Ayreon Albums: Best To Worst


My ranking of all Ayreon's studio albums. The indisputable best album for me is Into The Electric Castle, followed up closely by The Human Equation (I think Disc II is superior to Disc I though). 01011001 is an amazing album that contains brilliant long and epic tracks, although it also suffers from a few pretty mediocre tracks, so it's not a very consistent album in my opinion. And although The Universal Migrator Part I: The Dream Sequencer is a great album, it contains a few weaker tracks. My absolute least favourite album is Actual Fantasy, which has more mediocre tracks than great tracks. I have included ratings as well as the best songs (which are my favourites) of each album (3 songs (1-disc album) or 6 songs (2-disc album)), although this was extremely hard for #1 on this list, since I love pretty much every song on that album.

Here are links to the full albums (YouTube):
1. Ayreon - Into The Electric Castle (Part 1) & (Part 2)
2. Ayreon - The Human Equation (Part 1) & (Part 2)
3. Ayreon - 01011001 (Part 1) & (Part 2)
4. Ayreon - The Theory Of Everything
5. Ayreon - The Final Experiment
6. Ayreon - The Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight Of The Migrator
7. Ayreon - The Universal Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer
8. Ayreon - Actual Fantasy

Created by: Erik M. | 29.03.2013



1. Ayreon - Into The Electric Castle
1998 / Rating: 10 / Best songs: Isis & Osiris, Amazing Flight, Time Beyond Time, The Garden Of Emotions, Cosmic Fusion, Another Time, Another Space.
2. Ayreon - The Human Equation
2004 / Rating: 9.5 / Best songs: Day Two: Isolation, Day Five: Voices, Day Twelve: Trauma, Day Fifteen: Betrayal, Day Seventeen: Accident?, Day Twenty: Confrontation.
3. Ayreon - 01011001
2008 / Rating: 9 / Best songs: Age Of Shadows/We Are Forever, Beneath The Waves, The Fifth Extinction, Waking Dreams, Unnatural Selection, The Sixth Extinction.
4. Ayreon - The Theory Of Everything
2013 / Rating: 8.5 / Best songs: Phase I: Singularity, Phase III: Entanglement.
5. Ayreon - The Final Experiment
1995 / Rating: 8.5 / Best songs: The Awareness, The Banishment, Ayreon's Fate.
6. Ayreon - The Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight Of The Migrator
2000 / Rating: 8 / Best songs: Dawn Of A Million Souls, Into The Black Hole, The New Migrator.
7. Ayreon - The Universal Migrator Part I: The Dream Sequencer
2000 / Rating: 8 / Best songs: One Small Step, The Shooting Company Of Captain Frans B. Cocq, And The Druids Turn To Stone.
8. Ayreon - Actual Fantasy
1996 / Rating: 7 / Best songs: Abbey Of Synn, Computer Eyes, Back On Planet Earth.



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Erik M. ]



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Comments: 47   Visited by: 213 users
25.07.2013 - 12:39
Angel_Lament
My exact same thoughts on Ayreon albums, although I would shift places between the two Universal Migrator albums, the "My House on Mars" duet between Floor and Johan is one of my fav songs ever, plus I would add Liquid Eternity and Ride The Comet to 01011001's best songs
Nevertheless, awesome list
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01.08.2013 - 01:02
Erik M.
Written by Angel_Lament on 25.07.2013 at 12:39

My exact same thoughts on Ayreon albums, although I would shift places between the two Universal Migrator albums, the "My House on Mars" duet between Floor and Johan is one of my fav songs ever, plus I would add Liquid Eternity and Ride The Comet to 01011001's best songs
Nevertheless, awesome list


Thanks! I also kind of forgot about your comment until just now.

Anyway, the reason I have the first part of The Universal Migrator that low is because I don't like songs #6-8 all that much (I even usually skip those). The other songs are all excellent, but I have to rate the album as a whole so hence why it's "only" an 8. If it weren't for those three songs this album would easily been an 8.5 if not a 9. The second Universal Migrator album has less stand-out tracks, but is overall more consistent in my opinion. Lastly, I only add 3 songs per album (6 if it's a double-disc album) as my favourites and while the ones you mention are indeed great, they aren't better than the ones I mentioned here.
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08.09.2013 - 14:35
YoreLore
1 - Into the Electric Castle
2 - Universal Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer
3 - 01011001
4 - Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator
5 - Actual Fantasy
6 - The Final Experiment
7 - The Human Equation

