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ayreon-the-sourceThe multi-layered, multi-faceted world of Arjen Lucassen continues in this prequel addition extension of the Forever saga.  Performed by instrument virtuoso Lucassen, 17 tracks take us on an epic, musical, spiritual journey with energy, groove soaked prog, folk, metal and fairy tale like narrative mixed with sci-fi and biomechanical ambiance, showing that music can truly escape beyond the boundaries of conventional sound, structure, and space to a different universe.

The story of The Source goes back six billion years in connection to Earth, on Planet Alpha where technology has surpassed humanity.  Alpha is facing a planetary crisis threatening human life.  The Alphans try to save their planet entrusting technology for a solution.  “The ‘Frame” given absolute dominion decides that it’s humanity’s fault and must be exterminated, leaving the Alphans no choice but to escape.

If the story and music wasn’t grandiose and majestic enough, the elite gathering of voices and musicians appearing throughout the collection span from symphonic beauty to possessed power metal.  No less than 16 global contributors assisted in its creation.  Guest vocalists include James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Simone Simons (Epica), Floor Jansen (Nightwish), Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian), Tommy Karevik (Kamelot) and Russell Allen (Symphony X) among others with musical contributions including Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big), Marcel Coenen and keyboard player Mark Kelly (Marillion) among others.

The two CD set is broken into four chronicles of songs, each set telling a chapter of the story.

A war of world’s is delivered through atmospheric, sci-fi and biomechanical imaging, symphonic prog rock with mind blowing intricate structures and mind weaving soundscapes combining Ziggy Stardust and Tommy with modern day technology and the human creative mind.

The interstellar show begins with the twelve-and-a-half minute opener The Day That The World Breaks Down starting with tranquil storytelling, driving prog guitars and funky breakdowns.  Sea of Machines is a folky, bionic intimate campfire tale intertwined with a large crowd symphonic podium speech.

Hydraulics flare up with prog power on Everybody Dies with folk music gone metal telling, an up tempo musical fairy tale with Irish kissed guitars doing a fret board tap-dance.  Star of Sirrah’s acoustic opening is ballad heavy, emotionally charged with chorded dynamics.

The pipes and strings play out the passion on All That Was like a dancing jamboree.  Run! Apocalypse! Run! is a prog themed disco shindig, hosted by Queen, The Scream and the Mad Hatter, while organs and synth play out the other orchestrated technical madness.

Condemned to Live dramatically plucked strings marching in unison as Aquatic Race is in your face, racing with guitar riffs, with a grace and dramatic dialogue reminiscent of Operation Mindcrime.

The Dream Dissolves sports intricate singing guitar journeys and tapestries as Deathcry of a Race is a majestic rally call.  Into The Ocean stylistically dabbles with Dio, driven by powerful female vocals as Pink Floyd gets a nod and wink on Bay Of Dreams.

Planet Y is Alive! is planetary divine giving new hope.   Will Flow drifts slow and somber in a dark sea of black water, reminiscent memories and a foreseen future.  Journey To Forever lays out a hopeful new schematic of life.

The Human Compulsion looks to the future with optimism and caution as March of the Machines ends with the mechanized voice of the computerized conqueror.   

The Source will be available April 28 in four distinct formats.



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