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Ayreon - The Human Equation CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.19 | 1147 ratings

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The Crow
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Human Equation is a splendid album... But a bit overrated, because it's not the perfect masterpiece a lot of people says, in my humble opinion.

The first thing I noticed when I first heard this album was its variety... Arjen Lucassen has not a clear style in his mind, he just picks a lot of influences and styles, and he mixes it all in a good way. Here we can find some extreme metal passages, neo-progressive, folk, hard rock, electronic influences... And of course, the style of the song depends of the singer who appears in it. Some folk passages are related with Heather Findlay, the harder passages are with Devin Townsend and Mikael Akerfeldt, the heavy parts come with Irene Jansen and James LaBrie... And this is just the best thing this album has, the incredible group of singers we have here. For me is a kind of dream hearing James LaBrie, Mikael Akerfeldt, Devon Graves and Devin Townsend singing in the same song... This is a wet dream for every prog-metal lover!

The instrumental work is also great... Arjen's keyboard and guitar work was really hard, and the good results are here. Ed Warby is also efficent in the drumkint, but not spectacular, while contributions like Martin Orford and Ken Hensley on keys are really well received.

Ok, but the album has its flaws... In two discs it's difficult not to find some not so good tracks, and The Human Equation is any exception. Some parts of the albums are not so great, and it makes the hearing of the album a little dull sometimes, while you desire the next great track comes. It's a pity... Longer doesn't means better sometimes.

Best songs: Isolation (great opening, good keyboard solo), Pain (the best track of the album, with an incredible chorus courtesy of Devin Townsend... It's obvious he is the composer and recorder of every part he participated, his style is obviously here), Voices (good track with folk influences and great guitar riffs), Love (funny 3/4 rythm song), Trauma (another highlight, with the typical Akerfeldt grunts...), Loser (different, and a really inspired track, with great singing from Mike Baker and Devin Townsend, and a marvellous 70's Ken Hensley's hammond solo...), and Accident? (Devon Graves is outstading here...)

Conclusion: Arjen Lucassen deserves all my respect for this great work... He put his soul and a lot of hard efforth making this album, and the results are great. Not perfect, with some less inspired tracks, but still worth a good listening. If you are into prog-metal, this is a good choice, but beware of its variety... And of course, if you are interested in hearing some of the best metal singers today, this is the perfect album.

The Crow | 4/5 |


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