Saturday, March 5, 2022

Ayreon - The Final Experiment (1995)

Ayreon - The Final Experiment (1995)

Tracklist front / back album covers

1. "Prologue" 
A. "The Time Telepathy Experiment"
B. "Overture"
C. "Ayreon's Quest"

Total length:   3:16

Act I: The Dawning
2. "The Awareness"
A. "The Premonition"
B. "Dreamtime (Words Become a Song)"
C. "The Awakening"

3. "Eyes of Time"
A. "Eyes of Time"
B. "Brainwaves"

4. "The Banishment"
A. "A New Dawn"
B. "The Gathering"
C. "The Accusation"
D. "The Banishment"
E. "Oblivion"

Total length:   22:49

Act II: King Arthur's Court
5. "Ye Courtyard Minstrel Boy"   2:45
6. "Sail Away to Avalon"   4:02
7. "Nature's Dance"   2:27

Total length:   9:14

Act III: Visual Echoes
8. "Computer-Reign (Game Over)"   3:24
9. "Waracle"   6:44
10. "Listen to the Waves"   4:58
11. "Magic Ride"   3:35

Total length:   18:41

Act IV: Merlin's Will and Ayreon's Fate
12. "Merlin's Will"
13. "The Charm of the Seer"
14. "Swan Song"
15. "Ayreon's Fate"
A. "Ayreon's Fate"
B. "Merlin's Prophecy"
C. "Epilogue"

Total length:   17:10

Semi-acoustic bonus disc (2005 Special Edition release only)
1. "Dreamtime"   4:19
2. "Eyes of Time"   3:25
3. "The Accusation"   3:49
4. "Ye Courtyard Minstrel Boy"   2:50
5. "Sail Away to Avalon"   3:26
6. "Nature's Dance"   2:03
7. "Waracle"   5:16
8. "Merlin's Will"   3:29
9. "The Charm of the Seer"   3:29

Total length: 37:41

Ayreon Band Members / Musicians

Arjen Anthony Lucassen - vocals (tracks 7, 10, 11 & 15), guitar, bass, keyboards, synthesizer, drums, percussion, timpani, audio mixing, sleeve design & photography

Barry Hay on "Sail Away To Avalon"

Edward Reekers as Merlin on "Prologue," "The Awareness" and "Ayreon’s Fate;" as Ayreon on "The Awareness" and "Ayreon’s Fate"

Ian Parry as Nobleman on "Ye Courtyard Minstrel Boy", "Computer Reign" and as Merlin on "Ayreon’s Fate"

Jan-Chris de Koeijer on "The Banishment"

Jay van Feggelen of Bodine as Merlin on "Ayreon's Fate" and "Waracle"

Lenny Wolf on "Eyes Of Time"

Leon Goewie as Merlin on "Merlin's Will" and "Ayreon's Fate"

Robert Soeterboek as Villagers on "The Banishment" and as Merlin on "Ayreon's Fate"

Ruud Houweling as Ayreon on "The Charm Of The Seer"

Lucy Hillen on "The Charm Of The Seer;" as Chorus on several tracks

Debby Schreuder as Merlin, Women and Villagers on "Ayreon's Fate;" as Chorus on several tracks

Mirjam van Doorn as Merlin, Women and Villagers on "Ayreon's Fate;" as Chorus on several tracks
Irene Jansen (bonus)
Marcela Bovio (bonus)
Peter Daltrey (bonus)
John Cuijpers (bonus)
Esther Ladiges (bonus)
Rodney Blaze (bonus)
Astrid van der Veen (bonus)
Valentine (bonus)

Cleem Determeijer (tracks 2-6, 14)
Rene Merkelbach (tracks 4, 6, 11, 12)

Ernst van Ee (tracks 2-4, 6-10, 12, 15)
Davy Mickers

Peter Vink - acoustic bass (tracks 3-4, 7-8)
Jolanda Verduijn (tracks 4, 6, 15)
Jan Bijlsma (track 11)

