Tuesday, April 18, 2017

AYREON: The Source - 2017 (A Sci-Fi Rock Opera)



  A few days from now, Ayreon’s brand new rock opera named as ‘The Source’ will be officialy released. So, here I am, in order to write a few things about this great new Rock Opera that Arjen Lucarssen created, under the name of his personal project Ayreon.
  'The Source' is a concept album, as any other album that Ayreon recorded. But unlike the previous ‘The Theory of Everything’, ‘The Source’ is a Sci-Fi Rock Opera, which is actually the prequel of 01011001, that was released in 2008.
  For the needs of the album, Arjen Lucarssen gathered a big number of musicians once more; including some “heavy” names among them. (There are 12 singers and 10 musicians participating in this album). In case you are wondering, here’s a few names: James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Simone Simons (Epica), Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian), Russell Allen (Symphony X), Floor Jansen (Nightwish), Zaher Zorghati (Myrath) and Mark Kelly (Marillion). 
As you can understand, with such an All-Star line up, the outcome can only be good. And it is!
  Starting with the album’s epic opening song, The Day that the World Breaks Down, we get a clear first impression what this album will sound like. The style is typical Ayreon, but this time the sound is harder, heavier and more guitar-driven than the previous album. The dominant instrument here is Guitar (acoustic and electric), followed by Bass, Drums and Keyboards. But there are also many other instruments present, which are characteristic of Ayreon’s sound, such as violin and flute for example.

  I read an interview of Arjen Lucarssen a few days ago, when he stated that, the album he recorded with Annekke under the name Gentle Storm was kind of a “feminine” one, so after that he wanted to record something more “masculine”. So, he started recording some heavy guitar riffs, which led him to record some early versions of the first songs of ‘The Source’.
  The album comes as a double CD or as double vinyl (including an MP3 version), and has a total running time of almost 90 minutes. It is divided into 4 parts (Chronicles), named as: Chronicle 1: The Frame, Chronicle 2: The Aligning of the Ten, Chronicle 3: The Transmigration, Chronicle 4: The Rebirth.
   As it usually happens to me with almost every Ayreon’s album, I find it very difficult to choose some songs to mention separately, because I see them as pieces of a very big puzzle. The truth is that, almost all the songs are really good compositions and even the “weaker” ones, have something to offer to the storyline and the listener. But if I had to pick some, I’d choose The Day the World Breaks Down, Sea of Machines, All that was, The Dream Dissolves, The Source will Flow and Journey to Forever.
   In my opinion, the best thing you can do is to put the CD into your device, press “play” and enjoy an exciting musical ride into the world that Arjen Lucarssen created.
  The Source is an album definitely worth buying!

   My rating would be between 3.5 – 4.0 (out of 5.0) stars.