With his Ayreon project, legendary multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and vocalist Arjen Anthony Lucassen single-handedly revived the rock opera genre in the 1990s. Since then, Ayreon has achieved worldwide critical acclaim and success with albums charting in various countries. The seventh Ayreon output, 01011001 released in 2008, finds Lucassen both exploring new musical frontiers and revisiting his roots.
01011001 depicts the story of ‘Forever’, a race of aquatic beings living on Planet Y, that through technological advancement has found the secret of longevity. They have advanced to the point that they have become completely dependent on machines and are losing their emotions. A passing comet on a collision course with Planet Earth provides the opportunity to revitalize their race; ‘Forever’ harness the comet to carry their DNA to a new home on Earth. When the comet and Earth collide, the cataclysmic impact exterminates the dinosaurs (the Fifth Extinction), but from the ashes of destruction, humans arise. At first, the experiment with seeded DNA seems successful: through the humans ‘Forever’ vicariously relive the emotions they experienced before the age of machines. In order to help mankind overcome their physical ailments and mental limitations, ‘Forever’ speeds up human evolution. But the result is tragic: people develop a similar technological dependency with their emotions waning just like ‘Forever’ and moral development not keeping pace with their capacity to invent. ‘Forever’ must find a way to save mankind from its imminent self-destruction… or should they?
Guitar, keyboards, synths, bass guitar, programming
(The Flower Kings)
|Joost van den Broek
Keyboard solo and piano