The Source

CD 1
Chronicle 1: The 'Frame
1. The Day That the World Breaks Down
2. Sea of Machines
3. Everybody Dies
Chronicle 2: The Aligning of the Ten
4. Star of Sirrah
5. All That Was
6. Run! Apocalypse! Run!
7. Condemned to Live
CD 2
Chronicle 3: The Transmigration
1. Aquatic Race
2. The Dream Dissolves
3. Deathcry of a Race
4. Into the Ocean
Chronicle 4: The Rebirth
5. Bay of Dreams
6. Planet Y is Alive!
7. The Source Will Flow
8. Journey to Forever
9. The Human Compulsion
10. March of the Machines

James LaBrie as The Historian
Tommy Karevik as The Opposition Leader
Tommy Rogers as The Chemist
Simone Simons as The Counselor
Nils K. Rue as The Prophet
Tobias Sammet as The Captain
Hansi Kürsch as The Astronomer
Mike Mills as TH-1
Russell Allen as The President
Michael Eriksen as The Diplomat
Floor Jansen as The Biologist
Will Shaw, Wilmer Waarbroek, Jan Willem Ketelaars, and Lisette van den Berg as The Ship's Crew
Zaher Zorgati as The Preacher

Joost van den Broek - grand piano and electric piano
Mark Kelly - synthesizer solo
Maaike Peterse - cello
Paul Gilbert - guitar solo
Guthrie Govan - guitar solo
Marcel Coenen - guitar solo
Ed Warby - drums
Ben Mathot - violin
Jeroen Goossens - flute, wind instruments
Arjen Anthony Lucassen - electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar, mandolin, synthesizers, Hammond, Solina Strings, all other instruments

The Final Experiment (1995)
Actual Fantasy (1996)
Into the Electric Castle (1998)
Universal Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer (2000)
Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator (2000)
Ayreonauts Only (2000)
The Human Equation (2004)
01011001 (2008)
The Theory of Everything (2013)
The Theater Equation (2016)

Arjen Anthony Lucassen - production, mixing, recording
Pieter Kop - mastering
Yann Souetre - cover art and artwork[24]
Lori Linstruth - creative consultant, filming and editing of "Behind the Scenes" and "Interviews" for bonus DVD, management
Jos Driessen - co-recording of Ed Warby
Braeden Kozy - recording of James LaBrie
Thomas Gieger - recording of Hansi Kürsch
Sascha Paeth - recording of Tobias Sammet
Dick Hodgin - recording of Russell Allen
Jamie King - recording of Tommy Rogers

Released 2017-04-28
Reviewed 2017-04-27




Well, of course I have to admit that I am a big fan of Ayreon and that I have already bought several versions of this album and some big fan package with T-shirt and everything. It is a great looking album with a booklet that has impressive pictures, some blueprints of Ayreon stuff as well as the ship in this story. A story that takes us back, back to a time before anything else we already know in the Ayreon universe. The story is about a group of people from the race called Forever (that we know from the Ayreon universe) who leaves their planet Alpha in a spaceship commanded by Tobias Sammet. They take aim for the star called Sirrah where they find Planet Y that comes to life and the story ends just before the album 01011001 starts, it ends with a reference to Age of Shadows that is the opening track of that brilliant album from 2008.

In his usual manner Arjen has enlisted many guest musicians that are listed on the left and highlights include recurring drummer Ed Warby, vocalists James LaBrie, Russell Allen, Simone Simons, Floor Jansen and previously mentioned Tobias Sammet and everyone, including those not mentioned, does a brilliant job. And the more eagle eyed reader and eagle eared listener notices that Arjen recycles several vocalists this time, which is a bit unlike what he usually does as he seems to generally avoid reusing vocalist for Ayreon releases. But he also reuses references from earlier works so perhaps it is an album that runs a little bit more on the familiar than earlier releases. After all, this space-flying Dutchman returns to space in contrast to the predecessor that took place in a more down to Earth setting.

I think it reminds me somewhat of 01011001, but it is still a fresh and very different album that offers something we haven’t heard before but yet carries some of the traits we have become accustomed to hearing from Ayreon. This is more guitar-driven, perhaps even somewhat akin to the Star One material. It is a bit more drive and energy than in most of the Ayreon albums, in this regard it is also most similar to the 01011001-album as that is also a bit more in this direction than most that came before. The production is strong which was to be expected and listening to this album is like listening to a great story told by a great storyteller, I find myself closing my eyes, just listening and watching the story in my imagination.

I think that finally giving Tobias Sammet a real Ayreon role was a great idea as his voice as the captain is just terrific and thanks to him the speedier material really comes to life, commendations also for Russell Allen who always does way better with Arjen than on his own stuff. James LaBrie is always great and the girls along with the other vocalists all do terrific roles, in fact I don’t really find any aspect that is less than excellent on this album. Sure, I am a big fan of Ayreon but even when I look at it through my most critical eyes I can’t see anything wrong with this brilliant album. In fact the thing I like worst about it is that Arjen didn’t write any small message (like Carpe Diem) with his signature, like he has done on the previous albums he has signed for me – and that isn’t really much of a weakness, is it?

While it is an album where the strength lies in the full story and the complete works it also has some hit potential like the track Run! Apocalypse! Run! that is a great and catchy song. It has a great chorus but also great depth and unpredictability; it would probably be as a great a hit song as it is part of this album. But to be honest I think all the tracks are excellent and can’t really say that I have a favourite track on this album, the story in its entirety is better than any of the individual tracks. I have actually played this album nearly ten hours straight today and I still want to hear it over and over.

I think The Source is one of the best albums by Ayreon, it is difficult to just claim it is best as there are so much greatness in the Ayreon catalogue. In fact this will be the third Ayreon release that receives a rating of seven, the latest studio album The Theory of Everything was the latest album to receive a rating of seven – that is for a review of an album that has not been released long ago. If The Source is better than mentioned album is difficult to say, they are rather different albums as is the other already mentioned Ayreon album that was given the highest rating – I think all these these albums will be my entertainment on my spaceship journey towards the Star of Sirrah and Planet Y.

This is impressive stuff, outstanding in fact. And for some reason many words came down on this digital sheet of paper but all that is really needed to be said is that it is the best album I have reviewed since 2013. Which means that anyone who doesn’t get this album has to be a massive moron of epic proportions. The conclusion has to be that this Flying Dutchman can’t fail and that whenever his spaceship appears we are in for a real treat.




Label: Mascot Label Group[
Three similar bands: Star One/Arjen Anthony Lucassen/Vengeance

Rating: HHHHHHH (7/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm

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