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Ayreon - Into the Electric Castle CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.14 | 784 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
2 stars I'm probably going to have hate mail or death threats after seeing how much people like this . I had only previously heard the debut just once prior to listening to this at a Dutch friend last night. Holland is like Poland, a néo-prog stronghold just by looking at the sheer number of néo formation. I know this for I work in Holland and as soon as the conversation switches to music : Ayreon , Absent Friends , Plackband , Flamborough Head , Everon (maybe German) , Kayak etc... In the 70's, Holland was a stronghold for jazzy-prog such as Focus , Solution , Finch , Supersister, Cargo and I loved every minute of those bands (well almost). How things change ! Quite a vital prog scene in this country but really , there is space for néo only. This is why a different band like Poetica In Silentio ( yes , they are Dutch) is having such problems finding a public at home.

Enough of my whining and complaining. let's get to the reviewing part. This was the second time I had heard this , actually , albeit both only partially, the first time in a record shop as this was a brand new product . Why am I reviewing something that I have not heard in full , you ask? Well because I have enough experience to know where some musical product is headed after a few minutes of listening and fast forwarding inside the tracks and in between them and getting a good look at the booklet.

On the plus side , I can tell you that this is a very ambitious project with a sparkling line- up of guests and real neat production and very refined sounds. This conceptual album comes with an extremely well done booklet depicting the story and having all the clichés of a gigantic neo-prog project. Sounds like quite a lot of work , sweat, ardour and passion got sunk or invested into this album. Very impressive!

On the down side , as I was listening to this ( I wish I could underline Listening) last night at my dutch friend's house , I tried very firmly to interest myself to the music , but my mind kept wandering away for short breaks as my brains and my friend kept on pointing out the better moments, pulling me back into the musical sphere being developped. So I spents over an hour trying to get into this , also wondering how Osiris of Egyptian mythology could mix in Castle Halls and I was getting into Cosmic Con-Fusion. Needless to say that it was all lost on me.

So if you are a neo fan , this is bound to please you , but if you are slightly older and more 70's-driven or into RIO or Canterbury music , you probably knew that that you should stay away. I , for the sake of my friend and my own honesty , had decide to give it another try, but only lasted for some 75 mins. Oh, well!! At least , I tried.

Sean Trane | 2/5 |


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