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Ayreon - Universal Migrator Part I & II CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.17 | 72 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars Universal Migrator part one and two as one package is really the way to enjoy this concept project, that features incredible vocal performances from all involved. It begins like many Ayreon albums with a robotic instructional voice and a lengthy instrumental. The first CD is actually part 1 which sold separately on initial release. It has quite a melancholy soundscape, soaked with synthesizers and some haunting guitar passages. There is no real metal surprisingly enough but it creates an ambience that flows from track to track. Neal Morse is a special guest and one of the highlights. The tracks are not as consistently good as part 2 and there's little to no metal and as a prog metal band they don't commit themselves here or satisfy the average metal fan; some may be disappointed at the lack of heaviness as I was. It is still compelling music but I am so used to the heavier Ayreon.

Part 2 of this saga is very heavy in comparison to this and as a result more satisfying, featuring blistering compositions such as the magnifique 'Into the Black Hole', Bruce Dickinson's contribution. 'Chaos' is also a strong track that is among the best Ayreon has produced. 'Dawn of a Million Souls' features Symphony X singer and is absolutely brilliant. There are some very riff heavy tracks and these are balanced by quieter moments. The booklet for both CDs is colourful and features iconic imagery. The sprawling concept is bookended on both CDs with the computer program effects. Overall I recommend getting hold of the double CD version that features parts 1 and 2 as it adds incredible depth to the concept. Part 2 is definitely the best in terms of a metal sound and great melodies throughout but they are both part of the whole and one cannot really exist without the other. The album is not as good as 'The Human Equation' but it certainly is one of the best Ayreon CDs. 4 stars.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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