[colored_box color=”grey”]Rating: 9
Label: Insideout Music
Website: Link
Author: Steve Drax[/colored_box]

If you are into prog music then you surely know Ayreon. If not, well you’re not of this planet. Ayreon is one of the leading progressive rock/metal bands in the music scene. It’s the brainchild of Arjen Anthony Lucassen, a tall guy from Netherlands, which also happens to be a multi-instrumentalist/producer. He has participated in numerous bands and has also formed “Ambeon”, “Star One”, “Stream Of Passion”, “Guilt Machine”, “Strange Hobby” etc. Throughout his carreer he has collaborated with many guest musicians and vocalists, while Ed Warby has played the drums in most of Ayreon albums.

After some years from the latest full-length album, the fantastic “01011001”, “Ayreon” were put on hold while Lucassen was writing music for other project bands, so it was time for a new full-length album. “The Theory Of Everything” was released in October and as always it’s a progressive metal/rock opera project that features guest singers as voices of the story’s characters, including John Wetton (ex-King Crimson, Asia) as “The Psychiatrist”, Marco Hietala (Nightwish, Tarot) as “The Rival“, Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) as “The Mother“, JB Christoffersson (Grand Magus) as “The Teacher“, Tommy Karevik (Kamelot) as “The Prodigy”, Sara Squadrani (Ancient Bards) as “The Girl” and Michael Mills (Toehider) as “The Father“.

It also features various guest musicians on keyboards such as Rick Wakeman (ex-Yes), Keith Emerson (ex-Emerson, Lake & Palmer), Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) and Steve Hackett (ex-Genesis) on guitars and many more.

The lyrics are more realistic than ever, as he moves from sci-fi and aliens stories to a completely different thematology, a real life drama. Musically you could say that is progressive rock with some heavy and symphonic elements and Lucassen himself described the album as “less heavy and more instrumental than 01011001”.

The story consists of four more than 20 minute songs, “Singularity”, “Symmetry”, “Entanglement” and “Unification” that were cut into 42 sections. It’s about a young mathematical genius with a mental disability and how he interacts with the other six characters. As Lucassen pointed out, “A Beautiful Mind” and “Rain Man” movies were inspiration for the lyrics. The wonderful cover art was once again created by Jef Bertels.

Not many things to say about the music. You should hear it to just get a clue of what I’m talking about. Lucassen always delivered quality music and has been evolving from record to record but I think this time he surpassed himself. He was also the producer of the album and Bret Caldas-Lima did the mastering.

If you haven’t heard it yet I’m pretty sure that you will be surprised by the incredible music that he once again has composed and the overall amazing job everyone who has participated in this album has done. It’s a truly epic, melodic and emotional concept album for prog fans.

Track List Line Up
Disc 1

01. Prologue: The Blackboard
02. The Theory Of Everything Part 1
03. Patterns
04. The Prodigy’s World
05. The Teacher’s Discovery
06. Love And Envy
07. Progressive Waves
08. The Gift
09. The Eleventh Dimension
10. Inertia
11. The Theory Of Everything Part 2
12. The Consultation
13. Diagnosis
14. The Argument 1
15. The Rival’s Dilemma
16. Surface Tension
17. A Reason To Live
18. Potential
19. Quantum Chaos
20. Dark Medicine
21. Alive!
22. The Prediction

Disc 2

01. Fluctuations
02. Transformations
03. Collision
04. Side Effects
05. Frequency Modulation
06. Magnetism
07. Quid Pro Quo
08. String Theory
09. Fortune?
10. Mirror Of Dreams
11. The Lighthouse
12. The Argument 2
13. The Parting
14. The Visitation
15. The Breakthrough
16. The Note
17. The Uncertainty Principle
18. Dark Energy
19. The Theory Of Everything Part 3
20. The Blackboard (Reprise)

Ed Warby – Drums
Arjen Anthony Lucassen – Guitars, Bass