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Ayreon - The Human Equation CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.19 | 1134 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4 1/4 stars

Easily the finest progressive rock album I have heard from the Netherlands. This is a concept album about a man (James Labrie) who got into a car accident and fell into a coma. He hears voices in his mind all throughout the album. The main artist who created this project is a multi-instrumentalist and sings nice, but he did well on getting a wide number of singers and musicians; it helps not make the album similar in style. Most of the singers are very good, and Mikael from Opeth delivered his best grunt in "Trauma". While Labrie is the singer that sings the most in this album, he probably sings at his best here. Still, it makes me wish there was another vocalist for the main character. The music sounds like a rock opera with dramatic vocals.

1_Vigil: A short track with vocals. It ends with the sound effect of a car crash.

2_Isolation: Loud female choruses, strong synthesizer playing, almost metal-like instrumentation. This is a great song! 9/10

3_Pain: Good soft riff played when the vocals are introduced. Has some death-metal style vocals, and hard rock moments. Nice flute solo. 8/10

4_Mystery: Great track that starts as a vocal-led soft rock track, but evolves into a jam dominated by keyboards and synthesizers. 8/10

5_Voices: Too many Labrie vocals, and too little instrumentation. One of the least impressive tracks in the album. 6.5/10

6_Childhood: Somewhat soft at the beginning until the band starts jamming. 7.5/10

7_A somewhat soft and melodic track at the beginning, but later has a loud screaming part and a symphonic instrumental section. 7.5/10

8_Hope: A cheerful track led by a gorgeous hammond organ melody, and great vocals (especially the Ahhhhh near the end) 10/10

9_Playground: a Happy melodic track that repeats the same melody with different instruments. 8/10

10_Memories: Good female vocalists, rock instrumentation, and acoustic finale. 7.5/10

11_Love : a Ballad that suddently gets unusually rocking at the end. The first disc finishes with female vocalist almost screaming in unison. 7.5/10

12_Trauma: A prog rock track that begins with a great bass riff. Then a mindblowing scream of "you'd better of dead!!!!!!" introduces a metal riff derivated from the initial one. There is heavy usage of keyboards in this track. Very enjoyable! 9.5/10

13_Sign: Melodic song dominated by gorgeous vocals (mostly female). Very classical song 7.5/10

14_Pride: Sounds like a Dream Theater song and LaBrie's voices makes it more obvious. However, there is a flute solo ... so it's not 100% Dream Theater 7/10

15_Betrayal: Has very dramatic vocals, dark tone, and minimal instrumentation until the orchestra takes over in a very uptempo and complex way. This is probably the best moment of the album combined with the amazing synth solo played under mesmerzing synthesizer music that comes after the orchestra bit. 9/10

16_Loser: A folk track with a neat riff and metal moments. Folk/metal!?. The angry screams are controversial , and a bit unlistenable near the end (I got used to it though). There is a hammond solo in this track. 7/10

17_Accident? : A mellow track with some heavy parts. Oliver Wakeman plays synths in this track. 7.5/10

18_Realization: Nothing too mindblowing. However, this is a nice track with gorgeous melodies and energetic rocking riffs. 7/10

19_Disclosure: Same, not very interesting, but it is a harmless good tune. 6.5/10

20_Confrontation: This climax does not disappoint at all! Listen to the No Quarter-like organ, the slow and distorted guitar riff, and the vocals. 9/10

My Grade: B+

Zitro | 4/5 |


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