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Ayreon - 01011001 CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.87 | 628 ratings

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Honorary Collaborator
5 stars After thoroughly enjoying The Human Equation album I was really looking forward to Arjen A Lucassen's latest Ayreon project. Was it worth the wait? Well I'm pleased to say a resounding yes. On first listening 01011001 whilst not a disappointment didn't hit me the way The Human Equation did but after listening for a couple of weeks I think it's even better.

Basically the concept (I think I have it right) appears to be about the inhabitants of planet Y known as Forever, who have lost their emotions and wishing to re-discover them attach their DNA on an earthbound comet thus giving birth to humanity on the planet. Humanity develops too fast setting them on a course to their own destruction. Forever's attempts to save the planet ultimately fail forcing them to leave with the last man alive.

Musically the album is familiar territory for Ayreon fans, no great leaps forward but then that doesn't matter as the material is so strong. We get the expected array of top class vocalists and guest musicians complimenting Lucassen's multi instrumental talents. Although Ayreon get branded as Progressive Metal, which much of the time it is, there are many more styles going on here. Futuristic sounding synth lines work surprisingly well against Hammond Organs and occasional programmed Drums compliment Ed Warby's excellent Drumming. The use of acoustic Guitar helps add some light and shade to the project and the use of Violin and Flute add another dimension to the sound though they're used sparingly like on the celtic sounding River of Time. Getting back to the vocals, although we have fine singers here all credit to Lucassen for giving them such strong vocal melodies to sing and the girls sing like angels. My only minor complaint is considering how lovely the girls harmonies sound it would have been nice to have had them featuring a little more as the male vocalists, also excellent tend to dominate a lot of the time.

There's no doubting Arjen Lucassen's incredible talents; I can only imagine the amount of effort it must take to put these projects together but I'm very pleased he does and already we have one of the contenders for album of 2008. A rare 5 star release.

Nightfly | 5/5 |


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