With his wacky rock musical "Transitus" Arjen Lucassen leaves the Ayreon comfort zone for a moment and sends his renowned ensemble through a ghost story located in the 19th century.
Daniel and Abby, the two main characters of the psychic story, are played by Tommy Karevik (Kamelot) and Cammie Gilbert (Oceans Of Slumber). Other well-known artists in the all-star cast include Simone Simons (Epica), Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Joe Satriani, Marty Friedman and Johanne James (Threshold)
eclipsed: Arjen, first a wistful look back: The big Ayreon show at the NOTP festival has unfortunately fallen victim to Corona.
"Our genre is often described as 'progressive', which for me means always breaking new ground and experimenting musically," says the now 60-year-old Lucassen, looking back on the genesis of "Transitus".
"In the true prog spirit I wanted to try something completely different from a typical Ayreon album, I wanted to do something more theatrical, almost like a musical, and of course I took the opportunity to use my favourite rock operas like 'Jesus Christ Superstar', 'Tommy', 'War of the Worlds' and 'The Wall' as inspiration
For "Transitus" Lucassen even left his lovingly constructed Sci-Fi universe and transplanted his ensemble to an earthly setting, even though this time it's also quite supernatural. "At some point, of course, I will return to the vastness of space," Lucassen is sure of. "So this album is not a new beginning for Ayreon, but rather a small step aside!"
Arjen Lucassen's project AYREON has been a guarantor for large-scale concept albums revolving around science fiction themes for 25 years. His most important work to date is "Into The Electric Castle" (1998), which he finally brought to the stage last autumn. A recording of this grandiose concert event is now being released under the title "Electric Castle Live And Other Tales" as a 2CD+DVD, Blu-ray and opulent box set, among others
Interviews with Arjen Lucassen are always a pleasure, because the two-meter man is a grateful conversationalist who chats like a waterfall and has various funny anecdotes ready. He talked to eclipsed about the live realisation of "Into The Electric Castle", in which he was joined by guest stars such as Anneke van Giersbergen, Fish and Damian Wilson, just like in the studio
Cologne, Eigelstein. The Hotel Savoy is only five minutes' walk away from the former headquarters of the legendary Eigelstein Musikproduktion GmbH on Hansaring. It's the beginning of March. Arjen Lucassen sits in a cosy corner of the lobby and gives entertaining interviews. It is still almost two months until the release of "The Source". But the mechanisms of the music industry have long been running at full speed behind the scenes. This also includes the usual discussion marathon, which, after stops in Paris, London and Milan, now also takes the two-metre slag to three German cities. In the evening we take the train to Munich, from there we fly to Berlin. Nothing unusual for a musician on a PR tour, but if you know that the 57-year-old Dutchman, who likes to describe himself as a hermit, is reluctant to leave his home environment, you may ask.
AYREON - Deathcry Of A Race (4:43)
Album: The Source (2CD) (2017)
Label/Distribution: Music Theories/Mascot/Rough Trade
With AYREON, Arjen Lucassen is focusing more on catchability this time without running into shallow waters. His recipe for success: exquisite melodies, stylistic variety from metal to folk and medieval, opulent arrangements and, as always, a top group of singers led by Dream Theaters James LaBrie.
GOOD TIMES, BAD TIMES
Led Zeppelin in the Mirror of the World Press: 1968-1980
The reverberation of Led Zeppelin is enormous. The band hasn't existed for more than 30 years, but they're still being reported on - almost unchecked. The coverage of her unique reunion concert in December 2007 was indeed just as hysterical as it was during her active reign. This era, the years 1968 to 1980, we trace on the following pages from the perspective of the contemporary world press and send our best wishes to the jubilarian Jimmy Page.
The Soul of the Stones
The Maccavelli of Pop
He was one of four in the Beatles. But since 1970 Sir Paul McCartney (65) has been popping on his own account. The result was a lot of hits, but also "Silly Love Songs". So ingenious and jargon - and the realization that pop gods are only human beings...
The eclipsed annual review
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eclipsed is a music magazine based in Aschaffenburg and has been on the German market since 2000. It is aimed at friends of sophisticated rock music who want to go on a new acoustic voyage of discovery month after month.
eclipsed deals in detail with the rock greats of the 60s and 70s in the areas of art rock, prog, psychedelic, blues, classic, hard rock and much more as well as with the current scene in these areas.