I used to put Dream Sequencer as number 1 but I think Electric Castle is flawless while Dream has the awful "Temple of the Cat". I think the rest of the tracks on Dream Sequencer are fantastic though. 01011001 is brilliant but I really dislike some of the vocalists on show; Tom S. Englund, Jonas Renkse (painfully boring vocals on this album), Jørn Lande (fed up of this guy) and one or two of the female vocalists. Flight of the Migrator has a great lineup, a couple of the tracks could maybe be cut by 1 or 2 minutes and that's coming from someone who loves long songs. A few of the tracks don't stand out so that's why it's lower. Actual Fantasy is a tiny bit better than Final Experiment as it has Abbey of Synn and one of my favourite Ayreon tracks - Computer Eyes. Lastly I have put in most peoples favourite - The Human Equation. It's an album I have listened to about a dozen times but just can't get into it. I really don't like a lot of the vocalists and really can't stand Devin Townsend. The lyrics are fantastic and the songs are well made but I would place every single album over this one in terms of my own enjoyment.
----
"I'm rising in power through murdering rain
Stronger than Faith allows
Braver than heroes vows
...My head is bloody
but I am unbowed
I am power..."
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21.09.2013 - 14:47
3rdWorld
The Psilosopher
I could swear that Day11:Love and Day16:Loser are among the best of THE.
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22.09.2013 - 21:40
Erik M.
Written by YoreLore on 08.09.2013 at 14:35

1 - Into the Electric Castle
2 - Universal Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer
3 - 01011001
4 - Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator
5 - Actual Fantasy
6 - The Final Experiment
7 - The Human Equation

I used to put Dream Sequencer as number 1 but I think Electric Castle is flawless while Dream has the awful "Temple of the Cat". I think the rest of the tracks on Dream Sequencer are fantastic though. 01011001 is brilliant but I really dislike some of the vocalists on show; Tom S. Englund, Jonas Renkse (painfully boring vocals on this album), Jørn Lande (fed up of this guy) and one or two of the female vocalists. Flight of the Migrator has a great lineup, a couple of the tracks could maybe be cut by 1 or 2 minutes and that's coming from someone who loves long songs. A few of the tracks don't stand out so that's why it's lower. Actual Fantasy is a tiny bit better than Final Experiment as it has Abbey of Synn and one of my favourite Ayreon tracks - Computer Eyes. Lastly I have put in most peoples favourite - The Human Equation. It's an album I have listened to about a dozen times but just can't get into it. I really don't like a lot of the vocalists and really can't stand Devin Townsend. The lyrics are fantastic and the songs are well made but I would place every single album over this one in terms of my own enjoyment.


That's an interesting ranking, especially because you have many people's favourite ranked as dead last. Of course I totally disagree with The Universal Migrator Part 1 so high. Not only Temple of the Cat is annoying, but also Dragon on the Sea and Carried By the Wind. If it weren't for those 3 songs, I'd have it at #4 or even #3, beating 01011001 (which also has a couple totally annoying songs, like Web of Lies (probably the worst Ayreon song ever) and Connect the Dots). I totally agree with you about Abbey of Synn and Computer Eyes, which are easily the two best tracks on Actual Fantasy. Sadly, 2 out of 9 being excellent isn't enough for me to rank it anywhere but dead last. Not saying the other songs are bad, but mostly underwhelming or just decent. About The Human Equation... well, I think it's a little overrated despite the fact that it's an excellent concept album. Most songs I like a lot, but some songs are just (again) a bit annoying. In the end it's indeed mainly personal preference.
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22.09.2013 - 21:44
Erik M.
Written by 3rdWorld on 21.09.2013 at 14:47

I could swear that Day11:Love and Day16:Loser are among the best of THE.


Favourite songs are all subjective of course. However, Day 11: Love is actually among my least favourites. Mainly because of the horrible outro, which Arjen doesn't seem to hear since he's done it multiple times (like the outro of Star One - The Eye of Ra, to name another example). Day 16: Loser however is indeed one of the best tracks on the 2nd disc, but just didn't make it as one of the best (favourite) songs I added to this list.
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30.10.2013 - 23:05
3rdWorld
The Psilosopher
Where would The Theory Of Everything fit in the rest of their discog? Please provide your opinion from your golden pedestal of Ayreon/Arjen enlightment.
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30.10.2013 - 23:15
Erik M.
Written by 3rdWorld on 30.10.2013 at 23:05

Where would The Theory Of Everything fit in the rest of their discog? Please provide your opinion from your golden pedestal of Ayreon/Arjen enlightment.


I'll have to disappoint you now, as I have only spinned the album once and seeing as it's such a massive album I honestly don't have a clue where I'd put it as of now.

