A live-streamed event in support of their latest album Ωmega (Nuclear Blast), Dutch sextet Epica pull out the stops for an explosive return to the stage, their first since the Coronavirus crisis began last year. Presented by Danny Wimmer presents and filmed at AED Studios in Belgium, the band are given a generous performance area to strut their symphonic stuff and they utilise every bit of space in typically bombastic style.
Arjen Lucassen, the mastermind behind Ayreon, has been hard at work again. In this year full of turmoil and unexpected events, he has bestowed upon us a new multi-media project called Transitus (Mascot Label Group). You see, this is not merely an expertly composed progressive rock-opera with a cast of famous and talented performers. No, this time, we have a visual! Illustrated by Felix Vega, the 25-page comic complements the music and lyrics of the double album and gives the characters more personality.Continue reading
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“Come with me now; be joyful. It is time to enter The Electric Castle!”
After the wild success of the Ayreon Universe shows in 2017, where an audience of international Ayreonauts was treated to a best-of selection of Ayreon’s most popular songs, the Poppodium 013 once again opened its gates to the gentle hordes in September of 2019. 2018 had seen the twenty-year anniversary and the re-mixed and -mastered version of Into The Electric Castle, and thus it was a logical step that this new live show centered around that album, a favourite of many. To the great thrill of not only the fans but the artists as well, Arjen managed to gather most of the cast members of the original album, and the most admirable substitutes for those who couldn’t make it. Continue reading
Vocal teacher and YouTuber Beth Roars is back again with another critique video! Reacting to Ayreon – ‘Valley Of The Queens’ (Live), she breaks down the vocal talents of the three lead singers, Floor Jansen (Nightwish, ReVamp), Anneke Van Giersbergen (Devin Townsend, The Gentle Storm, ex-The Gathering), and Marcella Bovio (MaYAn). The song and performances are incredible! Check it out! Continue reading
If perchance you have never encountered this album before, here’s the concept: way back before the new millennium, the mad genius space hippie Arjen Lucassen brought together a lot of other exceptional instrumentalists and vocalists and made an album. On this album, some unknown entity has kidnapped a bunch of characters from various points in earth’s timeline and brought them together for what seems like the ultimate psychedelic escape room: the Electric Castle. Here, the characters are confronted with their culture’s beliefs around death, self, and the supernatural, all voiced by a phenomenal international cast, among which Sharon den Adel, Damian Wilson, and Fish.Continue reading
Ayreon is preparing a 20th-anniversary re-issue of Into The Electric Castle next month. The set was remixed and remastered by Arjen Lucassen himself and will be available on 3LP, 5-disc Earbook and Limited Edition Box Set on October 26th from Music Theories Recordings / Mascot Label Group. Continue reading
Having spent more than two decades developing the Progressive Power Metal and conceptual universe of Ayreon, creator and visionary Arjen Lucassen recently celebrated the very best of his project by releasing a live album and DVD. The Dutch multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter spoke to Ghost Cult about the grandiose Ayreon Universe (Music Theories/Mascot Group).Continue reading
If you are familiar with Ayreon, you will probably know that these collaborative works of music are the brainchild of the somewhat reclusive Arjen Anthony Lucassen, and are rarely – if ever – performed live. September 2015 saw the presentation of The Theater Equation, four shows in which the album The Human Equation (Inside Out) was performed in its entirety in front of a live audience. While this was a successful endeavour, we had been assured for years that there would never be a live ‘best of’ performance of Ayreon.Continue reading
Progressive rock genius Arjen Lucassen, under his guise as Ayreon performed for the first time ever last September in an all-star 3-day event at 013 Club in Tilburg, NL that was a show for the ages. Now that concert documenting one of the most important artists in progressive music is coming out on DVD as Ayreon Universe: The Best Of Ayreon Live on March 30th via Music Theories Recordings / Mascot Label Group. Watch the first video for ‘Everybody Dies’ from the collection now!Continue reading