Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2019
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Not pretentious, just incredibly shit - 1%

caspian, June 8th, 2013

The argument that most people have when they defend stuff like this, or Waking the Cadaver or Finntroll or Limp Bizkit or whatever is that hey bros, this stuff is meant to be fun. It doesn't take itself seriously, you either love it or you don't, etc etc- which somehow means that it has no right to be criticized, or something. Anyway, enough with the strawmans- I wasted a few house-cleaning sessions with this on when basically anything else would've improved my life far more. Some albums deserve to be a fleshy receptable to my hate-filled thrusts, and this one is first and foremost.

Essentially, ITEC is the unsurprisingly ugly love child of terrible narrative and terrible songwriting- someone clearly watched the Rocky Horror Picture Show and was all "well this is kinda cool, but if it was made far campier and a lot less memorable that'd be a HUGE IMPROVEMENT". Considering how much money got put into the production - or at least how well said money was spent- it's straight out remarkable to think that the dude(s?) behind Ayreon ever thought this was worth releasing, let alone worth demo-ing, worth writing etc.

The music is in that weird place where it's almost instantly ignorable while still being permanently irritating. I'll be doing the dishes, training my pet rats, reading through some texts for uni or whatever and some moment- perhaps it's the one of 50 very similar sounding synth solos, the awful faux-english narration, or anytime the soulful-black-man-barbarian starts singing- comes in and basically just takes a huge shit on the world. Consistent bad sorta-70's-80's prog with all the good things removed out of it and a huge amount of fluff remaining- this stuff makes Meatloaf's Bat out of Hell sound like a deep artistic work.

I'm just going to do a brief list here, because it's hard writing everything that's terrible about this record in paragraph format:
- A meaningless plot where nothing really happens, the characters just sing to each other in annoying accents
- Lack of any musical content that grabs you- no good riffs- thirty seconds of Garden of Emotion aside, no decent leads
- Tendency towards long form songs where nothing of any consequence happens
- None of the tension that's required for such a narrative-driven (and just plain long) album.
- Basically, it sounds like a really bad cover of Bat out of Hell that goes on for two hours
- Two (count 'em) awful english accents
- Consistent flange and phased overkill- the effect is on everything, and consistently sucks
- Perhaps two parts in the entire album that actually sound a bit bombastic without going all early 1980's car commercial

Yeah I dunno, this honestly falls flat on every level. The jangly and forever-there acoustics, the same synth sound that pervades the entire album, the two hour running time (the "but it's a deliberately fun, campy album!" argument falls flat when you consider that), the teeth-shattering irritation of every singing part in the entire album, the inability for Ayreon to continue an interesting musical part for more than 10-odd seconds without fucking it up in a creative way. Everything, everything, everythingsinglefuckenthing is relentlessly awful here. Fuck off and die, Ayreon!