Ayreon - The Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight Of The Migrator


Year of Release: 2000
Label: Transmission Records
Catalog Number: TM-020
Format: CD
Total Time: 65:36:00

STORY SYNOPSIS

The story begins in the 22nd century. The final devastating war of 2084 that was foretold on The Final Experiment album, has indeed come to pass and has destroyed all life on Earth, making it completely uninhabitable. The only survivors of the war were the colonists on the planet Mars, who watched the destruction of their homeworld from afar. The few descendents of those colonists are now all that is left of the human race.

To combat the dreariness of life on Mars, the Mars colonists have constructed a fantastic machine called The Dream Sequencer. This machine creates a form of hypnosis which allows the colonists to return to their childhood and even to their former lives. Both albums tell the story of what one Mars colonist encounters while piloting The Dream Sequencer.

The CD Flight Of The Migrator has a much more aggressive, heavy progressive feel. This CD begins at the dawn of time, just before the Big Bang in a time where there is nothing but chaos. When the Big Bang occurs, one soul is created which is called The Universal Migrator. The Universal Migrator then begins to divide into many souls, each of which begins to search for planets to inhabit. The souls of the Universal Migrator breathe life into each planet, beginning each civilization across the galaxies. The Mars colonist follows one particular soul of the Universal Migrator on its long journey to Earth. Along the way, this soul encounters fantastic astronomical phenomena such as quasars, pulsars, supernovas, black holes and wormholes. Finally the dream sequencer will wake the colonist, if it can?

? Arjen Lucassen


Wherever there's yin there has to be yang, thus also in the mind of Arjen "Anthony" Lucassen. After delivering the softer, more spacey The Dream Sequencer, Arjen has set his teeth into producing the harder etched, more rock oriented Flight Of The Migrator. The album opens with "Chaos" which directly focuses on the different style of drumming. This time Ed Warby even gets the opportunity to include a small drum solo and lots of fills whilst Arjen plays the guitar at an incredible speed and Erik Norlander introduces some heavy synth sprints. Of all the wonderful musicians and singers Arjen has had the pleasure to work with, he was most impressed by the input of Symphony X singer Russell Allen. Backed by his bandmate Michael Romeo in the guitar solo department, Russell's voice gets very close to that admirable strength of Ronnie James Dio in "Dawn Of A Million Souls." On top of an orchestral arrangement you'll also hear an ominous choir and some wonderful dark Hammond organ. It would have been easier to ask Glenn Hughes (who also guests on the forthcoming Erik Norlander solo album), but then again, as Glenn is to be heard all over the place, it certainly is a pleasant surprise to hear Russell's voice find its way amidst the wood of violins. One of those violins opens "Journey On The Waves Of Time" before Erik's synths once again start a very bombastic change within the song's structure, steering the song into a Rhapsody/Stratovarius direction but sung by Primal Fear frontman Ralf Scheepers. "I tend to use singers in a different style than the one he's known for," Arjen used to say.

"To The Quasar" consists of two parts, the first of which, "The Taurus Pulsar," opens in a fragile way with strumming acoustic guitars, music-box keyboards, and the floating voice of Andi Deris. The second part "Quasar 3c273" kicks off with some grungy guitars getting greasier and heavier all the time, backed by Ed Warby beating his drums as if his entire life depends on it. Guitar and synth do battle in a war of their own, resulting in musical fireworks! The track the entire music world will be looking out for certainly has to be "Into The Black Hole" sung by Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson. Bruce came over to Arjen's house, did three takes of the song, and went on to relax for the rest of the day. Whilst Dickinson is rather restricted within Iron Maiden he is given every opportunity within this song. Having read the lyrics, Bruce really got into his role even using gesticulations whilst recording in order to give it an even more theatrical approach. The arrangement also gives room to the many sounds of Bruce's voice whilst Lana Lane can be heard like a siren in the background.

