Having been creating music since the 1980s, Arjen Lucassen, is a name synonymous within the rock and metal music scene for having worked with the likes of Star One, Ambeon, Guilt Machine, The Gentle Storm, Vengeance and many more.

2017 is a big hear in the multi-instrumentalists career as he is kicking it off with a new 17-track album called ‘The Source’ – due out for release on April 28 – via his project Ayreon. However, Arjen isn’t doing this project alone, as he worked with renowned vocalists James LaBrie (Dream Theater), Simone Simons (Epica), Floor Jansen (Nightwish), Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian), Tobias Sammet (Edguy and Avantasia), and Russell Allen (Symphony X) on the album. Each contributing in their own way to make an overall 17-track album that satisfies any fan of music.

‘Everybody Dies’ and ‘The Day the World Breaks Down’ are the first two tastes of what’s to come off the 17-track album.

“Hi, this is Arjen here! While you listen, I’m going to try to entertain you with background trivia and a peek behind the scenes.”

Arjen gives a little insight into how the track was created, all the 11 people involved, what they did on the track and how the overall production of the track was put together in their collaboration. It’s worth watching the entire video as you get to know each of the collaborators and their interesting choice of instruments, like flutes, violins and more, but also enjoy and listen to the track, which is great in its own right.

The second taste of Ayreon’s ‘The Source’ is a track called ‘Everybody Dies’, which is presented in a lyric video format, taking you through the narrative structure of the track, which features heavy on the connotation of eventually everyone dies. This song features on vocals: Michael Mills, Tommy Karevik, Tommy Rogers, Russell Allen, Hansi Kürsch, Michael Eriksen, Tobias Sammet and Floor Jansen.

With the narrative of The Source being set six billion years in the past, the story begins on a planet called Planet Alpha, a world in the Andromeda system where computer intelligence has far surpassed that of humanity. Alpha is facing a massive global crisis, with ecological and political catastrophes threatening all human life. The Alphans (our human ancestors) try to save their planet by entrusting the global computer mainframe—The ‘Frame—to find a solution.

As far as narratives go in music making, this is one hell of a narrative that is told throughout the entirety of the 17-track album and gives enough time for each single to showcase a part of the story, if given the time by the listener to actually listen to the track.

While Arjen is playing a variety of instruments on the 17-track album, the only other mainstay from his previous releases his drummer Ed Warby.

Ayreon’s ‘The Source’ is now available for pre-order via JB Hi-Fi.

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