AYREON — The Human Equation (review)

AYREON — The Human Equation album cover Album · 2004 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4.5/5 ·
Conor Fynes
'The Human Equation' - Ayreon (9/10)

I can remember the first time I listened to 'The Human Equation.' It was a quiet evening, and I was busy looking up new music to get into. Reading about a band called Ayreon, my interest was suddenly peaked. A band that used elements from a multitude of different genres? Guest vocals from Dream Theater, Devin Townsend and Opeth? I had to check it out.

My first taste of Ayreon was through 'The Human Equation.' Since then, Ayreon has become one of my all- time favourite progressive artists. 'The Human Equation' has everything you would expect in the typical prog masterpiece, and more. There are elements from folk, classical, electronic, gothic, avant-garde and metal, laid atop a heavy progressive backdrop.

This album is incredibly ambitious. Harkening back to the night first listening to 'The Human Equation' in full, I was addicted. It was the musical equivalent of a 'book you can't put down.' As a work that's almost two hours in length, it's definately alot to swallow; but I was enveloped in both the storyline and music, and needed to finish the saga before I headed to bed.

The plot (provided you have a cast of characters list, and the lyrics in front of you) is relatively easy to follow, considering it's mass complexity and style. In summary, the majority of the 'musical play' takes place inside a man's head during a coma, where he speaks with different emotions; different facets of his character and being. In the real world, his best friend and wife look and watch over him, both with dark secrets of their own. It's a deeply psychological trip, and would make for an excellent film script, if the opportunity arose.

'The Human Equation' is very popular among prog fans, and there's no wondering why. It's a masterpiece of modern prog, and shouldn't be missed! Five stars.
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