Ayreon
The Theory of Everything


3.5
great

Review

by James Lentil USER (7 Reviews)
November 12th, 2013 | 33 replies | 2,606 views


Release Date: 10/28/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Arjen is back with his squad team of universal musicians and creates a solid release but nothing is new which may or may not be a bad thing.

2 of 3 thought this review was well written

Ayreon is quite the interesting artist as he likes to utilize many different artists who are not part of his band. One could even adequately state that Ayreon is a band of all the collective musicians in the world. Ayreon is led by the mastermind Arjen Anthony Lucassen who has nothing less than an extensive track record of recording and creating music for many years. Lucassen likes to reach out to different artists to contract work for musical projects based on his ultimate vision of creating fantasy-like music that draws the listener into visual landscapes and emotions. Whether he’s been successful or not depends on the listener and their interpretations. Many could make an argument as to whether his music touches them or not but few can say he isn’t talented.

I will start off and say The Theory of Everything isn’t anything new and it doesn’t really surpass anything he’s accomplished before but it still does have its solid moments. I have a strong pet peeve for music that is corny and while I’m on that subject it denotes where I stand with this release. There are without a doubt moments that are extremely cheesy but it doesn’t happen enough for me to completely hate this because, in fact, I enjoy a large majority of this. The production is great, well suited for this style of progressive music. The instruments and guest musicians hardly ever fall out of place. Where moments call for a certain specialty Arjen knows when to summon just the right person such as the falsetto over classical moments on “The Parting” or the end acapella section to the “The Visitation”.

The Theory of Everything is quite massive in appearance because it’s comprised of forty-two tracks spanning four sections. However, most tracks average in length around the two minute mark. For future reference it may be difficult to revisit a certain favorite moment because the reference points aren’t according to the norm. The numerous tracks do correlate with each other but the high numbers are justified in the sense that there is enough diversity so as to not wonder 'why didn’t Arjen’ just make a one track album?' .

So again there are many great moments to enjoy here and anyone who enjoys progressive metal and rock should find something here. I personally like the song “Surface Tension” as it reminds me of work from Cynic with feel-good keys and a unique atmosphere that keeps drawing me back for more. The solo in this same track is reminiscent of In Flames in the melody department yet the overall vibe would be one of power metal, however. While Arjen didn’t shoot for a ground-breaking album he did a great job at writing solid music and at the end of the day that’s all that really matters for me.



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user ratings (73)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
FiniteUniverse (4.5)
Progressive music that emphasizes 'fun' over pretense, despite its dramatic flair and huge scope....

Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF (3.5)
An album as subtle as it is brief....


Comments:Add a Comment 
JamesLentil
November 12th 2013



55 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The title track part 3 is really good.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 12th 2013



5614 Comments


Decent, but not quite informative review for an album and a musical collective that beckon for detail scrutiny. Make the following corrections and I'll pos.


Some suggestions:

to reach out to different artist

to reach out to different artists



hardly ever feel our of place

hardly ever fall out of place



The numourous tracks

The numerous tracks


that there is enough of different to not ask

that there is enough diversity so as to not wonder

Digging: Mekong Delta - In A Mirror Darkly

JamesLentil
November 12th 2013



55 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fixed. Thank you for your feedback. I received great feedback on my previous review as well. I will take all areas into consideration. I'm working on bettering my writing.

Also, I had a lot to write about this album and could have made the review twice as long but didn't want to burden the reader.

CaptainDooRight
November 12th 2013



26459 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Mirror of Dreams" is the best song I've ever heard.

Digging: Deniro Farrar - The Patriarch II

NapalmCrusader
November 12th 2013



1737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

As a whole the album is remarkable. Sadly, 2 of their previous works are better

TheSpaceMan
November 12th 2013



1524 Comments


shit had no idea a new Ayreon was even in the works, gotta check it out. Any good names on this one?

