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HELSTAR
'Fall Of Dominion'
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SERPENTINE PATH
‘Disfigured Colossus’
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BLACK ANVIL
'Eventide'
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BRAINSTORM
'Erased By The Dark'
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Firesoul
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At The Plateaus of Leng
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Satan’s Rock N Roll
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Not Just Tits In A Corset: Celebrating Women In Metal
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HARDWARES

AYREON

The Theory Of Everything

(InsideOut Music)

Reviewed by : Mark Gromen
Rating : 7.0

Despite sounding like a bizarre George Costanza reference on Seinfeld, this is the latest, guest star-studded musical venture by guitarist/ prog-rock opera mastermind Arjen Lucassen (ex-BODINE, anyone remember that early 80s Dutch band that issued three albums?). Not only are there member of legends like ASIA, YES, GENESIS and ELP, but contemporary vocalists from NIGHTWISH, KAMELOT, LACUNA COIL and GRAND MAGUS, as well as ex-GOREFEST drummer Ed Warby. The two-album set is subdivided into four, 20+ minute pieces of music, each broken into smaller sections. All total, there are 42 titled inclusions, several less than 60 seconds in length, although none exceed four minutes. There is a full-blown story running throughout, something about human experimentation, with a boy who has been surreptitiously drugged, loves the effect and attempts to get a rival to recreate the situation, for a (personal) price.

Earlier in his career, Arjen surrounded himself with several heavyweight metal vocalists, for the The Universal Migrator / Flight Of The Migrator dual concept albums, but it would be a mistake to call most of this outing “metal,” even with today’s multi-dimensional sub-genres. Beginning with keyboards and flute, part one (of three) to the title cut, recalls JETHRO TULL. Acoustic guitars and a carefree, Celtic jig influenced melody waft throughout the initial (eleven part) quarter, entitled Singularity. ‘Mirror Of Dreams’ could be something off a BLACKMORE’S NIGHT record. Otherwise, its mellow, flowing (floating?) 70s style prog, akin to that his big name guests created, back in their (hey)day.

Various formats of the dual disc set also include a DVD, which has 90 minutes of interviews with the various participants and another 48 minutes for a “making of” Theory segment, as well as a deluxe book edition that includes a second set of audio discs (the entire album, instrumentally). Ambitious.




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