Rating: 90/100

Reviewed by: Kenn Jensen, March '05
InsideOut Music
Style: Progressive

The Final Experiment (2005)

The circle is complete! With this re-release of the very first Ayreon album, InsideOut has re-released the whole back-catalogue from Ayreon, since he joined ranks with them ... And like all the other re-releases, this is not just a remastered or remixed version of the old one, this has a lot more to offer. The album marks the 10th anniversary of Ayreon, and the album is a 2 CD set with a bonus album containing over 30 minutes of extra music! The bonus disc has 9 newly arranged semi-acoustic versions, that differs a great deal from the originals of "The Final Experiment", and also features 9 different vocalists.

This is the beginning of Ayreon and tells the story of the world in 2084; the world has perished and scientists have invented a computer program that sends "visions" back in time. These are received by a blind medieval minstrel called Ayreon, who goes on a quest to warn the world of its impending downfall and incite people to change their ways. Because the story takes place back in the King Arthur era, there a lot of medieval melodies, but don't worry all of the Ayreon trademarks a lot of people have come to love are also to found on this album. I consider this the cornerstone to the wonderful universe of Ayreon, and is in my humble opinion one of his best albums.

This album offers an oppertunity for old as well as new fans to listen to the first album from one of the most important figures in progressive metal: Arjen A. Lucassen. And with the addition of the new versions this is a must for all progressive metal fans out there ....

Recommeded tracks: "The Banishment", "Sail Away To Avalon", "Waracle", "Merlin's Will" and "Ayreon's Fate"

Link: www.ayreon.com