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Ayreon - Electric Castle Live and Other Tales Award winner

Electric Castle Live and Other Tales
by Jean-François ‘’Jackal’’ Poulin at 10 April 2020, 4:22 AM

AYREON is back with a vengeance (pun intended). AYREON is pretty much the brainchild of Arjen Anthony Lucassen and his fellow acolyte Ed Warby. AYREON has been putting out Metal Operas since 1994 with a boatload of guest musicians. These are some of the very best albums in the history of Metal bar none. He takes his time doing these albums, chooses the right singer for a particular part and so on and so forth. He has his idea in his mind beforehand and then he knows who can do what. The guy is a freaking genius. From his album art to everything that touches one of his albums, he is there every step of the way.

The live shows of AYREON are few and far between, his done just a handful of shows in his native Netherlands and that’s pretty much it honestly. As much as I would like him to go to North America, it would be difficult the bring that live stage elsewhere than his homeland and I understand wholeheartedly. The logistics are off bounds and I understand but when he does a live show, he does one hell of a live show.

If you can check out Star One Live, it’s an epic live DVD and just a blast to listen to. He has a lot of fun, his guest musicians as well, it’s just like a huge party yet everything is times to perfection. There is so many complex songs in the AYREON catalog especially on the 1998 release ‘’Into the Electric Castle’’. Every part is written for a specific artist and if he can’t have one particular artist on the live version, he hires another awesome performer, that’s what he does!

I actually do consider ‘’Into the Electric Castle’’ as the weaker of all of his super albums but it’s still a good 8 out of 10 and the others are quite close to perfection. This live album is the totality of the album yet with some added surprises. You have covers of the numerous side projects of Arjen Anthony Lucassen like STREAM OF PASSION, GUILT MACHINE, STAR ONE among many others. I enjoyed the fact he added some songs for his varied catalog.

This is a live album for the ages, it’s absolutely mind-boggling good and sounds like a ton of bricks and you have to get yourself the big package, 2 CDs and the full show on DVD, it’s well worth the price!

 Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

Disc 1

1. Welcome to the New Dimension
2. Isis and Osiris
3. Amazing Flight
4. Time Beyond Time
5. The Decision Tree
6. Tunnel of Light
7. Across the Rainbow Bridge
8. The Garden of Emotions
9. Valley of the Queens
10. The Castle Hall
11. Tower of Hope
12. Cosmic Fusion

Disc 2

1. Robby Valentine
2. The Mirror Maze
3. Evil Devolution
4. The Two Gates
5. Forever of the Stars
6. Another Time, Another Space
7. Shores of India
8. Ashes
9. Out in the Real World
10. Twisted Coil
11. Kayleigh
12. Pink Beatles in a Purple Zeppelin
13. Songs of the Ocean
Arjen Anthony Lucassen – Vocals and Guitars
Ed Warby – Drums
Record Label: Music Theory Recordings


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