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Ayreon: The Theater Equation DVD review

Album Review

Arjen Lucassen’s project gets the full stage treatment.

There’s always been an intrinsic sense of drama about Ayreon’s music. Created by Arjen Lucassen, their eight albums have included a ludicrous number of guest musicians, who add their own quirks to recordings which give a prog twist to rock opera. In a genre that’s ridiculed for pomposity and disastrous theatrics, Ayreon have maintained an unaffected consistency, generally free from those glaring pitfalls. Yet these albums have never been performed on stage, due to the logistics of gathering together the musicians required. However, in September 2015, Lucassen managed to persuade the likes of Dream Theater’s James LaBrie, and Anneke Van Giersbergen (and a further 17 musicians and 19 strong choir) to perform their 2004 album The Human Equation, and this grandiose film is the result. The album’s plot essentially follows the story of a man, who, after being involved in a car crash, undergoes soul searching while in a coma. All of which is necessary to comprehend why LaBrie opens the performance in a mangled car, before delivering a tender duet with Van Giersbergen.

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