Ayreon – The Theory of Everything

Release: 28-10-13
Label: InsideOut Music

By Michael Brookhuis
Let me start by saying that, instead of reading this review, you should be listening to this album. Pronto!

Still reading I see? Well allright, it is not easy to review an Ayreon album. First of all, there are way too many songs to talk about individually. The best thing you can do is just to go ahead and listen to this album and be amazed.

So, you still want me to tell you about “The Theory of Everything”. Okay, I’ll try, but don’t be surprised if I get a bit tangled up in my excitement. Arjen Lucassen keeps finding ways to amaze me. Whether it’s under Star One, Ayreon or just working together with other musicians, he keeps a high standard in the music he delivers. But frankly, I think music is an understatement. It goes further than that. We can also speak of delivering emotions, feelings, stories and much, much more.

The same can be said of “The Theory of Everything”. If you look at the roster of amazing artists working on this album, it is definately something to recon. Marco Hietala and Troy Donockly from Nightwish, Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil, Tommy Karevik from Kamelot, Steve Hackett from Genesis, Jordan Rudess from Dream Theater, Keith Emerson from Emerson Lake and Palmer. This list goes on and on.

Naturally, with a great list of artists, it does not immediately result in a good album. Led by the mastermind Arjen, the whole album is assembled into a perfect mixture. Every singer has a particular role to play in the storyline and is picked really well. Take Marco Hietala (Nightwish) for example. He can bring his role as the Rival to life by the wickedness in his voice. The same can be said for Tommy Karevik (Kamelot), his part as the Prodigee is suited for his smooth singing.

While listening to the album, you will follow a human story set in a science context. You can feel the emotion during the songs as arguments, deception, love and whatnot are adressed. This is something I love in albums, a story to listen to. The album contains four giant twenty minute epics, which can be devided into forty-two pieces. For the smart ones who are reading this, yes, it is a reference to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as the “Answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything”).

As I have said, the singers have done a great job, but the same can be said by all musicians. Goosebumps tickled my skin while listening to the Uilleann pipes played by Troy Donockley (Nightwish) and there were many more of these moments.

So, what are you still doing, reading this? I must urge you to get this album as soon as possible. Be amazed by the fantastic artists on this album, being mixed together into a great blend of mindblowing music.

Rating: 10/10
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Arjen Lucassen website

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