AYREON — 01011001 (review)

AYREON — 01011001 album cover Album · 2008 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Pelata
Let’s establish something at the outset. Arjen Lucassen is an absolute musical genius & visionary. His Ayreon discography alone is enough to solidify this fact. Not to mention his side project forays; Ambeon & Star One among them. His penchant for combining what sounds like every Rock & Metal sub-genre under the sun into double albums of pure aural adventure is second to none. Digging into 010011001, listeners will find Prog Rock, Metal, Industrial, Folk, even Classical music all melded together into a sonic kaleidoscope that will dazzle even the most jaded fan.

Another trademark of Arjen’s is his ability to concoct some of the greatest “all-star” vocalist line up’s in music time after time. This time is certainly no exception. In fact, this may be the broadest net he’s cast thus far. A diverse array of talent & tones including Tom S. Englund (Evergrey), Jonas Renske (Katatonia), Ty Tabor (King’s X), Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian) as well as Ayreon veteran Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering) should be an instant signal that the moods & textures in the music will be just as widespread.

As usual, 01001101 is a concept piece, best taken as an entire work. But when pressed to break it up, “Comatose”, “Beneath The Waves” & Disc 2 opener “The Fifth Extinction” are all monster tracks. Most people in the Metal scene have heard of Ayreon. Most Prog Metal fans own at least one of the albums. So, basically everyone knows what to expect. The only difference is, this time, expect more of it.
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