Marieke van der Heyden
Dewi Kerstens

Ruud Houweling
Richèle Nijst
Jacoby Peters

Richele Nijst - additional
Jacoby Peeters - additional
Ruud Houweling - sleeve

Ewa Albering – flute
Lori Linstruth – electric lead guitar solos
Jeroen Goossens – assorted wind instruments
Valentine – piano, vocals
Oscar Holleman – engineering
Sjoerd Kops - photography
Peter Brussee - mastering
Oscar Holleman - production, mixing & engineering

The Final Experiment (originally Ayreon: The Final Experiment) is the debut studio album by the Dutch progressive metal band Ayreon, released in 1995. Originally with no artist noted, at the suggestion of the record label the subject was later detached, and used as the name for what was to be Dutch musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Ayreon project.

In 2004, Arjen moved to a new record label, Inside Out - with this move came re-issues of all the previous Ayreon releases, including The Final Experiment. This re-issue includes a bonus CD featuring nine re-worked recordings of tracks (or segments of tracks) found on the original album with different singers and all acoustic instrumentation.

The Final Experiment introduces several concepts which appear in future Ayreon albums, such as humanity's propensity for war ("Waracle"), polluting earth's environment ("Listen to the Waves"), or the gratuitous use of technology and computers in human society ("Computer-Reign (Game Over)"). The latter concept appears overtly in the tracks "Computer Eyes" from Actual Fantasy, and "Web of Lies" from 01011001, as well as "Evil Devolution" from Into the Electric Castle.

Ayreon /ˈɛriən/ (audio speaker iconlisten) is a musical project by Dutch songwriter, singer, musician and record producer Arjen Anthony Lucassen. Ayreon's music is described as progressive rock, progressive metal and power metal sometimes combined with genres such as folk, electronica, experimental and classical music. The majority of Ayreon's albums are dubbed "rock operas" (or "metal operas") because the albums contain complex storylines featuring a host of characters, usually with each one being represented by a unique vocalist.

Each Ayreon album tells a different story, but all, with the exceptions of Actual Fantasy, The Theory of Everything, and Transitus, take place in the same fictional, science fiction universe; additionally, Lucassen's solo album Lost in the New Real is also set in the Ayreon universe. Ayreon's music is characterized by the use of traditional instruments in rock music (guitars, bass guitar, drums, analogue synthesizers, electric organs) mixed with instruments more native to folk and classical music (e.g. mandolins, violins, violas, celli, flutes, sitars and didgeridoos). Lucassen writes the music and the lyrics, sings and plays most of the instruments on all of the Ayreon albums, alongside many guest musicians. His most regular collaborator is drummer Ed Warby.

Due to the project's particular nature, Ayreon live performances are rare, and no official Ayreon live show took place until 2017. Several Ayreon songs were first included in two live albums by other Lucassen bands: Live on Earth by Star One (2003) and Live in the Real World by Stream of Passion (2006).

Ayreon Band Members / Musicians

Ed Warby – drums, percussion (1998–present)

Joost van den Broek – piano, synthesizer (2004-present)

Jeroen Goossens – flutes (2004-present)

Ben Mathot – violin (2007–present)

Johan van Stratum - bass guitar (2015-present) (Live shows)

Ayreon Discography Full
1995 The Final Experiment
1996 Actual Fantasy
1998 Into the Electric Castle
2000 Universal Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer
2000 Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator
2004 The Human Equation
2008 01011001
2013 The Theory of Everything
2017 The Source
2020 Transitus

2008 Elected

1995 "Sail Away to Avalon"
1996 "The Stranger from Within"
2000 "Temple of the Cat"
2004 "Day Eleven: Love"
2004 "Loser"
2005 "Come Back to Me"
2020 "Hopelessly Slipping Away"
2020 "Get Out! Now!"
2020 "This Human Equation"
2020 "Talk of the Town"

Compilation albums
2000 Ayreonauts Only
2008 Timeline

Live albums
2016 The Theater Equation
2018 Ayreon Universe – The Best of Ayreon Live
2020 Electric Castle Live and Other Tales

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