Having so little free time now that I have a job and all makes it even worse. However, expect the album to be added next week, probably. Will need to spin it at least 5 times and maybe even more to decide where it'll belong on this list. I have a feeling it won't beat Into the Electric Castle and it will easily beat Actual Fantasy. Can't give you more than that right now.
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30.10.2013 - 23:18
3rdWorld
The Psilosopher
I would be waiting for your opinion then as I absolutely have no time to backcatalog all the 6 albums other than THE.
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14.11.2013 - 22:59
Erik M.
Added The Theory of Everything. Overall I like it a bit less than 01011001. Many might disagree but I feel the new album feels less energetic and inspired. It has some awesome parts (The Argument 2 comes to mind, what a fucking song, even though extremely short but follows up The Lighthouse very nicely) but also very annoying/cheesy parts (for example, The Visitation is in my opinion so cheesy it's just horrible). Right now I have listened to it 7 or maybe 8 times and feel I know the album well enough to include it here. Keep in mind my opinion might change and it could enter the top 3. However, it will probably never beat ItEC or THE for me.
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19.03.2014 - 18:54
Creativinity
What am I missing? Although I LIKE all Ayreon songs, I don't LOVE the albums everybody loves. I'll get some flack for this:

1. 01011001 - (HOW DO YOU EVEN CHOOSE? Jorn & Floor duet? I will listen to Liquid Eternity & The Sixth Extinction the rest of my life)
2. UM II: Flight of the Migrator - (EVERY SONG, MY GOD!)
3. Actual Fantasy - (Abbey of Synn, Computer Eyes [of course!], Beyond the Last Horizon, Back on Planet Earth)
4. UM I: Dream Sequencer - (My House on Mars, One Small Step, The Shooting Company, Carried by the Wind, And the Druids)
5. The Human Equation - (Day Three: Pain, Day Seven: Hope, Day Eleven: Love, Day Sixteen: Loser)
6. Into the Electric Castle - (Amazing Flight, The Decision Tree, The Garden of Emotions, The Castle Hall)
7. The Theory of Everything - (The Theory of Everything I, Alive, Mirror of Dreams)
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22.03.2014 - 00:54
Erik M.
Written by Creativinity on 19.03.2014 at 18:54

What am I missing? Although I LIKE all Ayreon songs, I don't LOVE the albums everybody loves. I'll get some flack for this:

1. 01011001 - (HOW DO YOU EVEN CHOOSE? Jorn & Floor duet? I will listen to Liquid Eternity & The Sixth Extinction the rest of my life)
2. UM II: Flight of the Migrator - (EVERY SONG, MY GOD!)
3. Actual Fantasy - (Abbey of Synn, Computer Eyes [of course!], Beyond the Last Horizon, Back on Planet Earth)
4. UM I: Dream Sequencer - (My House on Mars, One Small Step, The Shooting Company, Carried by the Wind, And the Druids)
5. The Human Equation - (Day Three: Pain, Day Seven: Hope, Day Eleven: Love, Day Sixteen: Loser)
6. Into the Electric Castle - (Amazing Flight, The Decision Tree, The Garden of Emotions, The Castle Hall)
7. The Theory of Everything - (The Theory of Everything I, Alive, Mirror of Dreams)


That's a pretty unusual, yet interesting list. It's safe to say our opinions differ greatly on this, especially you having ItEC and THE at/near the bottom of the list, and Actual Fantasy so high. I do agree UM II is extremely consistent (much more than UM I, because I dislike 3 songs of that album) but still wouldn't rank it that high. 01011001 is awesome but it suffers from a few weak songs, mainly Connect the Dots (funny and silly lyrics though) and especially Web of Lies, hands down the worst Ayreon song for me. Most of the other songs are epic as fuck though, especially the long songs. Now that I think about it, 01011001 might deserve the #2 spot, but I'll have to spin it (and THE) again to decide. ItEC will probably always be #1 for me.
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23.03.2014 - 06:45
Creativinity
Written by Erik M. on 22.03.2014 at 00:54

Written by Creativinity on 19.03.2014 at 18:54

What am I missing? Although I LIKE all Ayreon songs, I don't LOVE the albums everybody loves. I'll get some flack for this:

1. 01011001 - (HOW DO YOU EVEN CHOOSE? Jorn & Floor duet? I will listen to Liquid Eternity & The Sixth Extinction the rest of my life)
2. UM II: Flight of the Migrator - (EVERY SONG, MY GOD!)
3. Actual Fantasy - (Abbey of Synn, Computer Eyes [of course!], Beyond the Last Horizon, Back on Planet Earth)
4. UM I: Dream Sequencer - (My House on Mars, One Small Step, The Shooting Company, Carried by the Wind, And the Druids)
5. The Human Equation - (Day Three: Pain, Day Seven: Hope, Day Eleven: Love, Day Sixteen: Loser)
6. Into the Electric Castle - (Amazing Flight, The Decision Tree, The Garden of Emotions, The Castle Hall)
7. The Theory of Everything - (The Theory of Everything I, Alive, Mirror of Dreams)


