Ayreon
Flight of the Migrator


4.0
excellent

Review

by e210013 USER (79 Reviews)
September 26th, 2017 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is the second part of the concept of The Universal Migrator. It represents the heavy part, its metal side.

“The Universal Migrator Part Two: Flight Of The Migrator” is the fifth album of Ayreon, the musical project of the Dutch songwriter, producer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Arjen Anthony Lucassen and was released in 2000. The line up on the album is Arjen Lucassen, Ed Warby, Lana Lane, Russel Allen, Damian Wilson, Ralf Scheepers, Andi Deris, Bruce Dickinson, Fabio Lione, Timo Kotipetto, Robert Soeterboek, Ian Parry, Erik Norlander, Michael Romeo, Oscar Holleman, Gary Wehrkamp, Rene Merkelbach, Clive Nolan, Keiko Kumagai and Peter Siedlach.


“Flight Of The Migrator” represents the second part of “The Universal Migrator”, with the first part named “The Universal Migrator Part One: “The Dream Sequencer”. “Flight Of The Migrator” contrasts with its counterpart, featuring a musical atmospheric feeling much heavier and with a very powerful guitar driven metal feel. Although, both albums were released simultaneously. However, Arjen decided to release both albums separately, due to his different fans.

“Flight Of The Migrator” is an album with another significance in Lucassen’s almost 25 years long musical career. This is Ayreon’s breakthrough album in the progressive metal style, especially because of its unimaginable line up of vocalists. Some of these singers are Russel Allen from Symphony X, Damian Wilson from both previous Ayreon’s albums and Threshold, Ralf Scheepers from Primal Fear, Andi Deris from Helloween, Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden and Timo Kotipelto from Stratovarius. The list of musicians on the album is equally impressive with Erik Norlander and Clive Nolan on keyboards, Michael Romeo of Symphony X and Gary Wehrkamp of Shadow Gallery on guitars, and the long time drummer and friend of Arjen, Ed Warby. Needless to say that the progressive rock community was taken by storm when they heard the involvement of all these talented musicians, and thus, 5 years after its inception, Ayreon finally made its name known throughout the world. I really believe that there are some really amazing moments here.

Lyrically, “Flight Of The Migrator” continues the story of the final living human being, the colonist on Mars, and his decision to go even further back in time. Using the Dream Sequencer machine, he travels just before the Universe was formed, even before the Big Bang explosion that creates the entire Universe. So, he observes the creation of the first soul, the Universal Migrator. It was from that soul that all the others were formed. He follows the soul as it travels through countless astronomical entities, such as quasars, pulsars, supernovas and black holes, and finally he came directly towards our Solar System. The colonist’s ambitious by time travelling with the Dream Sequencer, resulted in his death. However, his eternal self receives a message from the Universal Migrator, that he is now the new Migrator.

Musically, “Flight Of The Migrator” sounds very different from its first counterpart, “The Dream Sequencer”. As I wrote before, when he was composing “The Universal Migrator”, Lucassen decided to make these twin albums separately, the metal and the non metal albums. Despite this is the metal part of “The Universal Migrator”, there are a lot of many other influences on it like rock and progressive rock, and there’s also some power metal in almost every track. It can be confirmed by the list of guest singers when you can see the names of some of the best and most recognized heavy prog metal vocalists of our days. The music reminds mostly of Star One, another musical project of Arjen. The songs in here have actual variety, with beats and rhythms, and interesting instrumental working and all of that high-class stuff that makes an album actually interesting to listen to. The increase in both overall tempo and variety in sounds, there’s a lot more guitar work and interesting keyboard arrangements on this album, makes the album an actual treat to listen to and firmly establish Ayreon as progressive metal, instead of the more melodious progressive rock, as Part I was.


Conclusion: With “Flight Of The Migrator”, Lucassen concluded “The Universal Migrator” project, with the heaviest part of the concept. When I say heavy, I mean heavy by Ayreon’s standards, especially if we compared it with the first part “The Dream Sequencer”, this is really a heavy album. However and in reality, Lucassen’s music has never been about being musically heavy. He has always strived for making great compositions and beautiful melodies to the highly creative concepts he comes up with. Anyway, “Flight Of The Migrator” has great compositions and solid performances all around. It still is a very solid release overall with some killer moments, both, musically and lyrically. All tracks are compelling without exceptions and “Flight Of The Migrator” is very similar to Lucassen’s progressive space metal side project Star One, which is also very highly recommended. So, this is a great album and I recommend it to everyone. If you aren’t yet a metal progressive fan and you want to start listening to progressive metal music, “Flight Of The Migrator” can certainly be a great starting point, or Ayreon or any other Lucassen’s projects, in general.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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user ratings (69)
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3.6
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Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
September 26th 2017


1658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Today I finish my trilogy of prog metal bands with the second part of the concept of "The Universal Migrator". Musically it's very different from its sibling but the concept is the same with the second part of it.