JamesLentil
November 12th 2013



55 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Any good names on this one?"

Here's the list. You can decide for yourself.

Personnel - Vocalists

JB (Grand Magus) as The Teacher
Sara Squadrani (Ancient Bards) as The Girl
Michael Mills (Toehider) as The Father
Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) as The Mother
Tommy Karevik (Kamelot, Seventh Wonder) as The Prodigy
Marco Hietala (Nightwish, Tarot) as The Rival
John Wetton (Asia, UK, ex-King Crimson, ex-Family, ex-Roxy Music) as The Psychiatrist
Wilmer Waarbroek - backing vocals

Production -

Arjen Anthony Lucassen - production, mixing, recording, mastering

Musicians -
Arjen Anthony Lucassen - electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar, mandolin, analog synthesizers, Hammond, Solina Strings
Ed Warby - drums, percussion
Rick Wakeman (ex-Yes) - synthesizer solo, piano
Keith Emerson (ex-Emerson, Lake & Palmer) - synthesizer solo
Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater, ex-Liquid Tension Experiment) - synthesizer solo
Steve Hackett (ex-Genesis) - guitar solo
Troy Donockley (Nightwish) - uilleann pipes, whistles
Ben Mathot - violin
Maaike Peterse (Kingfisher Sky) - cello
Jeroen Goossens - flutes, bass flute, piccolo, bamboo flute, contrabass flute
Siddharta Barnhoorn - orchestrations
Michael Mills (Toehider) - Irish bouzouki

TheSpaceMan
November 12th 2013



1524 Comments


Thanks man, not as intriguing as The Human Equation's lineup, but having ex King Crimson, Yes, and E,L&P members is pretty insane. Doesn't sound like they contibute that much though

I still need to check out the binary album cause it has David Gildenlow, who is one of my personal favorite musicians with his works in Pain of Salvation

Rowan5215
November 12th 2013



20402 Comments


^ John Wetton sings on more than one song, think it's about three or four
Wakeman, Emerson and Hackett have one solo each on different songs
and yeah mad album

Amebix
November 12th 2013



157 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

This CD is terrible beyond words, I really do not know where to start, lyrics seem to be written by a schoolkid, almost all vocal performers literally cannot sing. It sounds like a musical performed on some high school stage... seriously such an album should not be made public

I suppose this is filed under the category "progressive rock", maybe the people involved in this should try to listen to some Devin Townsend stuff or should go back to the Peter Gabriel Genesis era to see what real progressive music sounds like.

I would have given a zero if possible.

Rowan5215
November 12th 2013



20402 Comments


Much anger here

NapalmCrusader
November 12th 2013



1737 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Calmdown kid, somebody needs a hug

Amebix
November 12th 2013



157 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

I am perfectly calm and I am over 35, but this CD is so awful an all accounts

Rowan5215
November 12th 2013



20402 Comments


Woah he's over 35, ok he knows his stuff brb bumping down to 1

TheSpaceMan
November 12th 2013



1524 Comments


lmao

dante1991
November 13th 2013



479 Comments


Have really enjoyed pretty much all of Ayreon's past releases. Is this really split into 42 tracks though? Or do you mean movements?

I was under the impression this was just 4 20+min songs. If it's 42 separate tracks, that puts me off quite a bit :/

Digging: Sonata Arctica - Winterheart's Guild

Keyblade
November 13th 2013



13278 Comments


Gotta check, for curiosity and old times sake if not anything else

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins

Wadlez
November 13th 2013



3359 Comments


In no way should this album be considered a 1.

Digging: Anacrusis - Screams and Whispers

JamesLentil
November 13th 2013



55 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"Is this really split into 42 tracks though? Or do you mean movements?"

Tracks.

http://www.sputnikmusic.com/editalbums.php?bandid=2140

Oneiron
November 13th 2013



194 Comments


It's four songs split into 42 tracks. The tracks flow into each other.



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