First of all… 20 freaking years since this came out. Is it classic rock yet? Time, please stop… or just slow down a little. Get your foot off the gas, at least!
Let’s just get down to it. Same album, remixed and remastered. Is it worth it? Indeed!
I went back and listened to the original before listening to this new version and there was a lot of care put into this. Yes, it’s a little louder than the original, but not at the sacrifice of the signal. Most everything is allowed to peak properly. And the mix! There is a heck of a lot more spaciousness here. The opening track alone (is that Squidward from Infinity War narrating? ) sounds more… I don’t know… more! Much more effective.
This version has multiple editions, though I think the ultimate is the earbook with the 4 CDs (two for the main story and two for the instrumental versions, both remixed and remastered versions) and a DVD with the 5.1 mix and documentaries. Love these 5.1 mixes.
So if you love Ayreon (you’ve probably already pre-ordered) or you are new to their work, you probably want to check this out.
For those not familiar with this album, a synopsis of the story (from the wiki):
“There are eight main characters (each one sung/played by a different vocalist, as is standard in every Ayreon album) from different times and locations. They find themselves in a strange place; guided by a mysterious voice which tells them that they must reach “the Electric Castle” if they want to survive.”
Guests on this one were, among others:
Fish of Marillion
Damian Wilson formerly of Threshold
Anneke Van Giersbergen of VUUR
Sharon Den Adel and Robert Westerholt of Within Temptation
Edward Reekers of Kayak
Arjen Lucassen of course
That is one heck of a cast.
1. Welcome to the New Dimension 03:06
2. Isis and Osiris 11:11
(Let the Journey Begin – The Hall of Isis & Osiris – Strange Constellations – Reprise)
3. Amazing Flight 10:15
(Amazing Flight in Space – Stardance – Flying Colours)
4. Time Beyond Time 06:05
5. The Decision Tree (We’re Alive) 06:24
6. Tunnel of Light 04:05
7. Across The Rainbow Bridge 06:19
1. The Garden of Emotions 09:41
(In the Garden of Emotions – Voices in the Sky – The Aggression Factor)
2. Valley of the Queens 02:25
3. The Castle Hall 05:49
4. Tower of Hope 04:54
5. Cosmic Fusion 07:27
(Soar on the Breeze – Death’s Grunt – The Passing of an Eagle)
6. The Mirror Maze 06:34
(Inside the Mirror Maze – Through the Mirror)
7. Evil Devolution 06:31
8. The Two Gates 06:28
9. “Forever” of the Stars 02:03
10. Another Time, Another Space 05:20