I was listening to music last week, the “For You” selections on Apple Music. After clicking through to a couple of albums that I was grooving to, there was this title “Aryeon” and the album name “The Source“. What the heck, I clicked on it.
Before I go further, I must confess that I am a fan of “Project” albums. Like the rock operas of old (think Tommy, or Quadraphenia from The Who, or “Operation: Mindcrime” from Queensryche), and this was an epic in that mold. The brainchild of Arjen Lucassen, Aryeon is one of his projects, and spans more than 20 years and now 13 albums, each having its own character.
Listening to this, I knew that a) I wanted to support this effort more than the mice-nuts that streaming pays, and b) I needed to own this. It had some kick ass guitar riffs, always something I am grooving to, and in general, the album just “hangs” together. It tells a story, very dynamic, and just lovely music.
Navigate to Amazon, and holy shit, I see all the different albums, and bonus, the latest release, “The Source” is available in vinyl. Double-plus good.
I hit the “order” button with almost superhuman speed, and 5 days later it arrived.
Upon removing the gatefold album from the packaging, I see the “Guest Artist” list. Holy shit, so wonder why it has a kick ass groove. Two of the lead guitar players are Paul Gilbert and Guthrie Govan. Hot damn, it doesn’t get better than that, right?
The slate of vocal contributors has three amazing singers. Simone Simmons from Epica (le swoon), Tobias Sammet of Edguy (and who also has his own project, “Avantasia”) and James Labrie from Dream Theater. Damn, no wonder why this kicks ass. There are other guest artists, but this already is so much win, that it hurts.
Right now, as I am typing this, the vinyl is spinning on the turntable, and it is totally living up to expectations.
Doing a little digging into the other releases, in 2013, the release of “Theory of Everything” has as guest artists both Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman, as well as Jordan Rudess (again from Dream Theater). Add to that the incomparable Cristina Scabbia from Lacuna Coil, and holy shit, Steve Hackett from the original Genesis line up? Oh hell YEAH!
You guessed it, it popped into my shopping cart and was bought, on CD this time, as the LP was a staggering $200.
I suspect that I will eventually own all the Aryeon project albums, but for now, I am totally grooving to this kick ass music.