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Ayreon - The Universal Ayreonaut CD (album) cover

THE UNIVERSAL AYREONAUT

Ayreon

Progressive Metal


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Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I wanna be elected!

Ayreon's latest release, the Elected EP (or The Universal Aryeonaut) is a fun attack on the media who put Arjen and Tobias against one another. When both Ayreon and Avantasia released their new rock operas on the same day (Ayreon with 01011001, Avantasia with The Scarecrow) press made sure to make it look like a battle of the giants and made sure to make it seem like the two band front men hated each other. While this was not entirely untrue, since their was jealousy surrounding Tobias being able to get Alice Cooper for his new album and Arjen being able to get Bruce Dickinson for a previous album, the guys decided to put away their differences for this EP.

Appropriately, Elected is a space-prog metal Alice Cooper cover with the two guys adding a couple lyrics here and there to make comical attacks on one another (''So your new album is called eleven billion ten million ten thousand and eleven? Referring to my sales figures, huh?''). It's a good, if short track that's entirely for fun with some great hooks and soaring, catchy keys. The other tracks on the EP are quite enjoyable, especially since they're mostly different than their studio counterparts. E=MC^2 is a live accoustic version of the song that's cut down considerably with some very sight bass added afterwards. It's a great version of the track which has a pleasant simplicity to it with only one guitar and one singer. Same goes for Day Six: Childhood.

Ride The Comet was taken directly from Arjen's latest album 01011001 and remains as the bombastic powerhouse that it was there.

This one gets a three for being a good album that's really quite fun. Not really progressive in any sense of the word, but the versions of the songs available make for a good purchase if you're an Ayreonaut or just a heavy metal fan. 3 stars!

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Send comments to Queen By-Tor (BETA) | Report this review (#169394)
Posted Thursday, May 01, 2008 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars ' The Universal Ayreonaut' - Ayreon (5/10)

Not bad at all...but certainly nothing compared to Ayreon's actual works. Considering there is no actual original material on this release (A cover, two remixes and a song taken from Ayreon's latest full length)

What attracted me to this album was the 'Ayreon vs. Avantasia' aspect of it. I thought that the fiery rivalry shared between the two projects would make this into an interesting, and provocative EP. However, I was relatively dissapointed. What I found was a tame, albeit decent Alice Cooper cover, two stripped down remixes, and a song I could have easily just listened to on '01011001.'

However, it's enjoyable nontheless. I thought the two remixes (an acoustic rendition of a song from Ayreon's latest album, and a stripped down piano ballad from 'The Human Equation) were quite beautiful. The vocals were done amazingly, and Fans of Ayreon's work are definately encouraged to check it out.

However, I don't think that someone who wasn't already into the work of Ayreon would really find worth in this EP. If you're new to Ayreon, go get 'Into the Electric Castle' or something. It's certainly decent, and as far as the two renditions go I might go as far as giving this EP 3.5, but overall, it's only for fans.

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#202429)
Posted Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Ayreon versus Avantasia EP "Elected" is a nice little gimmick for both fans of the Ayreon and the Avantasia project. The cover version of a classic Alice Cooper song has been done by the masterminds of both projects as their albums "01011001", maybe Ayreon's most diversified and perfect record, and "The Scarecrow", probably too the most diversified record of the Avantasia catalogue, have been compared by metal magazines around the world by trying to create an atmosphere of concurrency between the two majestic records instead of praising them for their very different styles and approaches. Arjen Lucassen and Tobias Sammet ridiculise this wrong image of a rivalry between the two projects in a very funny way and original interpretation of the hard rock classic. Tobias Sammet envies Arjen Lucassen for his collaboration with Bruce Dickinson while Arjen Lucassen is jealous about the fact that Tobias Sammet worked with Alice Cooper himself. Ayreon's image is described as intellectual and boring while Avantasia's project is compared to a more sexual and superficial aspect. There are many good jokes in the song and the music is still great and addicting. Both masterminds sound quite relaxed but are definitely on their zenith of originality.

This release includes three more Ayreon songs. Those gimmicks are enjoyable but nothing outstanding and show a more intimate approach to the bombastic project. "E=MC2" becomes a very insightful and quite short acoustic track and "Day Six: Childhood" is a shortened and relaxing piano version of the original. The album version of the very strong "Ride The Comet" presents us nothing new or essential but I think it's a good choice for this release because this track would have been a very strong single from the last output if Ayeron and Avantasia had not decided to work together on this rather interesting "Elected" experiment.

In the end, we have a quite entertaining and diversified release here that is worth to be bought by fans and collectors of both projects at a low price. Let's not that the cover artwork is very detailed and filled with interesting comments and quotations. On the other side, there is nothing really essential or surprising to be found on this little gem and anyone that doesn't know that much about both projects should instead purchase the epic progressive metal masterpiece "01011001" and the commercial rock and world music star ensemble work on "The Scarecrow" first and will probably be blown away by the diversity and creativity of both projects.

Originally published on www.metal-archives.com on November 3rd of the year 2011.

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Send comments to kluseba (BETA) | Report this review (#380777)
Posted Saturday, January 15, 2011 | Review Permalink

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