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Ayreon is one of my favourates, especially for the album "The Dream Sequencer". I personally prefer this one to other releases mainly because it is atmospheric, modern, and delicate. The synth creates a magic ambience which make audience feel they are travelling in space or just in their dreams. What's more, Ayreon has invited a number of artists including guys from Tiamat and Lana Lane, etc. I'm keen on the voice of Lana Lane in that her style suits the works of Ayreon perfectly. They both focus on a very progressive form of art. However, this style is different from what Dream Theater does, or what Pain of Salvation does, because Ayreon is slower, more electronically-influenced, thus making their music leaves sufficient space for audience to think what the music is designed to express and to understand the profound meaning behind the melody and atmosphere.
The story of the album begins with the last day human on the Mars approaching, the last colonist on the Mars has no choice but to end his life in his sweet memory with the help of the machine called "Dream Sequencer". Then the memory develops with the time dating back - 21st century, 20th century, 17th century, ...50000 BC. The music desribes the history of the civilization of human beings in a nice way.
The first song is a decent beginning, and the guitar reminds me of Pink Floyd, creating a passage leading us to the following dreams. The best song I think perhaps is "One Small Step". The song begins with a nice acoustic inro and the sound of the guitar sounds like the flowing of a clean sream. Every instrument and synth is gentle and performs well. The lyrics are about a historic event of human beings that the mighty Apollo prevailed. The rest of the album are also very fascinating. Perhaps Ayreon is not very "metal", but they've established themselves in their own style and told stories where everyone can take a travel. The atmosphere is mixed with some folk influence. It is folk, but I guess it's the folk in the future or in the very past when there is no human beings on the earth, when the sun is shining, when the trees are green against the mighty blue sky, and when the sea can reflect the sunshine to the blue sky like a mirror.
Music is designed to make up for the loss of the reality. The world in the Dream Sequencer is without fear, without sex, without anyting in the modern fucking cities. Listening to the melody of the flute in "Temple of the Cat", just free your imagination and thinke, and you'll soon find that you're lost in the Dream Sequencer and never want to return to the real world. So let's build a harmonious and healthy community where the atmosphere in the dream can come true.
That's what I am thinking about after listening to this album for several times and I definitely wanna recommend it to everyone who is lost in what he is pursuing, you just want a "Dream Sequencer".