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Ayreon

The progressive metal outfit Ayreon is essentially just Dutch multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Arjen Anthony Lucassen (formerly of the more mainstream metal band Vengeance), plus a revolving-door cast of collaborators and guest musicians that changes from project to project. Ayreon albums are usually large-scale concept epics and sometimes rock operas, in the latter case featuring a different vocalist for each character. Lucassen formed Ayreon in 1994 and released its first album, The Final Experiment, the following year. The more ethereal Actual Fantasy followed in 1996, and from there Ayreon only got more elaborate. 1998's Into the Electric Castle was a campy, sci-fi concept work spanning two discs and featuring guests like ex-Marillion singer Fish and the Gathering's Anneke van Giersbergen. Next up was Universal Migrator, another double-disc set whose volumes were issued separately under the subtitles Part I: The Dream Sequencer and Part II: Flight of the Migrator. These featured even more guest appearances, most notably Tiamat's Johan Edlund and Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson, plus current and former members of Gamma Ray, Primal Fear, Helloween, Stratovarius, and Symphony X; musicians included Rocket Scientist's Erik Norlander and ex-Gorefest drummer Ed Warby. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

The singer is Bruce Dickinson
Pandora needs to get the binary album. This project is amazing; it's a shame pandora is msising one of its best works.
anachie.shog u n
Arjen is God. Not a god, GOD. end of line.
Arjen is the man.
werrdna
Was writing an essay and wikipediaed The human equation (had nothing to do with the album), got the page for this album and checked out the Ayreon, I think it's amazing!
01011001 :/
yeah i really wish i could hear star one on here. in my opinion, Star One is like taking the best singers of Ayreon and making a band out of them... sans Jorn Lande... and Anneke... and Fish...
This sound really blurs the line between power and prog metal
worthlesstri v i a
I too miss 01011001...
This guy is seriously such an amazing composer. Pandora really really needs to get Star One too.
I just noticed 01011001 isn't on this list. It's another 2 disc album from Ayreon :O Nor can I find any of the songs from the album on here :/
trupright
I found Ayreon through my brother who was a big Bruce Dickinson fan (which drew him to the Universal Migrator). The first time I heard it (Star One) I was ambivalent, but upon investigatin g his various projects, there are few out there with the depth and complexity that Arjen offers. Personally, I find the Universal Migrator to be his best work... but really you can't go wrong. For tracks, the Human Equation has some of the most memorable (Loser comes to mind...Devin Townsend rocks it!).
mmesko6
Absolutely fanastic, all of his albums are great and dont forget star one.
maxhammer200 5
A band that 'thinks-outs i d e - t h e - b o x , Innovative, original- exceptional.
14739578
GREAT BAND
poguemhone
Actual Fantasy is the most laid back Ayreon album but you can hear the heavy undercurrent in the rythm chops.
Great stuff and it opens many doors to all sorts of other artists if you follow their threads and if you don't know them already. Enjoy with an open mind!
kcdyier
Strikes me a little like Queen. Not Queensryche, mind you. They haven't quite attempted anything on this scale. Queen and, for that matter, Yes, have always been a bit more...ambit i o u s .
I've been really digging the songs from The Human Equation recently, looks like I may have to nab myself a copy, as Timeline doesn't have Day Eleven - Love on it and that song is bloody awesome.

Edit: Picked up copies of The Human Equation and 01011001.
@Rob: Which one? Ayreon doesn't have 'a' singer, Arjen gets multiple vocalists to sing on his various concept epics/rock operas. Wikipedia lists 63 vocalists who have contributed to Ayreon albums.

Anyways, I just picked up Timeline yesterday, which appears to be a fairly lengthy selection of music from his previous albums (33 tracks, for about the same price as the other double albums go for).
Great singer, very strong!
Interesting. Onto the list of awesome it goes.
Human Equation was a great album.
they need to add 01011001 to the albums Ayreon is EPIC WIN
My all time favorite is Star One, amasing stuff from start to finish.
zen.spy
(rest of previous quote from WP):

"In 2005, to coincide with the 10th anniversary of Ayreon, The Final Experiment was reissued with a bonus semi-acousti c disc.

At the end of September 2006, when Arjen's new studio was finished, he began making a new album entitled 01011001, which was released on January 25th, 2008."
zen.spy
Regarding the comment about not having the right album dates:

The dates are for the re-releases, as noted in WikiPedia:

"Starting in 2004, after changing from Transmission Records to InsideOut, Arjen began rereleasing his Ayreon catalog on the new label, with enhancements ranging from basic (The Universal Migrator, issued as a two-disc set instead of two separate albums) to drastic (Actual Fantasy, "Revisited" with completely re-recorded drums, bass, synth and flute). In 2005, to coincide with
Electric Castle is freakin amazing!! I cannot get enough of it, unfortunatel y FIsh (from Marillion) is only on the first disk, but it doesn't really matter, the whole package is amazing from the 1st to the last song.
dolcheinu38
The Human Equation is the only one they have the right year for. XD

And it's also their best that I've heard. Looking forward to getting hold of The Electric Castle. I LOVE Ayreon!
Been listening to Into the Electric Castle now for a few weeks, must say it is brilliant and absolutely a blast to jam out to.
zerothemarin e
Its very good kinda of reminds me of Queensryche but with more of an electronica feel to it. Definately something I would buy if I found it on the shelf.
I now have Into the Electric Castle and The Human Equation. Both are fantastic adventures, but lacking a tad bit in intensity. But, I absolutely love it and am currently enthralled with Electric Castle.
Ayreon is phenomenal, and all his other projects, from Star One to Ambeon, Stream of Passion, and more deserve so much more than they get! Arjen Lucasson rules!
Yea, I want everything that this band has ever done!
Brilliant, great concept, lyrics, artwork and performances on each album. New Prog Rock with an edge.
YES!! Awesome.
Arjen Lucassen is brilliant! Prog/Opera Rock? Concept Rock? All I know is every CD I have by Ayreon is thoroughly enjoyable and I mean every song!He's right "up there" with YES,Pink Floyd,Genesi s , J e t h r o Tull,Gentle Giant,etc.I read somewhere that a movie may be made using his music and they said it might be the next "Tommy" by the WHO.
Honestly,Arj e n ' s CD's take you away to another "other world" with fluid creativity,s e n s u a l sonics,extre m e l y well crafted arrangements and desperately tasty dynam
Ayreon is amazing
max97230
much better than fall of troy
first time listening to this band, i was looking for something new. i really enjoyed the creative level behind the music. great piece of work.
New album is out. I completely forgot about it until just a day ago. My copy can't be shipped fast enough =(
NO COMMENTS????
All you need to know:
Ayreon is simply the best if you are looking for concept metal. You can't go wrong with any of Arjen's albums. Electric castle was my first, and I've heard all 100 minutes of it several dozen times...it is still good.

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