AYREON — The Human Equation (review)

AYREON — The Human Equation album cover Album · 2004 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
The Human Equation is an absolute masterpiece progressive concept album (rock opera). The album consists of 20 songs spread over 2 discs. The concept is a story relaying the various human emotions felt by the title character (sung by James LaBrie) who following a car accident is left in a comatose state. He is attended at his bedside by his wife (Marcela Bovio) and his Best Friend (Arjen Lucassen). Each of the various emotions are sung by a different guest vocalist, including Heather Findlay as Love, Mikael Akerfeldt as Fear, Devon Graves as Agony and Devin Townsend as Rage. The songs mostly alternate between the thoughts inside his head and the conversations between his wife and his best friend. It is an emotional story of love and betrayal and forgiveness. To fully understand this concept album it is highly recommended that you follow along to the lyrics with the CD booklet. Within the CD booklet each of the various vocal parts is clearly labelled as to who is singing which parts. This is definitely an excellent aid for following along and gaining an understanding of which emotions he is dealing with. Many of the songs are duets with alternating male and female vocals. The female vocals on this album are absolutely gorgeous. Word of warning: there are some death metal growls sung by Agony and Rage which have a cringe inducive factor, but quite frankly in my opinion, these death growls are actually appropriate in order to convey these emotions of Agony and Rage and the amount of death growls is very small so they shouldn't put off the listener too much.

All in all, this is one of my favorite albums of all time. I suppose that one of the things that I like best about it is that the concept is clear and about real life situations. There is relatively nothing abstract about the concept and it isn't a sci-fi fantasy concept (I like these too, but they can tend to be a bit cheesy). Happy listening!!! I hope that this review has been of some help to someone who hasn't heard this album and is looking for an excellent concept story/rock album to add to their collection.

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