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Ayreon - The Human Equation CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.19 | 1100 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I'm the kind of person that hates musicals, figure skating, home decoration shows, and rock opera's (eg. Meatloaf). While I knew most of the vocalists on this recording, I was hesitant to pick up because of my aversion to rock opera's. Needless to say I was not only impressed by this recording, I was truly amazed by it. All the vocalists used are great and really fit their parts. Even if you don't pay attention to the roles each singer portray's, the trading off of multiple vocalists within a song works very well and seldom sounds cheesy.

A few vocalists really steal the show; namely Devin Townsend, Mikael Åkerfeldt, Irene Jansen, and Marcela Bovio. Those that know Devin Townsend's music know his trademark screams and they fit his part to a tee since he portrays the emotion of rage. Mikael Åkerfeldt from Opeth has a great singing voice (when he uses it) and offers a few of his trademark grunts (death metal vocals). While that form of singing prevents me from enjoying Opeth, it actually fits his parts well and are used very sparingly to great effect (coming off like some kind of demented god figure). At times his voice is quite operatic with amazing depth, especially on Day Twelve: Trauma. Irene Jansen has an extremely powerful voice, evident in the song Day Eleven: Love. Marcela Bovio is a newly discovered singer that Arjen Lucassen found in a talent competition. She has an amazingly emotive voice and is featured on his latest project.

The music has parts that are prog-metal, art rock, and prog-folk. The prog-folk sections sound an awful lot like classic Jethro Tull. The prog-metal sections vaguely sound like typical Dream Theater. The instrumentation is excellent, never sounding strained or forced into musical styles they can't reproduce. That's one of the reasons I actually like this rock opera, the music is always high quality and provides a great deal of variety. Interestingly, Day Three: Pain has a simple guitar part that sounds a lot like one of the themes from James Bond.

All in all, this is an excellent progressive recording. Atmospheric, heavy, and folkish all at once. The vocal performances are amazing and the overall presentation is incredible. This recording truly deserves all the accolades that it garners. I would highly recommend this to any prog fan, it truly is a masterpiece on so many levels. Shell out a few extra bucks for the special edition with the DVD. The making of documentary is actually quite interesting.

dltonya | 5/5 |


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