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Ayreon - The Final Experiment CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.41 | 352 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Well for me this is the only work by Arjen Lucassen which is well worth checking out from the beginning to the end, being quite far away from the music stereotype regarding such a tiring metal prog of a few European this particular occasion the interesting rock opera within the present album - projected by a "fertile" Dutch musician and divided into 4 acts- reminds us of a different stuff, in the vein of bands such as for instance Jethro Tull (talking about the unplugged parts), Rush, Il Trono dei Ricordi and so on.of course you can listen also to some harder harmonic solutions, reminding me of Magellan, but here helped in their construction by seven musicians, five choristers and thirteen singers, whose contribution is very important for the whole structure of the opera!! Ayreon is a blind jester from 6th century, who foretells the futuristic vision concerning the 20th century: such a worrying vision regards the environmental and technological decline of the world (do you remember the main theme of "De Profundis" , the splendid work by After Crying ?...) and after a short declaimed prologue the first act begins.I like the unplugged arpeggio accompanying the sweet vocalism by E. Reekers, then alternated by means of symphonic and more thrilling parts, which are brilliantly performed along with the female chorus. It's the best section within "Dreamtime", this latter un unforgettable tune for many listeners. Instead the other songs of the first act are quite homogeneous and in the vein of the medieval stuff, yet a simple bridge towards the second act, regarding the landing of Ayreon into the court of King Arthur, after being driven away from his Country: the flute and the vocal parts of Barry Hay are remarkable in the track "Sail away to Avalon" , which is one of the first songs Jethro Tull- oriented, being so close to the spirit of Jan Anderson!! Instead "Nature's dance" is a bucolic short track, ending the second act in a more pastoral manner . Then the third act begins to close the whole circle of the main theme, with its more typical "rock language" of the seventies, sometimes resembling the style of the musical "Jesus Christ Superstar", through the present narration by Ayreon: it tells us about the cyber destruction of the environment, by means of such direct language. Here the human being is subject to the machines and the story-plot is complete this way. Besides you can appreciate the song entitled "Waracle" , above all for its simplicity, being the meeting between the classic rock genre and the symphonic one, suitable for all the different tastes of the listener and according to his personal music background: as a matter of fact the meaning of the song is clear to all of us, anyway;while the following tunes are closer to the spirit of Rush and sometimes characterized by a mysterious mood too, before introducing the epic keyboards, a bit Magellan-like, always played by Lucassen.

Therefore, finally, you can listen to the fourth conclusive and dramatic act, introduced by "Merlin's will", in which the Celtic magician knows Ayreon .well at the end He will decide to kill him, because He cannot hear his telepathic message from the future and it will be a mistake.the final song is entitled "Ayreon's fate", telling the story of the tragic end concerning the life of the leading character: such theatrical last act is the perfect link with the music ideas of the concept. After all, despite of finding a bit foolish theme inside, the work is clever, even though Lucassen uses the Celtic cliché of King Arthur and naturally He's not the first musician involved with the medieval legends. However by means of this album He has expressed all his best arrangements and ideas as well, so you can forgive such venial sin, as moreover the following albums have been not so much inspiring and original.instead the present album- dated 1996- is absolutely worth checking out and you could add another half star at least!

lor68 | 3/5 |


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