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Band Photo: Ayreon (?)

Formed: 1994
From: Netherlands
Last Known Status: Active

Background

Ayreon is a project by Dutch composer and musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen. Ayreon's musical style derives mostly from heavy metal and progressive rock, but combines them with genres like folk, classical and electronica to form what some call a completely new style of music. The majority of Ayreon's albums are dubbed "rock operas" because the albums contain complex storylines featuring a host of characters, each represented by a unique vocalist.

Latest Ayreon News

Below is our complete Ayreon news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.

Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.

Displaying records 21 - 40 of 42 1 2 3 Last

InsideOut Releases Compilation for Free Download

Well known progressive metal and rock label InsideOut recently released a new compilation, "Music In Progress, Vol. II," for free download via Amazon.com (restricted to the U.S. once again, I believe). The download, which also comes with a digital booklet, contains the following tracks:

1. "Set The World On Fire (The Lieof Lies)" by Symphony X (5:55)
2. "Hyperdrive!" by Devin Townsend Project (3:34)
3. "Age Of Shadows (Edit)" by Ayreon (5:39)
4. "Linoleum" by Pain Of Salvation (4:54)
5. "Move" by King's X (4:02)
6. "Walls" by Redemptionx (6:56)
7. "The Escape Artist" by Osi (5:53)
8. "With Honor" by Shadow Gallery (9:58)
9. "Crucify" by James Labrie (6:01)
10. "Hyperactive" by Riverside (5:45)
11. "Ripples" by Aspera (6:33)
12. "Paroxetine 20mg" by The Tangent (7:41)

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Guilt Machine Signs To Mascot Records

Ayreon front man Arjen Lucassen has issued the following announcement about his new project Guilt Machine seeing a release through Mascot Records:

"We're pleased to announce that Arjen's new project, Guilt Machine, will be released by Mascot Records. The photo at right shows Arjen and Mascot's Ed van Zijl formalizing the happy arrangement by signing the contracts. The release date will be announced in a later update.

"We would like to formally thank everyone who submitted an audio message to the Guilt Machine project. Your response to our announcement was overwhelming! We received over 200 messages, far more than we could possibly use on the album. In the end, 19 messages were included on the album, either in between the songs or within the songs themselves. The messages -- in languages ranging from Chinese to Tagalog to French to Russian -- add just the extra personal touch that we were looking for. More...

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Sanders of After Forever Provides a HDK Sneak Peak

Sanders Gommans of After Forever has given further news on his new project which, up 'til this point, we've had nothing to judge it on since no material was present at the time. Now, a video made by D'Images (famous for working with After Forever, Stream of Passion, Ayreon, and Nemesea) has been released with audio samples of HDK's forthcoming debut, "System Overload." You can view the video below.

In addition, Amanda Somerville, who has worked with Ayreon, Epica, and Kamelot, has been participating in the project.

System Overload will be released on February 23rd.

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Jeff Wagner Writing Book On Progressive Metal

Bazillion Points Publishing has announced the first definitive book on the elusive world of progressive metal, written by esteemed metal crusader and prog manic and THE END RECORDS staff member Jeff Wagner. Scheduled for release in Autumn 2009, the book will detail the common movements of pioneers like OPETH, WATCHTOWER, VOIVOD, ATHEIST, DREAM THEATER, PSYCHOTIC WALTZ, CELTIC FROST, SIGH, and FATES WARNING — metal bands who have gone against the tide of tradition and conservatism. Linked by a desire to push heavy metal forward, these varied bands with a couple hundred other black sheep form the hard-to-pin-down category of "progressive metal."

Beginning with the hugely influential mid-1970s efforts of Canadian band RUSH, Wagner's book explores the shared lineage of prog rock and metal. He unfurls the huge tapestry and examines the sounds and styles created during the genre's 40-year history, including: the "Big Three" — QUEENSRŸCHE, FATES WARNING, and DREAM THEATER; extreme prog pioneers VOIVOD and CELTIC FROST; Norway's post-black metal avant garde (ULVER, ARCTURUS, VED BUENS ENDE, BEYOND DAWN, etc.); and of course the huge global movement of Big Three-worshippers in the 1990s and the leaders that emerged (AYREON, SYMPHONY X, etc.). The vastness of what can be considered "progressive metal" has proven to be one of the most viable, malleable forms in all of modern music. More...

