It takes a special kind of talent to manage the demands of 16 of the finest singers from the worlds of progressive and power metal whilst staking your own reputation as an artist on a show that will highlight the best of a 23-year career as one of the leading lights of the progressive music world. And to do it in the knowledge that you will also have to face your own fears thanks to crippling stage fright. But Arjen Lucassen is a special kind of talent.


It’s not just 16 singers too. There’s Lucassen’s band; the core line-up of Ed Warby (drums), Johan van Stratum (bass), Marcel Coenen and Ferry Duijsens (guitars) and Joost van den Broek (keyboards) augmented by a violinist, flautist and cellist. And a stage set up that boasts one of the world’s biggest HD screen spanning the entire width of the 013 stage, for a set that comprises of 28 songs over two hours, filmed by 30 cameras in front of 9000 fans who have flocked in from all over the world. Little wonder the three shows in Tilburg sold out within a day.


“I feel a bit bad that we only played three shows now,” says the man behind the event, leaving, perhaps, a hint that there’s more to come in the live arena from the towering Dutchman.

In some way it is little surprise that someone with Lucassen’s vision and sense of occasion managed to pull off a spectacle such as Ayreon Universe with apparent ease. Since 1995, when he released ‘Ayreon: The Final Experiment’, there has been little that has held back Lucassen’s imagination and ambition.


Like many people of his era, it was hearing The Beatles that fired Lucassen’s youthful musical imagination. And in turn it was hearing Ritchie Blackmore’s incendiary performance on Deep Purple’s ‘Made In Japan’ album that made him want to emulate the man in black and pick up the guitar. From then, it was early musical forays such as Mover, before his first big break came when he joined Dutch metal band Bodine in 1980. Four years later he was poached by fellow metallers Vengeance, whom he played with over the duration of eight years and four studio albums, before taking the decision to try things his own way.


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  1. Prologue
  2. Dreamtime
  3. Abbey Of Synn
  4. River Of Time
  5. The Blackboard
  6. The Theory Of Everything
  7. Merlins Will
  8. Waking Dreams
  9. Dawn Of A Million Souls
  10. Valley Of The Queens
  11. Ride The Comet
  12. Star Of Sirrah
  13. Comatose
  14. Day Sixteen Loser
  15. And The Druids Turned To Stone
  16. The Two Gates
  17. Into The Black Hole
  18. Actual Fantasy
  19. Computer Eyes
  20. Magnetism
  21. Age Of Shadows
  22. Intergalactic Space Crusaders
  23. Collision
  24. Everybody Dies
  25. The Castle Hall0
  26. Amazing Flight In Space
  27. Day Eleven Love
  28. The Eye Of Ra

Album info:

Release date: March 30, 2018

Available Formats:
3LP+MP3, 2CD, 5Disc Earbook, 2DVD, Blu-ray Digital

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