The Theory of Everything (album)

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The Theory of Everything
Studio album by Ayreon
Released October 28, 2013[1]
Recorded Mid-2012-August 2013[2]
Genre Rock opera, progressive rock, progressive metal, symphonic metal
Length 1:29:33[1][3]
Label InsideOut Music
Producer Arjen Lucassen
Ayreon chronology
Timeline
(2008)
The Theory of Everything
(2013)
Arjen Anthony Lucassen chronology
Lost in the New Real
(2012)
The Theory of Everything
(2013)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Dangerdog 4.5/5 stars[4]
Jukebox:Metal 4.5/5 stars[5]
metal.de 9/10 stars[6]
Metal Injection 8.5/10 stars[7]
Metal Mouth 10/10 stars[8]
Myglobalmind 10/10 stars[9]
Sea of Tranquility 4.5/5 stars[10]
Sputnikmusic 3.5/5 stars[11]

The Theory of Everything is the eighth studio album from Ayreon, a progressive metal/rock opera project by Dutch songwriter, producer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Arjen Anthony Lucassen, released on October 28, 2013.[12]

As with every Ayreon album, it is a concept album with each character being portrayed by one singer, however being released five years after 01011001 which concluded the original Ayreon story, The Theory of Everything is the start of a completely new storyline for the project. Unlike the previous albums which took place in a sci-fi context (with the notable exception of The Human Equation, taking place in a man's mind), it is set in a realistic world.[1] Lucassen composed all the music, and co-wrote the lyrics with his girlfriend Lori Linstruth, making it his first album in which he shares lyrics credit for all the songs.

In the typical style of the project, the album features several guest singers to portray the characters across the album, including former King Crimson and current Asia member John Wetton, Marco Hietala of Nightwish and Tarot, Cristina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil, Janne JB Christoffersson of Grand Magus and Tommy Karevik of Kamelot and Seventh Wonder. It also features various guest musicians such as keyboardists Rick Wakeman (ex-Yes), Keith Emerson (ex-Emerson, Lake & Palmer), and Jordan Rudess from Dream Theater, and guitarist Steve Hackett (ex-Genesis). It is Lucassen's first collaboration with every singer on the album, with the exception of backing vocalist Wilmer Waarbroek, who already sung on his solo album Lost in the New Real.

According to Lucassen, the album is "four long tracks divided into various segments", with each song longer than 20 minutes for a total of almost one hour and a half of music.[13] The complete number of segments is 42, which is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, recognized by Lucassen as a direct reference.[14] On December 18, 2013, Lucassen released on YouTube a free version of the album with all vocals sung by Waarbroek.[15]

Production[edit]

After the release of 01011001, Lucassen decided to temporarily put Ayreon on hold, because he was not inspired to continue and also because many critics noted that there was nothing new being offered on 01011001.[16] He then focused on other projects, such as Guilt Machine's first album, Star One's second album, and a new solo album.[17][18]

On August 23, 2012, Lucassen published on his YouTube channel that he started composing a new project,[2] and on October 9, 2012, revealed it via YouTube again to be a new Ayreon album, planned for 2013.[19] On March 26, 2013, Lucassen revealed the name of the next album to be The Theory of Everything.[20] Since then, Lucassen progressively revealed the singers and musicians involved in the new album, through YouTube. On September 6, the artwork and track listing for the new album was revealed on the official Ayreon Facebook page. The album cover was painted by frequent Ayreon artist Jef Bertels.[21]

During the recordings, Lucassen suffered an elbow injury. According to him, it is "pretty serious" and will need to be operated on, with only 70/80% chance of success. However he chose to not be operated immediately because it would delay the release of The Theory of Everything, and continued to record despite the pain.[22]

Lucassen described the album as "less heavy and more instrumental than 01011001", and also cited the films A Beautiful Mind and Rain Man as inspirations for the lyrics.[13]

Story[edit]

Track listing[edit]

CD 1[edit]

All lyrics written by Arjen Anthony Lucassen and Lori Linstruth, all music composed by Lucassen[23].

Phase I: Singularity
No. Title Length
1. "Prologue: The Blackboard"   1:55
2. "The Theory of Everything Part 1"   3:01
3. "Patterns"   1:03
4. "The Prodigy's World"   1:31
5. "The Teacher's Discovery"   2:58
6. "Love and Envy"   2:39
7. "Progressive Waves"   3:16
8. "The Gift"   2:38
9. "The Eleventh Dimension"   1:46
10. "Inertia"   0:45
11. "The Theory of Everything Part 2"   1:50
Total length:
23:29
Phase II: Symmetry
No. Title Length
12. "The Consultation"   3:49
13. "Diagnosis"   2:48
14. "The Argument 1"   0:24
15. "The Rival's Dilemma"   2:22
16. "Surface Tension"   0:57
17. "A Reason to Live"   0:45
18. "Potential"   3:14
19. "Quantum Chaos"   2:09
20. "Dark Medicine"   1:23
21. "Alive!"   2:29
22. "The Prediction"   1:05
Total length:
21:31

