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Into the Electric Castle [Limited Edition]

AyreonAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

Price: $19.44
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MP3 Music, 17 Songs, 2010 $15.98  
Audio CD, Import, 2001 --  
Audio CD, Limited Edition, 2004 $19.44  

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 13, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: Inside Out U.S.
  • ASIN: B0002ZXCY4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #175,594 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Welcome To The New Dimension
2. Isis And Osiris
3. Amazing Flight
4. Time Beyond Time
5. The Decision Tree (We’re Alive)
6. Tunnel Of Light
7. Across The Rainbow Bridge
Disc: 2
1. The Garden Of Emotions
2. Valley Of The Queens
3. The Castle Hall
4. Tower Of Hope
5. Cosmic Fusion
6. The Mirror Maze
7. Evil Devolution
8. The Two Gates
9. Forever Of The Stars
10. Another Time, Another Space
See all 11 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

This release includes bonus CD-Rom tracks. This is an Enhanced CD, which contains both regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files. Ayreon: Arjen Lucassen (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, Mellotron, keyboards, mini-Moog synthesizer, bass guitar). Additional personnel: Fish (vocals); Thijs Van Leer (flute); Clive Nolan (synthesizer).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cheeseball Story but Great Music November 4, 2004
By Mr D.
Format:Audio CD
Sooner or later I had to get to Ayreon

Should any of my readers not know who Ayreon is, let me edify you. Ayreon is not a band, not really. Neither is Ambeon. Let me explain. Ayreon and Ambeon are projects, you might say alter egos of brilliant Dutch composer and musician, Arjen Anthony Luccassen.

You see, Arjen has borrowed one from the book of the ever successful recording broker, Alan Parsons. He composes a Rock Opera and then like the mice followed the Pied Piper into the river, several well known, at least to me, guest singers and musicians follow our piperish leader, Arjen, into the studio to record, this wonderful music.

Now Arjen hasn't used this successful formula once or twice. No he's made eight exciting albums this way, two of which are double albums. Mind you now, I understand there's a waiting list to be in Arjen's next production.

I can see why, it must be fun, mingling with other very talented people and making this remarkably interesting and different music. It's probably like, if I may regress to seventies terms, a "happening". And how different it is!

Into the Electric Castle, as do all of Arjen's projects, tells a story and in this case it is a science fiction story centered around eight strangers brought together into a dimension of no space and no time. It seems, if Luccassen ever decides to hang up his guitar he could make a living writing sci-fi.

Here is a summary of the story from Ayreon's Website:

"'Into the Electric Castle' tells the story of 8 stereotypical characters from different periods of time who suddenly find themselves in another dimension. A Highlander, Knight, Egyptian, Indian, Barbarian, Roman, Hippie and Futureman each try to understand where they are and what they are supposed to do.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Winner from The Master Of Prog! October 25, 2004
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Another mind trip down Arjen Lucassen's melodic and enthralling lane! Ayreon's 3rd full-length album has got yet another story-line prog rock-opera approach, and features many talented vocalists from different bands around the world, such as Threshold, Arena, Marillion, The Gathering, and Within Temptation. The story this time is of 8 characters being plucked from different times of earth (Barbarian, Highlander, Hippie, Egyption, Indian, Roman, Knight, etc as well as Peter Daltry doing narration) by some unknown alien race, and placed through some kind of journey through, yes, an Electric Castle, as well as other places of time and space. Some will live, some will die, etc, etc. The 2-disc newly released version features CD-rom on both discs on the making-of the record, and though the album itself isn't as good as his latest masterpiece "The Human Equation" there is still plenty to love on this.

