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Slow, Atmosperic, Brilliant - 93%

Hugetimebig, September 1st, 2005

In my opinion, this album is quite underrated, and I personally like it a good bit better than Flight of the Migrator. A.A. Lucassen states that Dream Sequencer is meant to be more on the slower, atmospheric, and melodic side, whereas Flight of the Migrator is meant to be heavier and overall more metal than Dream Sequencer. This is so, and apparently I prefer atmospheric over heaviness, or at least when it comes to progressive metal. Anyways, on to the review.

The Dream Sequencer: This song takes place in the 22nd century. It starts off with some strange noises that sound like something from Star Wars. Next, Lane Lane speaks a few sentences and then comes a long, slow guitar solo, followed by a synth solo. This is not too bad of an opening track, but it’s not my favorite song. 7/10

My House on Mars: This song takes place in the end of the 21st century, and is one of my favorite tracks on the album. The lead vocalist, Johan Edlund, has a very deep and mysterious voice, and the backup singer, Floor Jansen, has a very beautiful and uplifting voice. The parts that come in at 1:40 and 3:12 are the main highlights of the track, and they keep the song from being boring. Overall, a very good song. 10/10

2084: This song takes place in the 21st century, most likely in 2084, and is about the war of 2084, which destroys all life on Earth. This is a rather slow song: slow drum beat, slow guitar and synth solo, slow everything. The song finally gets a bit more interesting at 5:36, but not really any faster. This definitely is not a song for die-hard thrash fans, nor is the rest of the album. However, like I said, I enjoy the slower and more atmospheric side of Ayreon, so I do like this song, but it’s still not among my favorites. 8/10

One Small Step: This song takes place at the time of the first lunar landing. The lead vocalist here, Edward Reekers, is without a doubt my favorite vocalist on the album. I agree with A.A. Lucassen in saying that Reekers is a highly professional singer with an uplifting, warming voice. Back to the song: At 3:11 comes another slow guitar solo (no I actually don’t prefer slow solos over blazing fast solos, but I don’t mind slow solos at all), and another slow guitar solo at 5:23. A synth solo comes in at 6:30, and after repeating the chorus a couple more times the song is over. 9.5/10

The Shooting Company of Captain Frans B. Cocq: This song takes place in the 17th century, and is another of my favorites, if not my very favorite song on the album. This song is sung by a guy named "Mouse", who has a "cool" and enjoyable voice in my opinion. At 1:52, you have the main highlight of the song, followed by vocals accompanied by a nice, low synth. Yes, this is a slow song, but not boring (to me), nor is any of the album. It is also a very good song, and a highlight of the album. 10/10

Dragon on the Sea: This song takes place in the 16th century. This song, as well as 2084, are sung by Lana Lane, a female vocalist that I enjoy, but sadly, these two songs she sings are among my least favorites on the album. The synth on this song is kind of annoying at times, and I don’t like the chorus all that much. I don’t hate this song, and I don’t really dislike it, but by Ayreon standards its not anything special. I can’t really name any highlights of this song, so ill go right to the rating. 6.5/10

Temple of the Cat: This song takes place in the 8th century, and is a song I have had to really grow into. On first listen I was thinking "Man, this is even strange for progressive music", but as of now I enjoy the song a good bit. At 2:19 comes what is probably my favorite part of the song: a nice little flute solo (it’s probably keyboard), which leads back into the main verse. I also find it humorous that at about 3:25 Jacqueline Govaert sings "he lies here in the temple of the cat", but it sounds just like "he lies here in the temple of the care bear" Anyways, back to normality. If I were to rate this song after first listen, it would be about a 5/10, but as of now, I’ve taken much more of a liking to the song and therefore, it ill get a much higher rating. 8.5/10

Carried by the Wind: This song takes place in the 6th century, and is another favorite of mine. A.A. Lucassen himself sings lead vocals on this song (which makes me think that he purposely sang on possibly the best song on the album). It starts off with some synth, then at 0:29, in comes what is probably my favorite part of the entire album. The song doesn’t lose any momentum here though, as it stays exciting in its entirety. I cant give this song anything less than a perfect score. 10/10

And the Druids turn to Stone: This song takes place in 2800 B.C., at the creation of Stonehenge. It is among my favorites, and the singer, Damian Wilson, is my 2nd favorite singer on the album, right behind Edward Reekers. Damian is a very emotional and powerful singer, and is definitely worthy of being in the presence of the great A.A.Lucassen. The only real standout part of the song is the verse which starts as "I marvel aaaaaaat this mysterryyyyyyyyy!!". Very powerful and impressive performance by Damian Wilson, and an excellent song overall. 9.5/10

The First Man on Earth: This song takes place way back in 50,000 B.C. This isn’t the best song here, but also not the worst. At 0:36, a part comes in that reminds me of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by the Beatles (which, in my opinion, isn’t exactly a good thing). The best part of this song is the chorus, whereas the rest of the song is all just slow and semi-boring aside from a guitar solo at 5:26 THAT IS ACTUALLY FAST half of the time. And for the rating: 7/10

The Dream Sequencer Reprise: This song brings you back the 22nd century. It is a lot like the title track, differing mainly in that there is no star wars noises, words, or synth solo in this song. It’s hard to give this song a rating, as there’s not much to it, but feeling as though it needs a rating, it will get one. The same rating as the title track, that is. 7/10