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Ayreon - Into the Electric Castle CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.14 | 784 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars This double album represents perhaps the first majestic spacey metal opera ever made! Lucasson proved the world to be a genius - he mixed the epic grandiosity of an opera with the power of the virtuous metal. The formula has succeeded quite well and so he had expanded the horizons of progressive music. Well, don't expect exactly a combination between The Phantom of the Opera with Dream Theater, but it does not got too far from it, in my opinion! There are many grandiose and catchy instrumental arrangements all over! But only if Lucassen could have made one memorable melody present a little bit along all record, this metal opera would be in the edge of the perfect!

Lyrically, a product of Lucassen mind. This is a fantasy history about several human personages entering a new dimension ruled by their fears. In their journey to survive, they have to enter into the Electric Castle where they can escape or live the worst nightmare forever. They are guided by a voice all over.

The album starts quite well with a scary and powerful introduction prelude. The two next songs are quite memorable metal suites joining the epic acoustic guitars with the middle-aged invocative feminine chorus, oriental-invocative sitar, emotional guitar solos, powerful and/or pleasant guitar riffs, peaceful fluty passages, spacey keyboards, beauty melodies. So, imagine the horde of feelings you've been put in to. Time Beyond Time presents a memorable peaceful and epic fluty solo, repeated in the end by an emotional crying guitar (very beautiful indeed). The Decision Tree starts with a synth atmosphere a la Pink Floyd, very enjoyable, leading again to a memorable epic organ playing and epic chorus, ending with an explosive drumming. Tunnel of Light is a joyful song as they start to enter the castle.

CD2 is not as memorable as the first, it does not have the virtuous suites of the first but Across the Rainbow Bridge and The Garden of Emotions are somewhat close, but with more calmer parts. Another middle-aged invocative is Valley of Queens with fluty passages, acoustic guitars and feminine chorus. The Castle Wall shows another catchy guitar riff (similar to that on the superb Amazing Flight) and more of the splendorous ingredients of the previous tracks combined in this highlight track. Cosmic Fusion brings the album some growling. The Mirror Mase, with its catchy melody, and Evil Devolution, with is classical motifs and nice melody, are other highlights of this cd. The Two Gates is another nice song, getting close of the lyrical climax of the opera. The last track perhaps could be more majestic, it's nice but it should have a more powerful ending.

The equilibrated majesty, the great variety of sounds, great playing, the originality of the concept, for all this reasons I think it is an essential to all prog lovers!

My rate: 8/10

TRoTZ | 5/5 |


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