We start off w/ an 11-minute opus "Isis and Osiris" which is easily the best track off the album. Featuring very atmospheric, and sweetly melodic acoustic guitar, this song features clean male and female vocals which stretch out beautiful harmonies. The songs gets louder when the prog-metal guitars and orchestrations kick in. More of a spacey prog metal track. After this is a more jazz/blues oriented song w/ very big, warm and gruff male vocals but still has an underlying space-prog foundation. The song leads into beautiful female indian chants. All tracks on this first disc are good. There is a plenty mixture of all different forms of music as well as instrumentals. From epic sung arena-rock style choruses to psychodelic passages to melidious opera vocals all with a spacey foundation.

The second disc is where the 4/5 star review really hits.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Commendable ambition, spotty execution. November 28, 2001
Format:Audio CD
Arjen Anthony Lucassen has put together quite a project here. Into the Electric Castle is 100+ minute "space opera" that tells the story of eight people plucked up from different places in time to face the challenges of the electric castle. A narrator guides the characters (and the listener) with verbose phrases like, "You have entered the cranial vistas of psychogenesis." One of the most impressive qualities of this album is how every character is represented by a different vocalist. Some of the high-profile folks are Fish (ex-Marillion) as the Highlander, Anneke van Giersbergen (The Gathering) as the Egyptian, and Damian Wilson as the Knight. Other, less well-known vocalists play, err, _sing_ the other characters, with Lucassen himself playing the Hippie.
The first few tracks being with the characters assessing their surroundings. Different characters, based on their backgrounds, interpret their situation differently. The Knight thinks he has discovered the mystical island of Avalon. The Roman thinks they've been plunged into the Underworld. The Egyptian's reaction is similar, as she thinks they have been chosen to enter the realms of her gods. Musically, Lucassen begins by building his music around the characters. The Highlander is treated to soft acoustic guitars, the Egyptian is accompanied with middle-eastern chords, and the Barbarian takes on straight-ahead rock n' roll. As the story progresses, each song becomes a different challenge presented by the electric castle. By the end, most of the characters are killed by one trap or another.
It's all pretty campy, but musically the Ayreon project is brilliant.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of two discs
This is a two disc set and I really enjoyed disc one. Great songs dynamic instrumentation great vocals. It is one of my favorites Rainbow Bridge is a great way to end it very epic. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dann-O
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely amazing
This guy is one of the luminaries of prog rock; he makes the genre's material live up to its name—"progressive. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Benjamin R. Turner
2.0 out of 5 stars Un-Thinking, Witless, Melo-Drama
If you are a fan of the genre commonly referred to as Prog Rock these days (which I am to some degree) and you've come here expecting Ayreon to unfold some Progressive Rock epic or... Read more
Published 9 months ago by J. Spencer
5.0 out of 5 stars Music from another era and time
A friend asked me if Have heard or know anything about this group..I did not, but after purchasing this CD have found anoter rock group that I can listen to over and over... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Russell C. Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars How am I just now hearing about such a wonderful album?
Wow, this album and Ayreon as a whole are just incredible. It's extremely well produced and crafted together. Read more
Published 14 months ago by zkcom1
3.0 out of 5 stars Would have been awesome if it wasn't for the The Voice/narrator...
I had great expectations for this album - I had heard a lot about it and knew that it was an extra-dimensional space opera (which is the best kind of opera IMO :D). Read more
Published 16 months ago by Heinrich Von Flargenshire
5.0 out of 5 stars Across the Rainbow Bridge!
Concept albums and rock operas are just one of those things that everyone has an opinion on. By their very nature--usually the need for some sort of thematic continuity--they tend... Read more
Published 19 months ago by T. Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars Um........well it's great
I have just started listening to Ayreon, and from this album alone I think that this man is a awesome guy, the wide variety of vocalists is truely amazing as well as the use of... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Chris Limon
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally carried away
Very sorry I didn't discover this group, or rather, this project before! I'm now trying to catch up. Read more
Published on January 8, 2012 by Berit Oftedal
4.0 out of 5 stars Great once I cut out the cheesy spoken intros
This is an excellent prog rock album only hampered by the cheesy spoken introductions that plague about half the tracks. Read more
Published on April 9, 2011 by Reviewer Of Things I like
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