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(27 Reviews)

Metal Album Reviews[RSS]

  • I’m greatly pleased with 01011001 because it flows perfectly. I’ve loved Arjen’s previous works but for some reason the thematic consistency is so much more apparent on this album. Perhaps its the way he writes the songs or the way that the story develops, but I feel like I’m listening to a true concept album this time.

    Also, the vocalists are amazing. As much as James Labrie is a great talent, the mix of artists on this album blows the Human Equation away. Any fans of Evergrey, Pain of Salvation, etc. should check it out.

    Only Star One in my opinion is a better Arjen work than 01011001. So yes– this gets my wholehearted 5 stars. Songs of note: Age of Shadows, Comatose, New Born Race and the Earth Extinction.

    Posted on December 2, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Very recently I picked up my first Ayreon album to sample it and very much liked it. In purchasing about three to four of Ayreon’s albums as a follow up, this is most definitively my favorite. This album is a miracle of collaboration and virtuosity. Since this is Ayreon’s most recent album (a.k.a, Arjen A. Lucassen), it is easy to see that time has aged his musical ability like good wine. If the listener is lucky, most good groups have one excellent vocalist in the band. This album has a few outstanding vocalists including Simone Simmons of Epica, whose voice is like that of an angel. Additionally, the musical compositions are top-notch and imbed themselves quickly into the psyche, a sure mark of good musical artisanship. Therefore, all you progressive rock aficionados, make sure you pick this one up!

    Posted on December 2, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • the first time i heard of Ayreon (or Arjen) was just 2 days before of the official release of 01011001. I was just browsing anonymously and found this album. what attracted me first was the album cover. so i thought i might check the album. and so i did. after playing some clips i though it might not be something bad so 2days after that i decided to buy the album,yet i didnt realize then that soon i will be wanting to collect all of his albums!
    yeah its what happened to me!
    thougth iam always more into extreme sorta metal,but progreesive and melodic anything always attract me.and os was this album.such a creative musician,Arjen really has a lot to offer.

    Posted on December 1, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Arjen Lucassen, who by this point must be considered as one of the best concept album writers of all time, has managed to capture the best elements of “Into The Electric Castle” and “The Universal Migrator” with this stellar (literally) new release, “01011001″. Using a vocal cast just as renowned as the one on “The Human Equation”, this Ayreon album tells the story of a planet and a population close to the edge due to increasing reliance on technology and medicine.

    Arjen skipped out on the usual introductory narration this time, and opens the album up with “The Age of Shadows”, possibly the heaviest Ayreon opener yet. Then, the album takes a melancholy turn, reminiscent of the softer songs on fellow prog champions Porcupine Tree’s newest album “Fear of a Blank Planet”.

    Those who missed the instrumental section on “The Human Equation” will be glad to see their return with “0101101″. The production values are closer to “The Human Equation” than anything else, but the songs are written more in the style of “Electric Castle” and “Migrator”, with longer vocal parts and long instrumentals. Thanks to the aid of many top-gun progressive musicians, Symphony X’s Michael Romeo and ex-Dream Theater’s Derek Sherinian among them, “0101101″ should not be a disappointment to the progressive fans who were hooked with “Electric Castle” or “Migrator”.

    The vocal performances are strong as usual. That’s to be expected, though, with the frontmen of acts like Blind Guardian, Pain of Salvation, and King’s X on the roster. My only complaint is that there are so many vocalists that none get to steal the spotlight for long. Fan of the bands Arjen plucked from will hear just enough of their favorite vocalists to be satisfied, and no more.

    Lyrically, the album takes a darker and more serious mood than ever before. Of course the usual cheese factor is present, though greatly diminished this time around. The album brings up several sociological and philosophical questions, though not without a certain pretense, asking what kind of society is really in the best interest of the human species. The album seems to want to comment on humanity’s current faith in technology and medicine, scorning it in a way comparable to novels such as Huxley’s “Brave New World”. These kind of sentiments have always existed in Arjen’s work, but here they take the spotlight.

    I can not imagine “01011001″ would disappoint any current Ayreon fan. It is a fresh release, different than previous ones yet with all the elements that made the older ones great. The number of highly memorable passages and good songs is much greater than the number not so memorable ones. Dare I say that this album is Arjen’s masterpiece?

    Posted on December 1, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • My first encounter with the music of Arjen Lucassen was his last release, THE HUMAN EQUATION. I picked that CD up solely because James LaBrie of Dream Theater was singing on it. I was immediately impressed with the depth of story, the virtuosity of musicians and the masterful way that Lucassen pulled so many top flight people together to make, what amounts to a prog-rock opera. It was one of the best purchases I made a few years ago. I guess the only complaint I had at the time was the growling on a few of the tracks…a particular musical style I’ve personally never really appreciated.

    It was with great anticipation that I bought 01011001. I wasn’t sure if it would be a continuation of the Human Equation story or something completely different. This time around, it’s a brilliant and powerful science fiction epic of a grand scale. I understand the story is related to his previous album UNIVERSAL MIGRATOR, PT 1-2. (Looks like I have another CD to buy.)

    I was blown away with this album from the first moment. The assembled musicians are perfectly cast, and the music is incredible! I was expecting a good album, but got a great one. This is the must-buy album of the year for any and all progressive rock fans.

    I purchased the Special Edition box set with a DVD included. I have to say that the “Beneath The Waves” video is amazing and wonderful to watch, but much of the rest of the DVD is dross. There is a tedious video showing interviews with many of the singers and musicians, talking about how they met Arjen, or how Arjen emailed them, or how Arjen picked them up at the airport, or how great it is to work with Arjen…..I got really bored with it really quickly. Unless you are really into that kind of thing, I can easily recommend that you save the extra $10 or so, and just pick up the music.

    But you must, must, must get the music…you won’t be sorry!

    Posted on December 1, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now