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Ayreon - The Human Equation CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.20 | 1209 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The mastermind of Ayreon Arjen Anthony Luccasen graces listeners with what is known to be the final opus of the project. Arjen has taken his listener of and adventures through space and time (Into the Electric Castle), creation of life and the universe (Universal Migrator), and now ends this epic project with a concept album about whay may be seen as the most complex concept of all, the human conciousness.

(this paragraph contains spoilers)Arjen casts James LaBrie of Dream Theater as the main character of the concept. Myself (here on out referring to LaBrie's character) is a victim of a tragic car accident. His best friend Arjen and his wife Marcela Bovio are at his side in the hospital. While stuck in a coma LaBrie encounters personified characters of fear (Mikael Akerfelt), rage (Devin Townshed), passion (Irene Jansen), love (Heather Findlay), pride (Magnus Eckwall), reason (Eric Clayton), and his father (Mike Baker). Through myself's coma, he learns of the disappoiting flaws in his character such as insensivity, and the mystery behind the affair of his wife and best friend. Myself then awakens from his coma understanding and forgiving of his best friend and apologizes for how he has wronged those most dear to him.

I should probably talk about the music now. Arjen Lucassen takes more of a metal/rock approach to this album. There is less orchestration (althought still present) in favor of different guitar and keyboard tones. Arjen's final product is a variant rock opera of both light and dark settings that will keep listener instrested throughout the lengthy runing time.

Arjen is the only guitarist on this album, there are no guest appearances by genre favorites Mike Romeo or Gary Wehrkamp. The result is less technical solos in favor of more melodies and rythymns. Arjen's guitar tones are variant all throughout the album. His melodic sense is plausible composing catchy, but unique tunes.

Arjen also takes care of the bass duties. There's not much to say here, an underwhelming performance, but the bass holds the groove. A listener could certainly ask more from a bassist, but recieves the bare minimum of service.

Ed Warby as usual takes care of the drums. His approach on this album is much more relaxed than it was on the second half of the previous Universal Migrator album. Warby stick to the groove, and as usual pulls of some very creative fills. The tone of Warby's drums are perfect. The bass drum hits and the snares are perfectly articulated, due to Arjen's great mixing, but also Warby's rock solid playing.

There are quite a few keyboardist contributing on this album. Oliver Wakeman seems to have the primary keyboard synth roles, along with Arjen that is. Joest Van der Broek and Martin Orford also contribute quite a bit of synth sounds. Ken Hensley takes care of the hammond. The performances are very distinguishable, but each add an essential element to this synth led project.

REMEMBER EMOTION, universal migrator system offline!

AtLossForWords | 4/5 |


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