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




Progressive Metal

3.70 | 69 ratings

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4 stars The Final Experiment

Arjen Anthony Lucassen is a Dutch multi-instrumentalist who in 1995 released an album called Ayreon, the first of a very successful series of rock operas featuring many international guest-musicians. Ayreon is Arjen's main project, but he also works on various side-projects like STAR ONE and AMBEON.

'The Final Experiment' is Arjen Lucassen's first rock opera. The full title is 'Ayreon: The Final Experiment' with no band-name given. Later on the label suggested the name Ayreon would be used for any similar projects by Arjen.

"The story begins with a prologue in 2084: earth isn't a nice place to be anymore and the majority of humanity is dead. Scientists have developed a computer program, 'Time telepathy', which enables them to send images of wars, disasters, etc. back in time, hoping that people would learn from them and choose for a different future. It's the last possible way to survive and therefore it's called 'The final experiment'. Ayreon, a blind minstrel, in 'Act I', is receiving the images. Of course he doesn't understand at first, but slowly he starts to realize that he's seeing images from the future. In his village however no one believes him and he even gets banned from the village. In 'Act II' he arrives at Camelot, King Arthur's court, where is appointed as a minstrel. After a while he sings there about the images - 'Act III'. Merlin, the court's magician, doesn't believe Ayreon and thinks he just wants to attract people's attention. In 'Act IV' he is turning the court against Ayreon and casts a spell on him. Whether Ayreon dies or not is in fact not revealed. Later on Merlin has a vision from which he concludes that Ayreon was right after all and he foretells that Ayreon's story will be told in the 20th century. And that is in the form of this CD."

It had always been a dream for Arjen to make a Rock Opera and with "The Final Experiment" he was given a chance to make one. In 2005, 10 years after the first release of "The Final Experiment" Arjen decided to re-issue the album. Together with the album CD now comes an acoustic bonus CD containing 9 tracks. Great addition to the fist release! I would say that "The Final Experiment" is good, but not really great, but you can hear on this album already where his third studio album "Into The Electric Castle" would take him. To a higher surface!

Maybe it's not fair to rate this album having started with AYREON's "Into The Electric Castle", because I didn't know AYREON yet back in 1995, but comparing this album with "Into The Electric Castle" it's hard to give "The Final Experiment" a 5 star rating. I think the 5 star rating must go out to "Into The Electric Castle".

The Final Experiment (Special Edition): 4 stars

evenless | 4/5 |


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