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File:Ayreon 7574.jpg

 "Welcome. You have entered the cranial vistas of psychogenesis. This is the place of no-time and no-space. Do not be afraid...."

Ayreon is a series of sci-fi/fantasy Rock Opera albums by Dutch musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen. The music is mainly a combination of folk-influenced Progressive Rock and Progressive Metal, but many other genres are represented. A key element of Ayreon's sound is the use of many guest musicians and vocalists - 01011001, for example, has 17 singers, including Lucassen himself.

Although each album has its own concept or plot, the stories are all connected, if in sometimes strange ways. (The possible exception is Actual Fantasy, which has songs based on several different stories and doesn't seem to be related to the other albums, although it could be argued elements of "Stranger from Within" were used in The Human Equation, and "Back on Planet Earth" has several concepts that are later used in 01011001.) Because of the Mind Screw nature of the series, it's hard to describe the plot without giving away major spoilers for the different albums. A race of immortal bionic fish aliens called "Forevers" create humanity as a way to regain their lost emotions, and they and the humans try to keep the world from ending in 2084.

Compare and contrast Avantasia.

Albums:

  • 1995 - The Final Experiment
  • 1996 - Actual Fantasy
  • 1998 - Into the Electric Castle
  • 2000 - Universal Migrator Part I: The Dream Sequencer
  • 2000 - Universal Migrator Part II: Flight of the Migrator
  • 2004 - The Human Equation
  • 2008 - 01011001

Ayreon songs include:

Notable guest vocalists include:


Ayreon includes examples of the following tropes:

