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Ayreon - Ayreon Universe : Best of Ayreon Live CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.32 | 36 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars Ayreon return to the stage in a blaze of glory with The Ayreon Universe. This is selections of Ayreon gold gleaned from Arjens back catalogue and supplemented with a plethora of vocal artists, some of which appear on the original tracks. The dvd that accompanies the CD is the best way to get maximum enjoyment from this but it can be experienced nicely without the visuals. The production on this is exemplary, each musician can be heard and the vocals are not overpowering. I love how the crowd roar when certain artists take to the stage such as the incredible Floor Jansen and Damian Wilson. Its a cool thing to hear the crowd explode when Arjen appears too. He is the visionary behind the whole concept so well deserved. I am no newcomer to Ayreon, having devoured every album, sometimes on countless listens, so I had heard some of these tracks many times, however its been a while since i heard anything prior to Human Equation so it was a joy to revisit tracks from Electric Castle and Actual Fantasy. I adored the live renditions from Human Equation, 011001001 and The Theory of Everything. It is also wonderful to see the vocalists injecting so much passion and energy into their roles with flawless performances. I missed Devin on Loser but its handled sufficiently. The trio of women singing angelic harmonies on Valley of the Queens is spellbinding. Everybody Dies is a powerhouse performance. Amazing Flight in Space features Arjen on vox, Dawn of a Million Souls is unforgettable, and And the Drids turned to stone is beautifully sung. The Eye of Ra finale is excellent featuring a massive harmony of voices.

Their are 2 discs of incredible masterpiece tracks from the universe we know as Ayreon so really no surprises that it is being rated highly. I prefer the studio albums but this is still an awesome concert experience. For those who could not be there, this is the next best thing. I hope Ayreon release more material soon as the albums are simply outstanding prog masterclass products.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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