Review By Eddy Levitsky Rating 5/5 Dragons
I definitely did not expect Ayreon to release anything new so his new opus “The Theory of Everything” caught me by surprise. It is a 2 album, 22 track gapless album that goes on for well over an hour and is chuck full of prog goodness. Even though most songs are transition songs that last an average of one minute there are some like “The Theory of Everything part 1” that can be considered complete stand-alone songs. The production value is off the hook and as to be expected, the keyboards play the main role.
The guest musicians featured on the album range from Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) to legends such as Rick Wakeman (ex-Yes), Steve Hacket (ex-Genesis) and Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake & Palmer). Being a rock opera of epic proportions, Christina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil), Tommy Karevik (Kamelot), Marco Hietala (Nightwish) and even John Wetton (Asia, ex-King Crimson) play a role throughout the album and lend their distinctive vocal abilities to this album. This is truly a musical fanboy’s wet dream, where else would you find Genesis, Nightwish and Dream Theatre musicians put together?
There is no real structure within the album, some recurring melodies act as a theme throughout but otherwise, musically, the album jumps from a folk-like melody (Patterns) to a slow blues solo (Side Effects) to an atmospheric 80’s keyboard soundscape. The ability to jump flawlessly from one completely different mood and feel is and always was always what made Ayreon’s music unique. “The Theory of Everything” is an absolute must-have for fans of progressive music and belongs alongside such classics as Genesis’ “Nursery Cryme”.