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Ayreon Post New Song Online

AYREON have posted a new song entitled “The Fifth Extinction” online here. The track comes off the band’s upcoming new album, 01011001, which is set to be released on January 28th.

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Ayeron Reveal Tracklisting, Release Date

It has been confirmed that the forthcoming AYREON rock opera, entitled 01011001, is now finished and will be in stores end of January 2008. Release dates include: January 25th - Germany, Austria, Switzerland, January 28th - Europe, January 29th - US and Canada. Other territories and labels TBA.

The album will feature the following tracklisting:

CD1 - Y:
'Age Of Shadows' (incl. 'We Are Forever')
'Comatose',
'Liquid Eternity'
'Connect The Dots'
'Beneath The Waves':
(a) 'Beneath The Waves'
(b) 'Face The Facts'
(c) 'But A Memory...'
(d) 'World Without Walls'
(e) 'Reality Bleeds',
'Newborn Race'
(a) 'The Incentive'
(b) 'The Vision'
(c) 'The Procedure'
(d) 'Another Life'
(e) 'Newborn Race'
(f) 'The Conclusion'
'Ride The Comet'
'Web Of Lies'

Disc 2 - Earth
'The Fifth Extinction'
(a) 'Glimmer of Hope'
(b) 'World of Tomorrow Dreams'
(c) 'Collision Course'
(d) 'From the Ashes'
(e) 'Glimmer of Hope' (reprise)
'Waking Dreams'
'The Truth Is In Here'
'Unnatural Selection'
'River of Time'
'E=MC2'
'The Sixth Extinction'
(a) 'Echoes On The Wind'
(b) 'Radioactive Grave'
(c) '2085'
(d) 'To The Planet Of Red'
(e) 'Spirit On The Wind'
(f) 'Complete The Circle'

As previously reported, the album officially features the most guest musicians mastermind Arjen Lucassen has ever had on one of his productions. The complete guest list, in no particular order, is as follows:

Forever: Daniel Gildenlow (PAIN OF SALVATION), Tom Englund (EVERGREY), Hansi Kursch (BLIND GUARDIAN), Anneke van Giersbergen (AGUA DE ANNIQUE), Jonas Renkse (KATATONIA), Bob Catley (MAGNUM), Jorn Lande, Floor Jansen (AFTER FOREVER), Steve Lee (GOTTHARD), Magali Luyten (VIRUS IV)

Man: Ty Tabor (King's X), Simone Simons (EPICA), Liselotte Hegt (DIAL), Phideaux, Marjan Welman, Wudstik, Arjen Lucassen

Guest Keyboardists: Tomas Bodin (THE FLOWER KINGS), Derek Sherinian (PLANET X), Joost van den Broek (AFTER FOREVER / STAR ONE)

Guest Guitarists: Michael Romeo (SYMPHONY X), Lori Linstruth (ex-STREAM OF PASSION)

Drums: Ed Warby (GOREFEST)
Flute: Jeroen Goossens (FLAIRCK)
Violin: Ben Mathot (DIS)
Cello: David Faber

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Ayreon Reveal Complete List Of Guest Musicians

AYREON, the brainchild of Dutch guitarist/composer Arjen Lucassen, has revealed the complete list of musicians who appear on the group's new album, "01011001", tentatively due in January 2008. It is as follows:

Vocalists:

Daniel Gildenlöw (PAIN OF SALVATION)
Tom Englund (EVERGREY)
Hansi Kürsch (BLIND GUARDIAN)
Anneke van Giersbergen (AGUA DE ANNIQUE, THE GATHERING)
Jonas Renkse (KATATONIA)
Bob Catley (MAGNUM)
Jorn Lande (MASTERPLAN)
Floor Jansen (AFTER FOREVER)
Steve Lee (GOTTHARD)
Magali Luyten (VIRUS IV)
Ty Tabor (KING'S X)
Simone Simons (EPICA)
Liselotte Hegt (DIAL)
Phideaux
Marjan Welman
Wudstik
Arjen Lucassen

Instrumentalists:

Arjen Lucassen: Guitar, Keyboards, Synths, Bass Guitar, Programming
Tomas Bodin (THE FLOWER KINGS): Keyboards
Derek Sherinian (PLANET X): Keyboards
Joost van den Broek (AFTER FOREVER, STAR ONE): Keyboards
Michael Romeo (SYMPHONY X): Guitar
Lori Linstruth (ex-STREAM OF PASSION): Guitar
Ed Warby (GOREFEST): Drums
Jeroen Goossens (FLAIRCK): Flute
Ben Mathot (DIS): Violin
David Faber: Cello

More information, including soundclips, is available at this location.