I hope you enjoy this part of the project too.

Your commenta are always welcome.

tef
September 26th 2017


181 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice to see yet another Eyreon album reviewed. However in my opinion you spend to much words on describing the musicians and the place of the album in the Ayreon discography. You forget to say something about the music other than telling it's his breakthrough in the prog-metal world. "Dawn Of A Million Souls" is a true Ayreon classic in my opinion with great vocals form Allen and great guitar solo's. "To The Quasar Pt2" is one of personal fav's; prog metal, instant head bang material with superb keyboard and guitar solo at the end. Bruce Dickenson's vocals in "Into The Black Hole" are perfectly fitting and even a bit out of his comfort zone maybe because of the slow/mid tempo of the song, works great. "Through The Wormhole" is a bit of a filler. A bit repetetive and not the strongest melodies... Same goes for "To The Solar System". The riff over the machine-like groove is a Pink Floyd rip off and something Ayreon did better on his second album already. The last song doesn't make it any better, 8 minutes of more Ayreon prog rock, with fast paced keyboard riffs and doubled guitars is just too much. Basically the first half of this abum is great, the second half is only mediocre, and viewed in in Ayreon's superb discography, utterly forgettable.

e210013
September 26th 2017


1658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

First, thanks for your participation and opinion, which I respect deeply.

Second, maybe you can be right, but this is my usual way of reviewing albums.

The main reasons why I don't be so deep on my individual views about the tracks is very simple. First, because in my early days on Sputnik many people told me that the people on Sputnik dislike reviews made track by track. So, usualy I tend that my reviews aren't in these cases. Second, because the music is very personal. So, the way you can feel the music doesn't necesssry mean the same way as I feel. So, I prefer a more neutral appoach to a more more personal approach, leaving to the listeners their conclusions about the individual tracks. If you prefer, I prefer to make a review more aseptic and clean, if you are able to see my point of view. Besides, this is a conceptual album that worth for iteself as a whole.

Anyway, cheers and thanks.



Jethro42
September 26th 2017


15158 Comments


Oh, here's Part II already. I'm still at Universal Migrator Part I...I can already say that ''2084'' and ''The Druids Turn To Stone'' are amazing songs. As usual in their discog, Part I is also hard to digest because the majority of the songs are long and loaded of details and emotions. Will try to get to Part II as soon as possible.

Good job on your new review, mate.

Divaman
September 26th 2017


1715 Comments


Based on your reviews of this band, e, I'm going to pick up their new album.

Digging: The High Kings - Decade: The Best of the High Kings

tef
September 27th 2017


181 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

That one won't disappoint Diva. It's one of Arjen's best.



E: I understand your approach and respect it, don't get me wrong. I'm familiar with the "song by song" critique. I however do feel that there's more to be had in a review like this, also if you choose to stick to your "generalistic" approach of writing. You could be more descriptive I think, without doing a song-by-song. If you stay to vague and non specific a review can just as well be of any number of prog metal albums since a lot of these albums have " .... actual variety, with beats and rhythms, and interesting instrumental working and all of that high-class stuff that makes an album actually interesting to listen to ".



Keep up the good work reviewing Ayreon's albums. I'm a fan of the first hour.

e210013
September 27th 2017


1658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ Jethro

Yeah, here it's the Part II already. It was made at the same time as Part I and besides that they have the same concept and so both albums are part of a whole. I'm glad that you like very much some parts of the album.

Be my guest. You have all the time in the world to check the Part II. I can see your problem with the time. Now with the prog tournement of Friday 13th, we don't have many time to all the things. For instance, with my reviews, I almost didn't have time to listen to both albums of the second round. I only checked "The Formal Female" twice and I didn't checked "Todd" not even once. And worst, I never listened both albums before. I need to recover the auditions in today and tomorrow.

