Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

Into the Electric Castle – Ayreon [#638]

Ayreon_-_Electric_Castle album cover
Big-haired symphonic prog rocker Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s third concept album, with his collaboration project Ayreon, tells the tale of time-napped protagonists sent to find their way through some weird assault course like maze for some obscure reason that really doesn’t matter.

Marillion’s Fish, The Gatherings Anneke van Giersbergen and Within Temptation’s Sharon den Adel all play characters warbling their way through various trials and tribulations much like they might in some Jeff Wayne tribute musical if it was done right. The dramatic passion within the music illustrates just how talented and creative Lucassen can be if left to his own devices.

Into the Electric Castle is possibly my most played Ayreon album if not for the fantastically big hair rock Rainbow Bridge which often results in in-car rock performances while en-route to distant places indeed, I have frequently threatened to subject passengers to the entire album it’s so good.

I think if I’d come across the music in 1998 when it was released, many of the late night conversations I used to have about music with my pals would have resulted in even longer talks into the night. Sadly I only became aware of Ayreon when I had moved away from my hometown of Liverpool, leaving the opportunities for late night debate ever diminishing into the realms of misspent youth and early adulthood.

 

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The Best of Gothic Rock – Various Artists [#167]

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71aYVc-ahvL._SL500_SY355_ The Best of Gothic Rock- Various Artists
Only it’s not.

It’s not what I’d class as “Gothic” anyway. At least with my modern more refined ears. Instead I would call these two compilations “The Best of Big Boobed Operatic Singers Accompanying Euro Goth Metal Bands” . 

Both albums contain a nice introduction to bands such as Nightwish, Within Temptation and Lacuna Coil. Ideal music for a middle aged wanna be goth to indulge in, reinvent themselves and annoy the wife with.

As we will see, these albums had a profound influence on my own musical tastes and we will be seeing a few of the bands featured, multiple times over the course of this project.

Track listing as follows:

Volume 2 =
1. Within Temptation – Mother Earth
2. Nightwish – Bless The Child
3. Beseech – Illusionate
4. Trail of Tears – Liquid View
5. Lacuna Coil – Swamped
6. Therion – Ljusalfheim
7. Myriads – The Sanctum Of My Soul
8. Flowing Tears – Serpentine
9. Within Temptation – Deceiver of Fools
10. Moonspell – Nocturna
11. Sentenced – Guilt and Regret
12. Divercia – Everlasting
13. After Forever – Monolith of Doubt
14. Tristinia – Tender Trip on Earth
15. Sirenia – Sister Nightfall

Volume 3 =

1 The Rasmus – In the Shadows 4:16
2 Within Temptation – Running Up That Hill 3:57
Epica – The Phantom Agony 9:00
Nightwish  – End of All Hope 3:54
5 After Forever – Intrinsick 6:52
Tristania – A Sequel of Decay 6:31
7 Apocalyptica feat Nina Hagen – Seemann 4:00
8 Tarot – Pyre of Gods 4:34
9 Sonata Arctica – Victoria’s Secret 4:43
10 Sirenia – At Sixes and Sevens 6:44
11 Therion – Enter Vril-Ya 6:37
12 Penumbra – The Last Bewitchment 5:10
13 My Dying Bride – My Hope, My Destroyer 6:47
14 Autumn – Along Ethereal Levels 4:05

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