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Ayreon Present "Three Mystery Keyboardists..."

AYREON's webmaster has issued the following update:

"More guessing fun, and also the very last 'guessing round' we'll have for this album (but don't hold me to this, please). Beside guest guitarists, Arjen also invited keyboard players for the new Ayreon album. Check the link for an MP3 to hear the Three Mystery Keyboardists. Have fun!"

Ayreon mastermind Arjen Lucassen recently revealed that the new album, due out in January 2008, will be titled 01011001. The album will feature the following vocalists: PAIN OF SALVATION's Daniel Gildenlöw, BLIND GUARDIAN's Hansi Kürsch, former THE GATHERING singer Anneke van Giersbergen (AGUA DE ANNIQUE), Jonas P. Renske (KATATONIA), Jorn Lande (MASTERPLAN), Tom S. Englund (EVERGREY), Ty Tabor (KING'S X), Magali Luyten (VIRUS IV), Simone Simons (EPICA), Liselotte Hegt (DIAL), Phideaux Xavier, AFTER FOREVER frontwoman Floor Jansen, GOTTHARD's Steve Lee, Dutch hip-hop/soul artist WUDSTIK, ELISTER's Marjan Welman and Lucassen himself. More...

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Flutist Returns To Ayreon

AYREON recently revealed that their new album, due out in January 2008, will be titled 01011001.

In an update, the band write, "Flutist Jeroen Goossens of the Dutch folk band FLAIRCK returns to Ayreon.

Jeroen, who previously played on Ayreon's The Human Equation and starred in the 'Loser' video, recently recorded his parts in the Electric Castle.

Other instrumentalists we previously announced include Ben Mathot of the band DIS on violin, David Faber on cello and of course GOREFEST's drummer Ed Warby."

01011001 will feature the following vocalists: PAIN OF SALVATION's Daniel Gildenlöw, BLIND GUARDIAN's Hansi Kürsch, former THE GATHERING singer Anneke van Giersbergen (AGUA DE ANNIQUE), Jonas P. Renske (KATATONIA), Jorn Lande (MASTERPLAN), Tom S. Englund (EVERGREY), Ty Tabor (KING'S X), Magali Luyten (VIRUS IV), Simone Simons (EPICA), Liselotte Hegt (DIAL), Phideaux Xavier, AFTER FOREVER frontwoman Floor Jansen, GOTTHARD's Steve Lee, Dutch hip-hop/soul artist WUDSTIK, ELISTER's Marjan Welman and Lucassen himself.

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Ayreon Announce Solo Guitarists

AYREON recently revealed that their new album, due out in January 2008, will be titled 01011001.

In an update, the band write, "The following three guitarists play solos on the new Ayreon album called 01011001: Lori Linstruth, Arjen Lucassen himself, and Michael Romeo.

Stay tuned for more guessing when we give you a sample of the guest keyboardists!"

01011001 will feature the following vocalists: PAIN OF SALVATION's Daniel Gildenlöw, BLIND GUARDIAN's Hansi Kürsch, former THE GATHERING singer Anneke van Giersbergen (AGUA DE ANNIQUE), Jonas P. Renske (KATATONIA), Jorn Lande (MASTERPLAN), Tom S. Englund (EVERGREY), Ty Tabor (KING'S X), Magali Luyten (VIRUS IV), Simone Simons (EPICA), Liselotte Hegt (DIAL), Phideaux Xavier, AFTER FOREVER frontwoman Floor Jansen, GOTTHARD's Steve Lee, Dutch hip-hop/soul artist WUDSTIK, ELISTER's Marjan Welman and Lucassen himself.

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Evergrey Frontman To Guest On New Ayreon CD

AYREON, the brainchild of Dutch guitarist/composer Arjen Lucassen, has posted an audio sample of the next guest singer who will appear on the the band's upcoming album, tentatively due late 2007/early 2008: EVERGREY mainman Tom S. Englund. Other vocalists scheduled to appear on the CD include Ty Tabor (KING'S X), Magali Luyten (VIRUS IV), Simone Simons (EPICA) and Liselotte Hegt (DIAL). A total of fifteen singers have been confirmed to guest on the album, with more to be added.

