ARTIST:

AYREON

(NETHERLANDS)
TITLE:

01011001

(2008)
LABEL:

INSIDEOUT MUSIC

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE METAL

TAGS:
Concept-album, Epic, Theatrical
"Even if Lucassen doesn't reinvent anything and always proposes a rather spatial progressive rock/metal, this "01011001" remains a sure value."
TORPEDO (25.01.2008)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

It's been a long time since a new Ayreon album is no longer an unnoticed event and this "01011001" is no exception to the rule. First of all, no less than three editions will be offered by the InsideOut label to the eventual buyer. Secondly, you will be dealing with the now classic format of the double-CD full of music. And above all, the list of guests - who have not come to perform as extras - invited to sing and play their instrument will once again be able to impress with its prestigious names. Would you have only thought that we could gather on the same project Anneke Van Giersbergen (ex The Gathering), Simone Simons (Epica), Floor Jansen (After Forever), Jorn Lande (Ark), Tom Englund (Evergrey), Hansi Kursh (Blind Guardian), Daniel Gildenlow (POS), Steve Lee (Gotthard) to name only the best known?  

Before going on, let's talk for a moment about the concept of this album and especially about this intriguing title made of 0 and 1. For those who haven't yet had the courage to find out, the series of numbers forming the title of the album is the binary code of the letter "Y" and this new opus is a continuation of "Into The Electric Castle". As for the story and the many questions concerning the making of this new opus I refer you to the superb interview made by Struck in which you will learn a lot more about the genitor of this project and about this mysterious "Y" people...

If inspiration at the level of the script is not a real revolution, the same goes for the music. The start is very "Ayreonnian" with a very "industrial" intro and always these famous synthetic spatial sounds. The title takes speed and a feeling of omnipresent heaviness settles in, due in particular to an outrageous superposition of sounds and instrumentation. A little rest in the middle of the track with an acoustic guitar and a more melancholic part, a refrain sung by a male voice then identically by a female voice - very good idea - and it's the return to the main theme.

Ayreon's universe is always in a progressive metal with a rock tendency with some folk intonations ("River Of Time"). The changes of rhythms and phrasing are legion, ensuring a good life for the whole. Paradoxically, Lucassen's strong point comes from its ability to offer very lively verses and the weak point comes from the choruses with female backing vocals that quickly become redundant, especially for the one who has followed Lucassen's career since the beginning. It is also necessary to underline the great number of reminiscences to everything he has already done and some passages will inevitably refer to this or that title of an album already released.

The second track is quite remarkable because it stands out from what Lucassen can generally do. On an electro rhythm and in a very dark atmosphere, beauty (Anneke Van Giersbergen) and the beast (Jorn Lande) debate, one fatalistic and resigned, trying to present the positive aspect of not having feelings, the other thinking on the contrary that life has no interest without these feelings. Very few frills, a stripped down atmosphere but a very strong emotional impact... 

Almost all of the tracks that follow are very characteristic of Ayreon's world. Let's quote " Ride The Comet " which ends in an explosion of joyful voices and a weird "Connect The Dots " not very inspired. There is no difference between the two CDs. Earth is in the continuity of Y. " Waking Dreams " stands out from the lot by - finally - its keyboard/guitar solo at the end of the title. 

The previous album "Human Equation" left with a mixed feeling due to two main flaws: on the one hand a not very obvious renewal and on the other hand some melodic constructions, especially in the choruses, which weren't as catchy as they could have been on "The Dream Sequencer". If these two flaws haven't been erased, it turns out that the content of this new opus stays very pleasing. For any lover of songs, choruses and dialogues (liquid Eternity), this "01011001" is a must. It's just a shame that the solos are so few. It is certain that the work done to make an album under these conditions is extraordinary and the result for the neophyte can only be up to his expectations. For the connoisseur, the fact of finding ambiences and sounds, even melodies - especially in the choirs - already heard many times will not fail to disappoint a little... But an Ayreon album definitely remains a sure value...


More informations on http://www.ayreon.com





TRACK LISTING:
01. Age Of Shadows/we Are Forever
02. Comatose
03. Liquid Eternity
04. Connect The Dots
05. Beneath The Waves: Beneath The Waves/face The Facts/but A Memory.../wor
06. Newborn Race: The Incentive/the Vision/the Procedure/another Life/the C
07. Ride The Comet
08. Web Of Lies
09. Fifth Extinction: Glimmer Of Hope/world Of Tomorrow Dreams/collision Co
10. Waking Dreams
11. Truth Is In Here
12. Unnatural Selection
13. River Of Time
14. E=mc²
15. Sixth Extinction: Echoes On The Wind/radioactive Grave/2085/to The Plan

LINEUP:
Arjen Anthony Lucassen: Guitares / Basse / Claviers / Batterie
   
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