Ayreon - A journey through space and time

posted on 2010-09-30 by Veselina Nikolova


      Have you ever wanted to be on a journey through time and space into different dimensions? If you want this I can help you with one single word – Ayreon. It’s not the name of a new discovered project of Einstein though you can find somewhere there E=mc2.  It’s a project but a musical one and its founder is called Arjen Anthony Lucassen from the Netherlands. 


He and his minstrel Ayreon, who is a character from the first album and the project is named after him, will be your guides in this unique journey starting from The Dark ages where you will meet Merlin and the knights of round table, going through scientists from the future, who are trying to save the planet Earth, entering into the Electric castle where you will meet a bunch of different people, from an Egyptian to a hippie.  You can even witness the internal fight of a man in coma and in the end you will know who are Forever and what is the meaning of 01011001 as well as how human race was born.  This is a short description of the variety of worlds and characters you will meet in your journey. The only thing you need to do is just to take Ayreon’s rock operas and listen to them. 


      I don’t want to speak about all the musical qualities of these conceptual albums.  The number of all musicians taken part in this project is too big to list it here, the combination of progressive rock, heavy metal, folk, classical, electronic could not be described by words, as many people say this is a completely new genre of music, thought is generally to be considered as progressive rock(metal). I’ll just try to make a brief introduction to one remarkable part of its plot.

     The most fascinating thing in Arjen’s   Ayreon to me has always been the plot of the albums, the main idea which stands above all of the operas and binds them in one big concept with small hints and links between each other.  Although many of the songs are based on different movies and stories there is the connection which makes them part of the whole.  You can find in each album, in each song the topic about the human’s emotions; the way the individual behaves and makes decision; the problem about the rising power of the technology over us; the desire of immortality and the prize that is paid for it.


      The last album especially reveals a lot of the untold in the previous ones. It’s called 01011001, defiantly not a typical name for a rock album.  These numbers simply represent a computer language and this is the letter “Y”. This is the name of the planet where the alien race called Forever lives or more precisely exists.  It’s highly technologically developed race, they have reached the eternity using machines, their own creations, but they have lost something in the course of this progress.

Forever from the planet Y has lost their emotions, they cannot feel any love, fear, anger, happiness, sadness and etc.  They have paid too much for the immortality and they realized it when it’s impossible to go back.  However, there is still a glimmer of hope and after a big argument between them they decided to create a new race from their own DNA - the human race. They sent a comet on the planet Earth and thus how the human history began. Of course, this race followed their steps and this is the question, the problem and the warning. Is Forever’s destiny going to be our own? Are computers and virtual life going to replace the real living and the real people?  Are we going to choose the eternal existing and abandoned the short living?


    In the plot Forever are trying to save the human race but in realty the choice is ours. Just look around you and see the world you live in, after having a journey with Ayreon it won’t be the same!

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