  • After the End: The Universal Migrator
  • Ancient Astronauts
  • Artistic License Astronomy: Alpha Pegasi is not in M31, and comets don't move from one star system to another, let alone cross intergalactic distances.
    • With regard to Alpha Pegasi, they might have meant to say Alpha Andromedae, since they refer to Sirrah, which is another name for that star. M31 is also known as Andromeda. Then again, confusingly, they refer to "Sirrah in Alpha Pegasi", which gives the impression they think Alpha Pegasi is a constellation...
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: The last man alive, possibly the Forevers.
  • Author Avatar: Some fan theories have it that Mr. L is supposed to be Arjen Lucassen himself, mostly because they have the same last initial (and Mr. L is played by Arjen Lucassen in the one song he appears in).
    • If you count Word of God it's confirmed.
      • Taken a step further by a later Solo album which although not technically an Ayreon album, has many nods to it and revisits Mr L
  • Bilingual Bonus: If you count binary as a language, anyway. The title of the most recent album is 01011001, which maps to 89 in decimal numbers. 89 is ASCII code for Y - the name of the planet that the Forevers live on.
    • Also, the song "Age of Shadows/We Are Forever" has a few verses of binary or pseudo-binary (voices chanting "zero, one, zero" "off, on, off" "no, yes, no"). The verses respectively translate to "help help", "forever" and "sos sos".
  • Blind Seer: Ayreon
  • Bittersweet Ending:the ending of Flight of the Migrator. The last human being dies alone in the Dream Sequencer. In his final moments, Forever speaks to him in his mind and tells him that his soul will become the new Migrator and spread life to other worlds in the Universe.
  • Cassandra Truth: Ayreon and Mr. L.
  • Clarke's Third Law
  • Cloudcuckoolander: The Hippie
  • Concept Album: All of them.
  • Continuity Nod
  • Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: The Forevers
  • Dark Reprise: One Small Step. "As I lie here in this cold tank..."
  • Disappeared Dad: Me's father in The Human Equation; the Colonist's father in Universal Migrator
  • Depopulation Bomb: At the end of 01011001
  • Downer Ending: The ones that aren't bittersweet.
  • The End of the World as We Know It
  • Epic Rocking
  • Excellent Adventure: The Universal Migrator albums
  • Fan Service: Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator is particular Fan Service for those who are fond of power metal, as many famous metal vocalists (Timo Kotipelto, Fabio Lione and Bruce Dickinson in particular) lend their voices to that album. (Ironically, Arjen went on record as saying this was his least favourite album...)
  • Fish People: the Forevers
  • Fling a Light Into the Future: first, they try to fling a light into the past, and when that doesn't work, the Migrator becomes the "light"
  • Functional Magic: Merlin, the Stonehenge druids.
  • Ghost in the Machine: "Me" in The Human Equation.
  • Ham-to-Ham Combat: Frequently. But for a particularly awesome example, check out the four-way melee between Tom Eglund, Steve Lee, Daniel Gildenlow and Jorn Lande starting at 3:00 in The Fifth Extinction.
    • Mike Baker vs. Devin Townsend in "Day Sixteen: Loser"
  • Heavy Mithril: They're sci-fi/fantasy.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Is that (fill in the blank) from (insert name of band here) singing about black holes? Probably.
  • Humans Are Bastards: We gave them dreams, and what did they dream?
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Ayreon in the song "Nature's Dance". It's understandable.
  • Imported Alien Phlebotinum: the Dream Sequencer and the machinery used in the Final Experiment.
  • It's All About Me: The barbarian oh so very much.
  • Large Ham:
    • Both Bruce Dickinson and Jay van Feggelen (the Barbarian) come to mind. Bruce even has the line "Feed me light!"
    • Steve Lee on 01011001 comes to mind too. "The AGE of SHAAADOWS has beguuun!!!" Particularly ironic since he's supposed to be playing a character incapable of feeling emotions.
    • Ayreon provides the perfect arena for the who's who of prog metal to compete to out-ham each other.
  • Last-Note Nightmare: Put this in a better example if there is one, but "Another Time, Another Space", the last track on the Into the Electric Castle album, ends with "Remember... Forever-rever-rever-rever-rever" repeating like that for about a minute.
  • Ludd Was Right
  • Magic From Technology: the Dream Sequencer and the Electric Castle.
  • Metal Scream: Shows up occasionally, for example on "Loser" from The Human Equation.
  • Mind Screw: Pretty much everything.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Folk progressive rock pop neoclassical metal.
  • Musicalis Interruptus: On The Human Equation, "Day Twenty: Confrontation" is interrupted by a Forever
    • Not just a Forever. It's "Forever" of the Stars - the same one that was in Into the Electric Castle.
  • Phlebotinum Killed the Dinosaurs
    • Such as the careless trajectory of a child's lost meteorite?
  • Reincarnation: Ayreon == Hippie == L == Colonist == Universal Migrator == Elizabeth I, among others
    • To Arjen Lucassen himself, if you believe some theories.
  • Progressive Metal
  • Rock Opera
  • Romanticism Versus Enlightenment: Firmly on the Romanticism side. 01011001 is especially Anvilicious about this, but the message is present on other Ayreon albums too.
  • Running Gag: the many ways Arjen has come up with not to thank his brother.
  • Schmuck Bait: The golden gate.
  • Somewhere a Paleontologist Is Crying
  • Soprano and Gravel: Floor Janssen and Jonas Renske in 01011001, the Indian and Death in Into the Electric Castle
  • The Stoner: Hippie.
  • Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: The Forevers.
  • Title Drop - 01011001 has a Title Drop of the previous album (almost) in "The Sixth Extinction": "We must resolve this human equation..." Voices can also be heard chanting "0...1...0...1..." in "Age of Shadows/We Are Forever" on the same album. Actual Fantasy has two title drops both in "Actual Fantasy" and at the start of "Beyond the Last Horizon". The Final Experiment and The Universal Migrator also have Title Drops in them.
    • However, if you listen closely, (or read the lyrics,) you will find that they do not spell out the title (01011001, or Y), but rather the word "help" in ASCII binary code. The "off"/"on" part spelling "forever" is probably a better example.
  • Touched by Vorlons: L
  • Unhappy Medium: Ayreon and Mr. L.
  • Unrealistic Black Hole
    • Well, yeah--it's singing!
  • What Could Have Been: Roy Khan had initially accepted an invitation to be a guest vocalist, but had to back out due to a minor throat injury that he did not want to agitate.
  • World War III
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