Arjen is back, doing what he does best. That is, Prog Opera! No one else can assemble such a huge cast of vocalists and instrumentalists and produce such epic music so effortlessly. We all thought the lengthy Ayreon project had come to an end, concentrating as he was on Guilt Machine, Star One and last years excellent solo album. But here he is again, still mixing prog, metal, folk, classical in a strange, hybrid melange that always seems to work. Here, he has great help from the likes of John Wetton, Keith Emerson, Rick Wakeman and Steve Hackett amongst many others.
It may not be very original, but somehow Arjen puts his stamp on it all and you cannot criticise his boldness and enthusiasm. To totally appreciate and immerse yourself in Arjens world, you need to get the sumptuous super deluxe edition, which is a large format hardbound book affair, which houses the two vocal and two instrumental CDs plus the making of DVD. The latter is interesting, offering an insight into Arjen's meticuluous methods for bringing the project together. You cannot help being carried away with his boyish enthusiasm for all the people he brings on board and his love for music making. Nice one Arjen.