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Ayreon - Universal Migrator, Part 1: The Dream Sequencer CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.60 | 480 ratings

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4 stars The Universal Migrator part I: The Dream Sequencer

After I was puzzled with the beauty and variety by "Into The Electric Castle" I went on to get all the other albums at once! A bit of a risk, but it turned out to work out fine!

To me "Universal Migrator", the re-issue of "The Dream Sequencer" and "Flight Of The Migrator" as a double album, together with "Into The Electric Castle" are some of Arjen Lucassen's best works. His latest album "The Human Equation" is quite a bit harder and therefore more difficult to "get in to" for people who don't know AYREON yet.

If you liked "Into The Electric Castle" you will surely also like "The Universal Migrator". The Universal Migrator part I, "The Dream Sequencer" mainly features laid-back atmospheric material with songs focussing on melody, while The Universal Migrator Part II, "Flight Of The Migrator" contains metal songs. Initially the album was meant to only feature female singers, but not enough singers were available so Arjen changed his plans.

Whereas 'Into the Electric Castle' has an opera-like set up, in which main characters sing dialogues in one song, on 'The Dream Sequencer' Arjen chose to have only one vocalist sing each song. As a result each new incarnation of the last Colonist on Mars, the main character of the story, has its own distinct personality.

On 'Universal Migrator part I: The Dream Sequencer' Arjen picks up the story of the 22nd century. Over a hundred years have passed since the last world war destroyed all life on earth, which the main character Ayreon already predicted in the 6th century (see the first Ayreon CD 'The Final Experiment').

During the battles a number of colonists resided on Mars, witnessing the destruction on earth from afar. For years they managed to keep themselves alive with the supplies they brought with them from earth. These supplies ran out and almost all colonists have died. The main character in the story is the last surviving human being, a child of the first colonists. He has never been on earth.

To make the boredom on Mars somewhat bearable, clever technicians designed the Dream Sequencer, a machine that allows Colonists to travel back to their own youth by means of hypnoses, but also to their lives before; their pre-incarnations so to speak.

It is in this machine that the Colonist relives his youth on Mars, his death as a woman on earth during the war of 2084, the first moon landing of 1969, and his life as the standard bearer in the famous 17th century painting of Rembrandt: The Nightwatch. He stood on the shores of England as Queen Elisabeth I, watching the English fleet sail out to stop the Spanish Armada, and as a Mayan girl he witnessed sacred ceremonies in Tikal. We find out that the Colonist once was the minstrel Ayreon and that, in another even earlier incarnation, he was present during the construction of Stonehenge. His soul's first incarnation was the first human being on earth.

Personally I like the entire album because of the concept and I don't think it would do the album any good to review song by song. This album you have to put in your CD- player and play it from beginning to end without skipping, changing the volume or playing it "random". (I still wonder why manufacturers invented this horrible function, just like programming). But if I would have to mention my personal highlights they would probably be "One Small Step" with the beautiful voice of Edward Reekers, "Carried by The Wind" (vocals by Arjen himself) and "And The Druids Turn To Stone" with my favourite AYREON singer Damian Wilson. (Ex Threshold).

The Universal Migrator part I: The Dream Sequencer: 4.5 stars

evenless | 4/5 |


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