Label: Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group
Three similar bands: Star One/Arjen Anthony Lucassen/Vengeance

Rating: HHHHHHH (6/7)
Reviewer: Daniel Källmalm
01. Fatum Horrificum (A] Graveyard, B] 1884, C] Daniel And Abby, D] Fatum, E] Why?!, F] Guilty)
02. Daniel’s Descent Into Transitus
03. Listen To My Story
04. Two Worlds Now One
05. Talk Of The Town
06. Old Friend
07. Dumb Piece Of Rock
08. Get Out! Now!
09. Seven Days, Seven Nights
01. Condemned Without A Trial
02. Daniel’s Funeral
03. Hopelessly Slipping Away
04. This Human Equation.
05. Henry’s Plot
06. Message From Beyond
07. Daniel’s Vision
08. She Is Innocent
09. Lavinia’s Confession
10. Inferno
11. Your Story Is Over!
12. Abby In Transitus
13. The Great Beyond

Arjen Lucassen
Tom Baker - narrator
Tommy Karevik - vocals
Cammie Gilbert - vocals
Simone Simons - vocals
Dee Snider - vocals
Johanne James - vocals
Noa Gruman
Marcela Bovio - vocals
Caroline Westendorp - vocals
Paul Manzi - vocals
Michael Mills - vocals
Amanda Somerville - vocals
Dianne van Giersbergen - vocals
Joe Satriani - guitar
Marty Friedman - guitar
Patty Gurdy - hurdy-gurdy
Joost van den Broek - keyboards
Ben Mathot -violin
Jeroen Goossens - flute
Juan van Emmerloot - drums

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)
The Source (2017)

Universe (2018)
Electric Castle Live and Other Tales(2020)

Produced and mixed by Arjen Anthony Lucassen

Released 2020-09-25
Reviewed 2020-09-24



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2020 is a crazy year in many ways and the most memorable thing about it is probably the fact that two albums by Ayreon have seen the light of day; I cannot think anything more impactful than that this year. This new album is called Transitus, and it is a bit different. Arjen is quoted (in Swedish for some reason) in my press material as saying that he really likes The Source but also that he thinks it is sounding like a typical Ayreon album, and I have to say that I agree with that remark. I have been thinking after Universe and now the live album based on Into the Electric Castle, that The Source was probably the last time he could really sell the same concept as he has been running since Into the Electric Castle. Sure it is fresh, and unique, but even that goes too far some time and if the progressive label should stick he needs to do something a bit more progressive, Into the Electric Castle was progressive but I am not sure that The Source was, but cue Transitus and the world of Ayreon change a lot.

Because if the earlier albums were mostly space or science/sci-fi related operas, this is more of a darker and supernatural kind of story, like theatre or a comic book, and it is being narrated from the Tardis by Tom Baker who has a pretty great voice for storytelling. He paints the scenes that are then being played out in the songs, I am not really a fan of narration in music albums but it plays well with the songs for the most part, some of it I can do without. The music itself is being played with many voice actors as usual with two leading characters and several supporting roles, where I think the supporting roles are slightly more impressive than the main characters of the story – not that the main characters are poor, they are also pretty great. The sound is excellent but also different from the usual Ayreon sound, the spacey sounds have gone and it is more symphonic and dark, kind of a gothic character, and it is completely different.

I did worry that this new Ayreon album would be of a very similar character to its predecessor, but that was misplaced as it takes off in a new direction. The familiar things are the scale and massiveness of the project with many vocalists, musicians, songs, a comic book, lovely vinyl release and things like that. Yngwie Malmsteen says in an interview that “more is more” but he should listen to the “less is more” quote while more is in fact really more when it comes to Ayreon, you still want more even though the album is 81 minutes long, I have already played it about 20 hours on my iPod (yes, I still use one of those to listen to music on the run and not the stupid phone that is a glorified iPod but costs a lot more and is sold to morons), and it still feels new and fresh, exciting and interesting. This is an interesting path for Ayreon to take, and this album certainly proves that some musicians understand that fresh ideas are better than repeating the same thing too much.

Not the best of the Ayreon albums but certainly one that I will return to and keep going, it is enjoyable and different from most of the Ayreon catalogue and it is certainly a top album of the year. It is great that Arjen still manages to reinvent himself and that he still manages to surprise, and if you aren’t impressed with this great album you are probably a very dull person. Everyone with taste and brain will enjoy this great album; it would be pretty stupid not to get this one.