That's a pretty unusual, yet interesting list. It's safe to say our opinions differ greatly on this, especially you having ItEC and THE at/near the bottom of the list, and Actual Fantasy so high. I do agree UM II is extremely consistent (much more than UM I, because I dislike 3 songs of that album) but still wouldn't rank it that high. 01011001 is awesome but it suffers from a few weak songs, mainly Connect the Dots (funny and silly lyrics though) and especially Web of Lies, hands down the worst Ayreon song for me. Most of the other songs are epic as fuck though, especially the long songs. Now that I think about it, 01011001 might deserve the #2 spot, but I'll have to spin it (and THE) again to decide. ItEC will probably always be #1 for me.


Oh, definitely, 01011001 has probably the worst songs Ayreon has ever made, but those are easily skippable. And more importantly, it has the best songs Ayreon has ever produced, IMO. I've played Into the Electric Castle probably over 30 times, and while Amazing Flight's instrumental piece at the end is gorgeous, I feel the album doesn't captivate me like the other albums. I can imagine the story while I'm listening to it, but I'm not TAKEN there. With 01011001, Actual Fantasy, UM I & UM II, Arjen takes me to those places described.

I love how in Metal Storm there are more mature people than on other forums. You state your opinion and not everyone tries to stone you for voicing it. Kewlness.
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28.03.2014 - 15:22
Constantine
Account deleted
The Human Equation is my favorite so far, a 9.5 from me too. But Crimson is the best concept album ever probably along with Metropolis 2: Scenes from a Memory.
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29.03.2014 - 00:35
Erik M.
Written by Creativinity on 23.03.2014 at 06:45

I love how in Metal Storm there are more mature people than on other forums. You state your opinion and not everyone tries to stone you for voicing it. Kewlness.


Well, especially in these kind of lists it's pretty much the goal to discuss other people's opinions, so it doesn't happen often that I bash someone's opinion here. In other places that might happen though.
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29.03.2014 - 00:37
Erik M.
Written by Guest on 28.03.2014 at 15:22

The Human Equation is my favorite so far, a 9.5 from me too. But Crimson is the best concept album ever probably along with Metropolis 2: Scenes from a Memory.


I think I agree with that, yes. Crimson is a brilliant album without a doubt and my favourite death metal album... along with Nocturnus - The Key. Haven't heard that DT album and doubt I ever will (I don't find DT an interesting band at all).

Thanks for the +1 by the way. Now go and listen to Into the Electric Castle.
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19.04.2014 - 19:34
YoreLore
Written by Erik M. on 22.09.2013 at 21:40

That's an interesting ranking, especially because you have many people's favourite ranked as dead last. Of course I totally disagree with The Universal Migrator Part 1 so high. Not only Temple of the Cat is annoying, but also Dragon on the Sea and Carried By the Wind. If it weren't for those 3 songs, I'd have it at #4 or even #3, beating 01011001 (which also has a couple totally annoying songs, like Web of Lies (probably the worst Ayreon song ever) and Connect the Dots). I totally agree with you about Abbey of Synn and Computer Eyes, which are easily the two best tracks on Actual Fantasy. Sadly, 2 out of 9 being excellent isn't enough for me to rank it anywhere but dead last. Not saying the other songs are bad, but mostly underwhelming or just decent. About The Human Equation... well, I think it's a little overrated despite the fact that it's an excellent concept album. Most songs I like a lot, but some songs are just (again) a bit annoying. In the end it's indeed mainly personal preference.


As I say, I just can't get into The Human Equation. I can definitely tell why people love it and it is a fantastic concept but after so many listens it just hasn't clicked me with. No option to put it anywhere else but bottom. Well I do like those songs from Dream Sequencer, again I can see why some people may not like it as much. I suppose I really like it when Arjen just goes into prog rock mode. You are spot on about 01, those songs are pretty annoying and I feel that certain other tracks are ruined by some really annoying vocalists. I would probably like 01 more if it had some better vocalist choices. When it comes to Actual Fantasy, I mentioned those 2 songs but do like the rest, Back on Planet Earth and Farside of the World are great in my opinion. How do you feel about the latest effort? I think it would go straight into 3rd place for me. I probably can't move Dream Sequencer due to sheer nostalgia and I still think Electric Castle is the masterpiece. Theory of Everything definitely impressed me big time though.
----
"I'm rising in power through murdering rain
Stronger than Faith allows
Braver than heroes vows
...My head is bloody
but I am unbowed
I am power..."
Loading...

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