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Ayreon - Universal Migrator, Part 2: Flight Of The Migrator CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

3.62 | 420 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Two sides of the same coin?

Flight Of The Migrator is the second out of the two Universal Migrator albums. While the first part was a Psychedelic/Space Rock experience with hardly a trace of Metal, this second part is a full on Metal album (a mix of Neo-Classical Metal, Power Metal, New Wave of British Heavy Metal, and Progressive Metal with traces of Neo-Prog). Even though the two Universal Migrator albums are musically quite different from each other they are thematically connected (and they were subsequently released together as a 2CD package). Again, though they are different musically, they do share many characteristics with each other as well as with the two albums that Arjen Lucassen released under the name of Star One. In my personal opinion, these four albums are definitely among Lucassen's better efforts and as such they are much preferred over some of his overrated and often overblown Rock Operas.

Arjen Lucassen always indulged freely in the worst clichés and stereotypes not only of the musical genres of Progressive Rock and Metal, but also of the literary genres of Fantasy and Science Fiction. The Universal Migrator albums are no exception, but it is bearable here. Like on Universal Migrator part 1, this second part too shows more restraint in terms of the number of vocalists and diverse musical styles. As I said above this mixes different Metal styles, but it wisely avoids the bombastic Rock Opera format that plagued other Ayreon albums. It does tell a story, but the vocalists are not assigned roles to play as such which I found more than a bit cheesy on Into The Electric Castle and The Human Equation. Here Arjen wisely avoids letting the storytelling take over the music. The almost complete absence of narration and sung or spoken dialogue here helps to lower the cheese-factor significantly and bring focus back to the music itself.

The material is relatively strong and very melodic, but compared to the best albums by the bands from which Arjen gathered his all-star cast of vocalists and instrumentalists - Symphony X, Shadow Gallery, Arena, Pendragon, Iron Maiden, Rhapsody (Of Fire), and more - Flight Of The Migrator (or any other Ayreon album) does not come anywhere remotely near their quality.

Recommended in addition to Dream Sequencer, but is more likely to impress Metal fans than Prog fans

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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