So, because of that, I decided to decrease my reviews in the next months. I only have plans to published 7 reviews till the end of the year, to have more time for the tournement. 2 in October, 2 in Novembre and 3 in December. So, as you can see I'm your friend. I do not want you to get tired so much, ah,ah,ah. Still, you will have more hard task with them. I'm pretty sure that you have never listend some of them before.

Thanks and cheers, pal.

e210013
September 27th 2017


1658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ Diva

"I'm going to pick up their new album."

I'm very glad that my reviews have acuted your appetite for Arjen's prog world. Still, I don't bought the album yet. But for what all I have read it seems is another great release. It's in my next list of purchases with Ayreon's live album "The Theater Equation". Since my favourite album from Ayreon is "The Human Equation", I need to buy its live version. As it has a DVD, it will be sublime to can see such constelattion of prog artists all together in only one live set.

e210013
September 27th 2017


1658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@ tef

Thanks, pal. I can see your point and thanks to share it with me.

You can bet on it. I intend to review all Arjen's stuff, in time. Believe me.

Jethro42
September 27th 2017


15158 Comments


Yeah, the tournament is almost taking all my time booked for music. You will remark that the album I nominated is changed for Ingranaggi Della Valle, because I finally found a link for it. Fabio Zuffanti was there to replace it during the time I was looking for a link for Ingranaggi (my first choice). I love pretty much Fabio Zuffanti's La Quarta Vittima all the same, to the point that I consider to review it sooner or later ;) Album deserves recognition here on Sputnik.

And what about your few next reviews? Will it be metal again? Let's go for eclectic or symphonic prog instead, if you want my opinion ;)

e210013
September 28th 2017


1658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I noted that you have changed your "knight". No problem, man. I'm also very curious about it. An Italian album with influences of Anglagard, a band I love, makes me very curious about it, really.

I'm also very happy that you can return to review albums on Sputnik. Great. You have all my support, mate.

Yeah, you know me already. I like to change. Surely the albums are eclectic and symphonic, essentially symphonic and will be a return to the classic era of prog, the 70's, the era that we most love. You'll see. I'm sure that they will bring to you some nice surprises, especially some of them.

TheIntruder
September 28th 2017


317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

As happened with many I was very busy with prog tournament. I have rated the album before but only now was possible to read your review and comment it. As always I liked it. As you said the music is different but the concept is the same. It seems be better to listen to both albums as a whole to have the all effect. Continue your good work man. Have a pos.

e210013
September 28th 2017


1658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

No problem dude. You're always welcome.

Yeah, I think you're right. Both albums must be listened together to have the full effect, despite the musical differences. Anyway, I've already mentioned that on my soundoff about the compilation "Universal Migrator, Pts. 1-2. If you're interested in buying both albums, this is the better way. And you saves in money, too.

Thanks, bro.

TheIntruder
September 28th 2017


317 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Maybe, why not, who knows. Thanks for the advice.

Jethro42
October 4th 2017


15158 Comments


''Dawn of a Million Souls'' is the only track I know well here, and it's great. But I can't stand that kind of music anymore. I think Ksoflas was right; It's too cheesy and generic, so I won't rate it, because I'd need to relisten to it, and I don't want to. I always felt Phideaux was a soft, a lite kind of Ayreon, and i prefer it by far. I think metal gets me more and more bored in general, so yes...

e210013
October 5th 2017


1658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ok, bro. It's your taste and I respect that. No problem.

Jethro42
October 5th 2017


15158 Comments


I'll eventually relisten to The Human Equation, to see if I have that one in aversion too. I feel the problem is not Ayreon, but it's metal in general. I'm getting old hahah

But if ever I still appreciate The Human Equation, I'll try Into the Electric Castle again...We'll see.

e210013
October 6th 2017


1658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ok, you do the best thing. Try both albums when you have time, patience and mood, and then, with an open mind, you can take a decision. Both are the best, for me. If you don't like them, then and definetelly you don't like Ayreon.

Maybe is a problem with metal in general. We change our tastes all over the years and the changes aren't necessarilly due to our age. At least I hope not.

tef
October 6th 2017


181 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I disagree, Jethro shouldn't spend time exploring these mediocre Ayreon albums. Go for THE or his latest album. Electric Castle is also great in parts (like almost all Ayreon albums).

e210013
October 8th 2017


1658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I disagree. "The Human Equation" is their best and is a masterpiece. But I agree that almost all Ayreon's albums have great parts.



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