AYREON's last CD, "Ayreon: The Human Equation", was released in 2004. It contained guest appearances by a number of acclaimed vocalists, including James LaBrie (DREAM THEATER), Mike Baker (SHADOW GALLERY), Mikael Åkerfeldt (OPETH), Eric Clayton (SAVIOUR MACHINE), Devon Graves (DEADSOUL TRIBE, ex-PSYCHOTIC WALTZ) and Devin Townsend (STRAPPING YOUNG LAD).

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Ayreon Complete Demos

AYREON mastermind Arjen Lucassen's webmaster has issued the following update:

"Arjen just finished recording the demos for his seventh Ayreon album. As previously reported, Arjen went through a difficult time last winter. Since then he's been doing a lot better. He discovered that music truly is the best medicine and also drew inspiration from the many encouraging e-mails, letters, and postcards he received from his fans.

Though Arjen initially planned to release a single album, the plan - as always - changed as the composing progressed. Like The Human Equation and Into The Electric Castle, the new Ayreon will be a double album featuring 15 tracks with a combined length of nearly 100 minutes.

Arjen and Ayreon-veteran Ed Warby (GOREFEST - pictured) will enter the studio next month to record drums together with producer Gordon Groothedde.

Arjen is currently checking the availability of vocalists and instrumentalists to see who can be scheduled to appear. A number of vocalists have already responded enthusiastically. Arjen has a long wish-list, and it promises to be quite a puzzle to figure out who will be singing where and what.

No release date has been set."

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After Forever Drummer Diagnosed With Cancer

After Forever have posted the following update at the band's official website:

Dear fans,

We bring sad tidings. Our friend and drummer Andre has been admitted to hospital. The doctors have found cancer and surgically removed a tumor. The medical staff is satisfied about the result of the surgery.

In consultation with Andre and his friend Cris, we decided to continue our show in The Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam on February 11. Ed Warby (Ayreon) will replace Andre for this occasion, but Andre will be more present than ever on this evening.

If you want to support Andre in this difficult period in his life you can send a card or letter to: Andre Borgman, Tromsöldreef 50, 3076 DL Rotterdam, The Netherlands

We count on you and expect a load of reactions and consolation for Andre. Via the site we will keep you informed.

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Ayreon "Actual Fantasy Revisited" Release Dates

Ayreon's "Actual Fantasy: Revisited" is now completely finished. Since this release is an audio CD with a bonus DVD, there are two different versions. (It is a region free DVD, but there are two formats.)

Release dates are as follows:

PAL
Netherlands: November 25, 2004
Rest of Europe: December 6, 2004

NTSC
Through Plato.nl: December 6, 2004 (tentative)
USA/Canada: January 11, 2005

You can pre-order the album through Plato. Please note the different release dates of the PAL and NTSC versions. You can already purchase the PAL edition of the new album at the Mega Record and CD fair in Utrecht from Millennium Records on November 20. Arjen will be signing at the stand, and perform at the terrace of the Fair with Robert Soeterboek and Peter Vink.

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Ayreon "Actual Fantasy Revisited" Trailer

By now most of you know that a trailer is the ultimate way for fans to get a first glimpse at what's has been happening behind the scenes of a new release.

And as far as we are all concerned, "Actual Fantasy: Revisited" in a way is indeed a new album. Arjen is very proud of the results of the 5.1 mix he just finished and can't wait for fans to hear his music coming from all corners of a room: the way music should be heard.

The trailer can be downloaded at this location (Windows Media only).

The album will feature both a CD and a bonus DVD. The CD contains the 2004 recording. And the DVD will feature the 5.1 mix of this recording as well as the original 1996 version of Actual Fantasy. There is also a featurette on the 2004 recording process. The album is due out by the end of this year.

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Ayreon Actual Fantasy Album To Be Re-Recorded

Ayreon, the brainchild of Dutch guitarist Arjen Lucassen (ex-Bodine, Vengence), are planning on reissuing their second album, "Actual Fantasy".

"Arjen wanted to experiment with releasing his music as a 5.1 surround remix, and 'Actual Fantasy' — a little bit of a 'forgotten' album in the Ayreon collection — is sonically and electronically the most extreme release," reads a posting on the group's web site. "Furthermore it is hailed by many fellow musicians as their favorite Ayreon release.

"In order for Arjen to make this 5.1 surround remix, he needed to piece together all recordings and to separate the parts that had been 'glued together' in the studio at the time of the recording... This meant re-recording some parts as well.

