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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 Into The Electric Castle

The third Ayreon release is a 100+ minute double CD and like 'The Final Experiment' it tells a story. Eight stereotypical characters from different eras in time suddenly find themselves in another dimension as subjects of an experiment conducted by an alien race.

The characters on 'Into the Electric Castle' are blown out of proportion. Arjen rented a few old B-movies for inspiration to see how Romans, Barbarians and Egyptians were stereotyped in those years. "I like this tongue in cheek-thing, although I take the music itself very seriously."

"Into The Electric Castle' is the most pleasant sounding album I've made so far', says Arjen. "And that is mainly due to the analogue equipment I used. Like vintage synthesizers from the 70's, which still have that warm, instantly recognizable sound. I had enough of triggered drums, samples and prefab digital sounds. I'm a sucker for contradictions. 'Into The Electric Castle' is one to start with. But I also like the idea of telling a sci-fi story and using equipment that - in some cases - people might find out- dated."

To me "Into The Electric Castle" probably is Arjen Lucassen's best work. His latest album "The Human Equation" is quite a bit harder and therefore more difficult to "get in to" for people who don't know Arjen's work yet. Therefore I would recommend "newcomers" to start with "Into The Electric Castle" with great singers like Fish (yes! the former lead singer from Marillion), Damian Wilson (ex Threshold), Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation), Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering), Edwin Balogh, Arjen Lucassen, Jay van Feggelen, and Edward Reekers.

I really enjoy the concept of this album of all the characters going on a journey and they are all trying to complete it, but not all characters will manage. For example: The Highlander "Fish' character" dies at the end of disc one, so unfortunately no more singing of him on disc two.

Personally I like the entire album because of the concept and I don't think it would do the album any good to review song by song. This album you have to put in your CD- player and play it from beginning to end without skipping, changing the volume or playing it "random". (I still wonder why manufacturers invented this horrible function, just like programming). But if I would have to mention my personal highlight it would probably be the delicate "Valley Of The Queens".

This album definitely deserves a 5 star rating!

Into The Electric Castle: 5 stars

evenless | 5/5 |


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