Ayreon is a musical project by Dutch songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist musician and record producer Arjen Anthony Lucassen. These works are typically described as prog rock/metal or metal opera, blurring the line between where a concept album ends and a fantasy epic in the vein of Tolkein begins.
Most Ayreon releases feature complex storylines containing a host of characters and accompanied by detailed, almost theatrical concepts (the vast majority of which take place in the same universe – more on that later). The latest album ‘The Source’ doesn’t deviate from this trend, weaving an epic tale around a civilization struggling to survive after their artificial intelligence system decides to exterminate human life.
All of the songs form an integral part of this album coming together as a whole, yet they somehow manage to stand alone and hold a unique quality as a track at the same time. Much of this is accomplished by vast dynamic and emotional shifts in the pieces, but also with unique instrumentation. Some tracks feature gentle lilting flutes, mandolins, and psychedelic synth lines, whilst others boast hair-raising falsetto vocals and frantic guitar solos. The sheer diversity of ‘The Source’ and the skill with which it’s assembled is an art form unto itself, and speaks incredible volumes about Arjen’s ability to compose and arrange music.
We had a chat with Arjen Lucassen on all things ‘The Source. Stream The Entire Conversation Below:
If the idea of ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’-era Pink Floyd meeting a tale similar in proportion to Lord of the Rings, with a soundtrack boasting the fire of power metal and the melancholy of folk music without sounding contrived sounds fun, then Ayreon is for you. ‘The Source’ is an incredibly diverse musical journey which illustrates and conveys emotion with great skill.