The Universal Migrator, Dream Sequencer, Ayreon
Universal Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer — sometimes simply referred as The Dream Sequencer, is a progressive rock album released in 2000 by Dutch multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Arjen Lucassen, and is the fourth album of his Ayreon project.
At the time of the original release of the albums comprising the Universal Migrator in 2000, Arjen had enough songs for a double CD, but believed his fan base to be divided into two different camps — prog and metal, with little crossover between the two. So he decided to release two separate CDs, The Dream Sequencer with the progressive tracks and Flight of the Migrator with the heavier, “metal” tracks, with the idea that fans could choose the CD that best fit their musical preferences. The two albums were released simultaneously, both receiving favorable reactions, with most fans purchasing both!
In 2004, Lucassen moved to a new record label — InsideOut Music, and with this move came re-issues of all the previous Ayreon releases, including The Dream Sequencer. The special edition re-issue merged both albums into a single release, titled Universal Migrator: Parts I & II. As only 4 years had passed since the original release of the separate albums, Arjen did not add any bonus features because he felt that this would be unfair to the fans who had already purchased the albums.
The Dream Sequencer features a musical style quite disparate from its counterpart, Flight of the Migrator — telling the story of a trip through time from a variety of perspectives, featuring a prog-infused atmospheric feeling, with a softer and more melodic sound than that of Flight of the Migrator.
Part 1: The Dream Sequencer
Part 2: Flight of the Migrator