance".

When I hear the original version of The Final Experiment, it can be a difficult, emotionally-draining listen, with its oppressively brooding atmosphere of tragedy helped along by the synths. The acoustic songs on this version have a somewhat warmer, brighter atmosphere, and it's easier to ignore the lyrics if you so choose and just concentrate on the melodies. For that, I especially appreciate the alternate takes on these songs. And if you keep listening after the last song, you'll eventually hear a "redone" section of a certain part of "The Banishment" that drove me up the wall on the original...

If you're a real fan of AYREON, this is the version to buy in order to complete your collection. Or, if you think you could do with a slightly ligher version of The Final Experiment, this may be worth picking up.

FloydWright | 3/5 |


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