CD 2[edit]

Phase III: Entanglement
No. Title Length
1. "Fluctuations"   1:01
2. "Transformation"   3:13
3. "Collision"   3:26
4. "Side Effects"   2:59
5. "Frequency Modulation"   1:44
6. "Magnetism"   3:54
7. "Quid Pro Quo"   3:09
8. "String Theory"   1:29
9. "Fortune?"   1:36
Total length:
22:34
Phase IV: Unification
No. Title Length
10. "Mirror of Dreams"   2:30
11. "The Lighthouse"   3:16
12. "The Argument 2"   0:49
13. "The Parting"   3:27
14. "The Visitation"   3:27
15. "The Breakthrough"   2:00
16. "The Note"   1:11
17. "The Uncertainty Principle"   2:09
18. "Dark Energy"   0:44
19. "The Theory of Everything Part 3"   1:29
20. "The Blackboard (Reprise)"   1:13
Total length:
22:20

Charts performance[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
position
Austrian Albums Chart[24] 37
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[25] 58
Belgian Albums Charts (Wallonia)[26] 36
Dutch Albums Chart[27] 3
Finnish Albums Chart[28] 28
German Albums Chart[29] 21
Norwegian Albums Chart[30] 26
Swedish Albums Chart[31] 46
Swiss Albums Chart[32] 41
U.S. Heatseekers Albums[33] 13

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "New Ayreon release The Theory of Everything". Arjen Lucassen's official website. Retrieved September 9, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Hoekdate=23 August 2012. "Arjen Lucassen starts composing new project". YouTube. Retrieved 23 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Tracks of the album". Facebook. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.dangerdog.com/2013-music-reviews/ayreon-the-theory-of-everything.php#.Um3CwW3rDMV
  5. ^ Andy Lye. "Jukebox:Metal review". 
  6. ^ http://www.metal.de/progressive-metal/review/ayreon/55678-the-theory-of-everything/
  7. ^ http://www.metalinjection.net/reviews/album-review-ayreon-theory-everything
  8. ^ http://metalmouth.net/2013/10/ayreon-the-theory-of-everything/
  9. ^ http://myglobalmind.com/2013/10/17/ayreon-theory-everything-review/
  10. ^ http://www.seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=15207/
  11. ^ Gerhart, Thompson D. "Ayreon - The Theory of Everything (album review ) | Sputnikmusic". sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Ayreon: The Theory Of Everything Title Track Available For Streaming". Blabbermouth. October 16, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b "Lucassen answering a fan". Arjen Lucassen's official website. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "Ayreon - Timeline Photos | Facebook". facebook.com. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Ayreon - I mixed the amazing guide-vocals that @Wilmer... | Facebook". facebook.com. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  16. ^ Begai, Carl (12 April 2009). "AYREON – When The Lights Go Down". Carl Begai. Archived from the original on 17 April 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2009. 
  17. ^ "Arjen unveils new project: Guilt Machine". Arjen A. Lucassen official website. 23 February 2009. Archived from the original on 19 February 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2009. 
  18. ^ "Arjen's solo album title and cover art revealed". Arjen A. Lucassen official website. 23 February 2012. Retrieved 23 February 2012. 
  19. ^ Video on YouTube
  20. ^ http://www.arjenlucassen.com/content/the-theory-of-everything-ayreon-album-title/
  21. ^ "AYREON: 'The Theory Of Everything' Cover Artwork, Track Listing Revealed". Blabbermouth. Retrieved 8 September 2013. 
  22. ^ http://www.arjenlucassen.com/content/photo-album-27-may/
  23. ^ Waarbroek, Wilmer (17 December 2013). "Ayreon - Phase I: Singularity (Vocals by Wilmer Waarbroek)". YouTube. Google. Retrieved 18 December 2013. 
  24. ^ "Ayreon - The Theory Of Everything - austriancharts.at". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  25. ^ "Ayreon - The Theory of Everything on Belgian (Flanders) charts" (in Nederlands). Retrieved 2013-11-08. 
  26. ^ "ultratop.be - Ayreon - The Theory Of Everything". ultratop.be (in French). Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  27. ^ "The Theory of Everything on Dutch Charts" (in Nederlands). Retrieved 2013-11-02. 
  28. ^ "Suomen virallinen lista - Artistit Ayreon: The Theory Of Everything" (in Finnish). Retrieved 4 November 2013. 
  29. ^ "Germany – The Theory of Everything" (in German). Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  30. ^ "Norway – The Theory of Everything on Norwegian Charts". Retrieved 2013-11-18. 
  31. ^ "Norway – The Theory of Everything on Swedish Charts" (in Sweden). Retrieved 2013-11-11. 
  32. ^ "Ayreon - The Theory Of Everything - hitparade.ch". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 1 January 2014. 
  33. ^ "Ayreon - Chart history". Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  34. ^ a b "New Ayreon album trailer -- The Theory of Everything". YouTube. 8 October 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  35. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDRqQuqt45U

External links[edit]