"Well, once he knew he had to go through all that trouble... why not immediately re-record that what was an 'ear-sore' for Arjen all along? The drums! The drums on 'Actual Fantasy' are generated by a drum computer, which bothers Arjen to this day! And... well... why stop there and really make it truly challenging and exciting project?

"For this purpose Ayreon drummer extraordinaire Ed Warby will enter the studio next week to record drums for the 'Actual Fantasy' re-issue. After this, Star One bassist Peter Vink will replay all bass guitar, and Arjen will re-record nearly all guitar and keyboard parts, and then rework the vocal performances — essentially making this album a new Ayreon release of sorts.

"The new and improved 'Actual Fantasy' (including the 5.1 remix) won't hit stores until early 2005. After this release, 'The Final Experiment' re-issue with some special added elements, will be released soon after that!

"The re-issue of 'The Universal Migrator Part 1 & 2' is already in stores everywhere and the next re-issue by the InsideOut label is already on our doorstep. The long-awaited 'Into the Electric Castle', Ayreon's best seller double album, will be available (again) in stores on September 27th, 2004 in Europe, and October 12th, 2004 in the United States.

"The re-issue features revamped artwork and also linernotes written by Arjen.

"On top of this, the release comes with two CD-ROM tracks (Quicktime movie), one on each disc, in which Arjen tells you about what went into making this stellar album.

"Among other things, you get to hear stand-alone vocal performances of each of the vocalists as well as some instrumentalist sections. Total duration of the CD-ROM tracks is 30 minutes!"

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Old Ayreon Albums To Be Re-issued

For Ayreon fans the first news is the re-issues of the old Ayreon albums by InsideOut. One re-issue is already available in stores. The Universal Migrator Part 1 & Part 2 are no longer sold seperately, but as a special double CD edition for a single CD price. Check your stores now! Next re-issue will be "Into the Electric Castle" with a bonus multi-media file and improved artwork.

As a sidenote: a third single is to be released early fall, 2004.

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Secret Extras On New Ayreon Single "Loser"

The new ‘"Loser" single – taken from "The Human Equation" – features a special code that can be used to access a secret page on the official Ayreon website. Plug in the code here and you will find the following extras:
- an early demo version of ‘Loser’ sung by Ayreon mastermind Arjen Lucassen, done in one take with a drum computer. No digeridoo, no Devin Townsend, no solos.
- a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the "Loser" video
- a new competition from record label InsideOut
- a short interview with Lucassen explaing the hows aned whys of the new single.

Sorry, you'll have to buy the single to find out what the secret code is. The page will be active until September 1st.

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Ayreon To Re-Release Early CDs

On July 26th 2004, a re-issue of the Ayreon albums "The Universal Migrator Part 1 and 2" will become available in stores.

The Ayreon project moved to a new label InsideOut, and all albums, which have been sold out and very hard to find, are going to be released by InsideOut. The albums are re-issued in reverse order, starting with the Universal Migrator albums first released in 2000.

Initially, Arjen believed there were two distinct group of fans, the prog and the metal lovers, and so he decided to release two albums - one for each catagory without obligating fans of one genre to buy the other, resulting in the atmospheric Dream Sequencer, and the heavy Flight of the Migrator.

However, time proved Arjen wrong - the line between prog and metal is quite blurry. Nearly equal amounts of the albums were sold, and from the many emails Arjen received from his fans, he found out that each loved both albums.

And so, for this re-issue Arjen and the label decided to join the albums in a Special Edition - but for the price of a single album. The 2-in-1 version contains extra liner notes by Arjen, but do not contain bonus tracks as Arjen believes that would be unfair to fans for such a recent release.

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Tony Martin Asked Lucassen For £20K

Former BLACK SABBATH vocalist TONY MARTIN, who appeared on such albums as The Headless Cross and Tyr , proved a bit out of ARJEN ANTHONY LUCASSEN's price range when approached for the new AYREON project, The Human Condition . Lucassen, who has made a name for himself with his robust operatic metal releases, explains how he filters out vocalists for his projects, "As soon as I get a feeling it's about money, it’s over. It shouldn’t be about money. Like Tony Martin. The first thing he said was, 'You’d better have a big wallet.' He wanted 20,000 pounds for one song. So I passed."

Lucassen has worked with Bruce Dickinson, James La Brie, Ralph Scheepers and countless other name metal vocalists. Yet he has not landed his hero to appear on one of his metal operas as of yet, "My all-time hero, ALICE COOPER. I’d love to work with him, but haven’t been able to work it out."

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