Ayreon - The Universal Migrator Part I: The Dream Sequencer review
|Album:||The Universal Migrator Part I: The Dream Sequencer|
|Release date:||June 2000|
01. The Dream Sequencer [Feat. Lana Lane]
02. My House On Mars [Feat. Johan Edlund & Floor Jansen]
03. 2084 [Feat. Lana Lane]
04. One Small Step [Feat. Edward Reekers & Lana Lane]
05. The Shooting Company Of Captain Frans B. Cocq [Feat. Mouse & Lana Lane]
06. Dragon On The Sea [Feat. Lana Lane]
07. Temple Of The Cat [Feat. Jacqueline Govaert]
08. Carried By The Wind [Arjen Anthony Lucassen]
09. And The Druids Turn To Stone [Feat. Damian Wilson]
10. The First Man On Earth [Feat. Neal Morse & Mark McCrite]
11. The Dream Sequencer Reprise
First of all I will have to warn you about two things:
1. This album is not much of a metal album. When Arjen (the composer) wrote this double album about the universal migrator, he splitted it into two parts - one of which is almost only metal and one which is not metal at all. So don't expect furious riffs and thundering drums.
2. It is a concept album and also another part in the Ayreon story. So if you want to truly understand the lyrics (which is preferable) you better buy the other albums aswell, or if you aren't way to wealthy - read about the story on http://www.ayreon.com
I will now try to describe what the album sounds like. First of all - it is very Ayreon. The only other band I can think of comparing it to is Pink Floyd, but it feels much more serious and of course more modern. The album more or less sounds like if you take all the folk and non-metal parts of previous Ayreon albums and attach them to songs, with more synthezisers added. But it's really hard to compare it, which also makes this album one of my absolute favourites amongst non-metal albums. It is very cozy and perfect to listen to at night. Most songs are long and feel very epic, an exception is Temple of the Cat which was released as a single.
All the singers on the album are great - the album was planned to be sung by only women since Arjen wanted it to be as cozy, laid-back, and amtospheric as possible but he wanted a new singer for each song and couldn't find enouch. So we have: Lana Lane, queen of symphonic rock; Johan Edlund from Tiamat; Damian Wilson from Threshold; Floor Jansen from After Forever; Arjen himself; and a lot of (for me) unknown talents from the progressive world such as Edward Reekers and Neal Morse (from Spock's Beard). It is really nice with some half-unknown singers because you can focus more on the music and avoid thoughts like "oh, I recognise this one!" (and then you listen only to the singer...). Arjen himself also does a enormously great work of course, as songwriter, singer and player of most instruments. Lyrics are simplistic but great and fit perfectly. Also the cover artwork is one of the best I've seen.
I really have to rate this album high, because since I started to listen really close to progressive music about a year ago (with this album) I haven't heard anything better which doesn't feature metal. I'm still a metalhead of course, but I haven't got tired of this yet and if I wanted I could listen to it every night before I go to bed. I really recommend it to fans of Ayreon and to anyone who want a masterpiece of progressive and atmospheric, cozy music.
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