I was never big fan of long songs. That’s why I was never big fan of bands like Dream Theater.(Metropolis Part 2:Scenes From A Memory is still a masterpiece), but there is something about Ayreon that clicks with me.
This song is best example. If you wanna make great long song you must make every minute of it to sound interesting. There is many ways of doing that. Best way is having several “mood” changes, interesting lyrics etc. That’s what Arjen did with this song. Plus he has 11 singers featured on one song(Yes 11 singers) and every one of them did amazing job, especially Floor,Tommy and Russell.Now lets talk about mixing and production. What do you expect me to say about mixing and production? Its Ayreon after all. Anything below great would be big disappointment.Every instrument adds little bit of its own to the overall sound. Like for example cello parts make song sound haunting, flute and violin parts makes for great build up before it goes to full heavy progressive metal mode.
There is a lot of part of this song that are amazing but best part of Ayreon was always songwriting. For those who don’t know every Ayreon album is concept album with amazing story. This time its sci-fi theme. Its story about planet Alpha. Alpha is inhabited by our human ancestors. Computers have surpassed human intelligence and they are trying to destroy the planet. Every singer plays a role in a story. Like for example Russell Allen plays a role of “The President” who got all the blame for giving the computers control over Alpha. He is trying to reverse his mistake and save Alphans from extinction. Tommy Karevik is playing a role of “Opposition Leader” who is criticizing The President for his decisions.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you
You’ll recall my words
The day that the world breaks down
The Counselor,The Opposition Leader and The Chemist(played by Simone Simons,Tommy Karevik and Tommy Rogers are very pessimistic about them surviving all of this while The Prophet(played by Nils K. Rue. The Captain is desperate because he knew that all of this will happen because they did not believe to him and his plans, so him TH-1 and The Astronomer (played by Micheal Mills and Tobias Sammet) alongside The President are trying to save the planet. Later in the song The President admits that he made a mistake.
I must’ve been blind
I mean it should’ve been obvious
Straight out of my mind
To rely on a cold machine
The signs were strong
I know I was wrong
I know they will hate me now
But I will come clean
And destroy this cold machine
The Diplomat(played by Micheal Eriksen) is trying to comfort everyone but The President isn’t that much confident but he will do whatever takes to fix the situation. Song ends with The Biologist(played by Floor Jansen) is giving report of situation on the planet Alpha.
Will Alphans survive? That will be unveiled in the upcoming album “The Source.”
Overall this is amazing song, probably one of the best Ayreon songs of all time and that’s why I give this song 5/5 and definite recommendation.