AYREON — The Final Experiment (review)

AYREON — The Final Experiment album cover Album · 1995 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
3/5 ·
Conor Fynes
'The Final Experiment' - Ayreon (6/10)

All journies begin with a single step...And in the case of Ayreon's 'The Final Experiment,' it was a step that shook the progressive world. Until then, the concept of a 'rock opera' had been left dormant since the early 80s, for the most part. And then out of the Netherlands comes a modest man with a great musical vision to change things, and contribute something great to the world. 'The Final Experiment,' while not quite a masterpiece, it is a milestone in modern Prog.

The concept, while a bit corny, is well thought out, and the story sets the stage for future Ayreon tales to be told. In summary, a young medieval Ministrel (named Ayreon) is contacted by humans from the far future to warn the world of it's own downfall. However, things don't go to plan, and a series of misfortunes ensue. The lyrics are fairly decent, but nothing mind blowing. However, they do manage to tell the story quite well.

Musically, the album is very well done. Good songwriting, and amazing song recording (considering it's a debut record.) Songs like 'Eyes Of Time,' 'The Banishment,' 'Merlin's Will' and 'Ayreon's Fate' stood out to me as being great prog-rock tunes. Theres also quieter songs like the beautifully composed 'Swan Song' that bring out the more thoughtful side of Arjen Luccasen's musical ability.

The one thing that could have been changed and improved was if each character in the story only had one corresponding vocalist, instead of a big melange of it all. It made the story I bit needlessly hard to follow, despite the relatively accessible lyrics. Besides that, it was great. Highly recommended for fans of good Prog-Rock, and although this isn't 'hardcore metal' by any standards, fans of Metal should be able to appreciate the quality of this record.

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