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Ayreon - 01011001 CD (album) cover

01011001

Ayreon

 

Progressive Metal

3.87 | 634 ratings

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Xeroth
5 stars Ayreon's highly anticipated new album 01011001 (Y). Released about four months ago I was one of the many fans that eagerly jumped to the roof to buy this long awaited album. The next step in the climb to amazingness by Arjen A. Lucassen. After listening to the album a few times... I sit comfortably at 4.5 stars. I hate mediums. The album is intriguing, lacking in experimentation, and very heavy. A lot of layers are present in the album: complex story, vocals up to your eyeballs, heavy riffs, violins that sing through, and a dark feeler from some of the other albums. A good lesson, 2 CDs, the length of CD isn't too long or too short, but fits the length of Ayreon albums.

Standing Alone:

Standing alone (as if a person was to just pick this up), this is a great album. With heavy, spacey riffs filled with good vocals and classic choruses--possibly now cliche with how many albums Arjen has done. Most of the Album is prog metal in it's true form, very heavy. Only growls once, and that's in the grand finale song, which is amazing and very moving. The concept if picked up for the first time might be ignored or will just be confusing... or plainly just have a lot of holes and isn't worth following to sternly. Above all, this may just be considered a great introduction to Ayreon. For most people it takes some time for Ayreon to grow on them, this album could ease them in a little softer than some of the other albums, including Human Equation. List and variations of vocals are great and each song adds in its own way to make this an incredible listen anyone could enjoy if they are musically open minded. 5/5 stars as a first pick up, only a few songs detract away from the album, but it isn't enough to disappoint.

Compared to Previous Albums:

Arjen's work in the album, musically, just isn't up to par. New sounds, heavy riffs, but not enough exploration (exemption from the concept). His music in this isn't nearly as diverse as the other albums were. However, don't get me wrong when I say it's not up to par it's trailing closely behind Electric Castle and Human Equation. I do think that is enormous list of artists is more of a killer than a builder. Huge name artists like Pain of Salvation, Epica, Katatonia, Phideaux, Kings X, Within Temptation, Evergrey, and a whole bunch more just don't get as strong a spot light as they could've. Especially Phideaux and Pain of Salvation. Some of the vocals sound so close together it's hard to tell who is who. His collections of vocals is amazing, but maybe a tad excessive. Despite all of these reasons that this album just isn't up to par with Human Equation and Electric Castle. The songs are still just soooo good! Enjoyable and a heavy listen, if you were hoping for something maybe a little heavier you won't be disappointed, but if you were hoping for some of Arjen's well achieved diversity (as played through in Human Equation) you might not be so impressed. I love both, and I feel like I now have two sides of Arjen, heavy (this one), and experimental goodness (Human Equation). The concept is incredible as takes a broad perspective and connects all the dots of his albums together. Looping the story like all his other albums had alluded, Y is a complete story with great lyrics and very deep story. He progresses the story smoothly it short interludes throughout the album of human life. Some songs only work for story purposes, but many are good to stand alone for a good heavy listen--something Human Equation may have possibly lacked, especially on the second CD. He proses some of his best quality lyrics and really uses the vocalists wisely to help cut out excessive dialogue drone. All in all, the positive far outweighs the negative and I would have to place a 4/5 on 01011001 to Arjens cumulative work. Good listen indeed.

Songs that standout:

Unlike Human Equation, Y doesn't seem to have as many standout songs. There weren't many powerful singles like Love or Loser. But some great listens are Age of Shadows, Comatose, Connect the Dots, Liquid Eternity, Beneath the Waves, Ride the Comet, Walking Dreams, Unnatural Selection, E=MC^2, and The Sixth Extinction. The rest either seem to just meld in or are his typical format and style of song. Ride the Comet and Walking Dreams are like that, but they both have some interesting features that are worth the listen. Both Liquid Eternity and Unnatural Selection are excellent head bangers. Comatose and Connect the Dots are good semi-softies. And the rest are just great progressive elemental songs. E=MC^2 has a cool idea behind the song, sure nerdy, but who really cares? Its Ayreon.

As of last, I still sit pretty strongly on a 4.5, but because Ayreon is an amazing band, my top five, and I like to round up for good luck and support and encouragement. I'm going to shoot this off with a well deserved 5/5 star rating to Ayreon and Arjen Lucaseen's hard work. Can't wait for the next album, hopefully it'll beat this one and top Human Equation... No offense, but Human Equation is a masterpiece upon all Progressive made albums, I don't know if Arjen can top the album ever again. Check out this prog metal amazingness of doom (quite literally too) and see what you think.

Xeroth | 5/5 |

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