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Ayreon - The Theory Of Everything CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.04 | 601 ratings

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3 stars When I was reading about this record I got interested because the project seems to be so huge. Four gigantic pieces of music in length and an honerable list of people, among the best in the history of prog is facts hard to neglect. Ayreon is the project of Arjen Lucassen, a competent Dutch musician who plays a lot of instruments an has made eight records since 1995. "The Story of Everything" is a mastodont project, in form of a rock opera in four long parts. Beside Arjen Lucassen who plays guitars, bass, mandolin, synthesizers, hammond and Solina strings there are many famous names of musicians such as Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, Jordan Rudess and Steve Hackett and among the vocalist I must mention John Wetton. Those aren't everybody, some haven't I mentioned, but something in their persons gives a glimpse of hope this could be a fantastic record.

Okey then, is the record so fantastic? Yes, at least partially when the soundscape surprises us with both acoustic and electric magic. Part one and four are the best of the four, and Ayreon has tied the heels together in a decent way. It's important to say that such long tracks crave time for many listenings to really understand them and to be honest I have just listened twice. Still I believe my opinion is fair, I don't use to listen much before rating, that should be unfair to all of the others. "Phase I: Singularity" is the best 23 minutes of this record. I'd call it a beautiful mixture of styles and professionality. The symphonic theme melody is wonderful and takes it worthy place. In the last third of the song we enjoy keyboards of grand levels, with both style and structure like Emerson, Lake & Palmer, probably it's mr Emerson himself. Jeroen Goossens' flute work is also worth its praising and makes it a true symphonic work. Though don't i really think the track works very well in total, I like pieces here and there(7/10). "Phase II: Symmetry" starts with a dark beautiful vocal but those voices who follow aren't so intriguing. Even this track has fine symphonic structures but even here do I think the parts are better than the entity(5/10). "Phase III: Entanglement" find I to be the worst track on the record(4/10) even if I love the folk influences. I hold on to my earlier statement that parts are great but absolutely not everything. Happily is the last track "Phase IV:Unification" better again with nice female vocals and this long track contains a lot of grand symphonic structures.

So what shall I say about this? It's absolutely too much music for me; 90 minutes is lovely when you love what's in there. Ayreon should have concentrated more on two tracks instead of four. But that is just my opinion. "The Theory Of Everything" contains so much great that I find it impossible to just give two stars. This record is good but too long and uneven.

DrömmarenAdrian | 3/5 |


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