Sunday, March 6, 2022

Ayreon - Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator (2000)

Ayreon - Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator (2000)

Tracklist front / back album covers

1. "Chaos"   5:11

2. "Dawn of a Million Souls"   7:45

3. "Journey on the Waves of Time"   5:48

4. "To the Quasar"   8:43

I. "The Taurus Pulsar"

II. "Quasar 3C273"

5. "Into the Black Hole"   10:25

I. "The Eye of the Universe"

II. "Halo of Darkness"

III. "The Final Door"

6. "Through the Wormhole"   6:05

7. "Out of the White Hole"   7:11

I. "M31"

II. "Planet Y"

III. "The Search Continues"

8. "To the Solar System"   6:12

I. "Planet of Blue"

II. "System Alert"

9. "The New Migrator"   8:17

I. "Metamorphosis"

II. "Sleeper Awake"

Ayreon Band Members / Musicians

Lana Lane - voice on track 1; backing vocals on tracks 4, 5, 6, and 9

Russell Allen (Symphony X) - track 2

Damian Wilson (Threshold) - backing vocals on track 2

Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear) - track 3

Andi Deris (Helloween) - track 4

Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) - track 5

Fabio Lione (Rhapsody of Fire) - track 6

Timo Kotipelto (Stratovarius) - track 7

Robert Soeterboek - track 8

Ian Parry (Elegy) - track 9

Arjen Lucassen - electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar, analog synthesizers, Mellotron, Hammond, additional keyboards; guitar solos on tracks 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9

Ed Warby - drums

Erik Norlander - analog synthesizers, vocoder, Taurus pedal, Hammond, additional keyboards; synth solos on tracks 1, 3 (Hammond), 4, 5, 7

Michael Romeo - guitar solo on track 2

Oscar Holleman - second guitar solo on track 4

Gary Wehrkamp - guitar and synth solo on track 6

Rene Merkelbach - last synth solo on track 4

Clive Nolan - second synth solo on track 5

Keiko Kumagai - synth solo on track 9 (plus Hammond)

Peter Siedlach - strings

Arjen Lucassen - producer

Oscar Holleman - sound engineer

Stephen van Haestregt - sound engineer

Jacques Marcoux - sleeve design and layout

Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator is the 5th album from Ayreon, a progressive metal/rock opera project by Dutch musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen, released in 2000.

The musical styles found on Flight of the Migrator contrast its counterpart The Dream Sequencer, illustrating a wild, raucous journey through the tumultuous and chaotic reaches of outer space. In keeping with the setting of the story, the album's tone is much heavier, exuding a powerful, guitar-driven metal feel throughout.

Both albums were released simultaneously, sold well and were received positively. In 2004, Lucassen moved to a new record label - Inside Out Music - and with this move came re-issues of all the previous Ayreon releases, including The Dream Sequencer. The special edition re-issue merged both albums into a single release, titled Universal Migrator: Parts I & II. The album was also released on vinyl in December 2012.

As Universal Migrator had enough content to form a two-CD album, Lucassen decided to sell each disc as a separate release. He believed his fans to be fundamentally divided into two groups by genre of choice, being either progressive rock or heavy metal fans. The Dream Sequencer was meant to appeal to the prog enthusiasts, and Flight of the Migrator to the metal fans, so that each could simply purchase the album of their choice, if so inclined, and to his surprise both fanbases bought and enjoyed both albums.

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