The way some Gilmour-like guitar is integrated in a steaming rock 'n' roll song like "Through The Wormhole" once again illustrates the Lucassen genius. Weird how the rhythm of this uptempo song makes me think of the classic "Baby Please Don't Go" with kind of a speedy Stray Cats tempo in a techno setting. Hammond galore in "Out Of The White Hole" which together with the vibrato in Timo Kotipelto's voice sounds very much like vintage Deep Purple combined with contemporary heavy metal. Way in the background of the intro to "To The Solar System" I can hear the identical guitar sound which has made Brian May immortal, whilst from a percussive view things sound very technical and repetitive. At the end of the song, the section that is called "System Alert" ends in voices and noise. This is before the final song of this project is introduced. "Sleeper Awake" starts very dark with somber voices and military drums before the feel of the song is switched into a direction which reminds me of Montrose's "Jump On It" combined with the rhythm from The Sweet's "Ballroom Blitz." Add to this the voice of Ian Parry and lots of Hammond culminating in some ace solos courtesy of Keiko Kumagai from Ars Nova fame and you know this one's a killer (too!). Kettledrums put a final statement to this superb project that certainly has left enough room to continue the story.

In a time when people are more and more into heavy guitars I'm almost convinced that in a first instance more copies of Flight Of The Migrator will be sold. After all it also has Bruce Dickinson plus members from Symphony X, Rhapsody, and Stratovarius helping out. However, once people have dissected this album they will certainly be intrigued for more and that's where The Dream Sequencer steps in because, after all, it'll be the right amount of yin to mix with the above dose of yang


Tracklisting:
Choas (5:10) / Dawn Of Million Souls (7:45) / Journey On The Waves Of Time (5:47) / To The Quasar (8:42) a) The Taurus Pulsar b) Quasar 3C273 / Into The Black Hole (10:25) a) The Eye Of The Universe b) Halo Of Darkness c) The Final Hour / Through The Wormhole (6:05) / Out Of The White Hole (7:11) a) M31 b) Planet Y c) The Search Continues / To The Solar System (6:11) a) Planet Of Blue b) System Alert / The New Migrator (8:15) a) Metamorphosis b) Sleeper Awake

Musicians:
Arjen Lucassen - electric and acoustic guitars (solos: 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9), bass guitar, analogue synthesizers, Hammond, Mellotron and additional keyboards
Erik Norlander (Rocket Scientists, Lana Lane) - analogue synthesizers, piano, vocoder, Hammond (solos: 4, 5, 7) and additional keyboards (solos: 1, 3)
Ed Warby (Gorefest, ex-Elegy) - drums
Michael Romeo (Symphony X) - guitar solo (2)
Oscar Holleman - 2nd guitar solo (4)
Gary Wehrkamp (Shadow Gallery) - guitar solo and keyboard solo (6)
Rene Merkelbach - last keyboard solo (4)
Clive Nolan (Arena, Pendragon) - 2nd synth solo (5)
Keiko Kumagai (Ars Nova) - keyboard solo and Hammond solo (9)
Russell Allen (Symphony X) - vocals (2)
Ralf Scheepers (ex-Gamma Ray, Primal Fear) - vocals (3)
Andi Deris (Helloween) - vocals (4)
Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) - vocals (5)
Fabio Leone (Rhapsody) - vocals (7)
Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius) - vocals (7)
Robert Soeterboek - vocals (8)
Ian Parry (Vengeance, Elegy) - vocals (9)
Damian Wilson - backing vocals (2)
Lana Lane - backing vocals (4, 5, 6, 9) and narration (1)

Discography:
Ayreon - The Final Experiment (1995#
Ayreon - Actual Fantasy #1996#
Ayreon - Into The Electric Castle #1998#
Ayreon - The Univeral Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer #2000#
Ayreon - The Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight Of The Migrator #2000#
Ayreon - Ayreonnauts Only
Ambeon - Fate Of A Dreamer #2001#
Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One - Space Metal #2002#
Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One - Live On Earth #2003#
Ayreon - The Human Equation #2004#
Ayreon - Actual Fantasy Revisited #2004#
Ayreon - The Final Experiment - Special Edition #2005#
Ayreon - 01011001 #2008#
Ayreon - Timeline #2008#
Arjen Lucassen's Guilt Machine - Arjen Lucassen's Guilt Machine #2009#
Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One - Victims Of The Modern Age #2010#
Arjen Anthony Lucassen - Lost In The New Real #2012#
Ayreon - The Theory Of Everything #2013)

Genre: Progressive/Power Metal

Origin NL

Added: May 1st 2000
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website: www.ayreon.com
Hits: 920
Language: english

  

[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]