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A truly Amazing Flight in space. - 90%

doomknocker, March 1st, 2009

I'd stated in my review of "Universal Migrator pt. 1" that I usually cator to the metal side of the progressive music movement. That taste sadly kept me from loving the first album (though I do find it quite enjoyable as it is), but also drove me right into the second part of his epic opera. Needless to say, the opening guitar/Hammond organ riffery grabbed me by the balls and didn't let go for one second.

Like space itself, the music presented is crushing, chaotic, and mind-blowing, easily the fastest and heaviest material Arjen has presented for his AYREON project. Some parts are even more heavy and metallic than his equally awesome STAR ONE project, accented by massive guitar abuse, interstellar keyboards, and skull-crushing drumwork. As with other AYREON albums, Arjen pours so much into his song-writing that he definately out-composes a lot of other jamokes in both the metal and prog communities, with nary a sense of egotism that permeates in plentiful doses in the latter. Take, for example, epic pieces like "Dawn of a Million Souls", "Into the Black Hole", and "To the Quasar" (which is, by and large, my personal favourite AYREON song), delivered with equalled epicness and class by the likes of Andi Deris, Fabio Leone, and Bruce Dickenson (OF ALL PEOPLE!), and you have a smorgasbord of music that steamrolls you with torrents of riffs and solos that are complete rarities in today's instant-oatmeal music world.

At the end of the day, this is a very satisfying release that has seen a LOT of playtime in my CD player. Arjen is, or should be, well-known for creating unforgettable albums, and this sucker is NO exception. Prepare to rattle your goddamn head.