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$5.00
(10 items)

Release date: 28 October 2013
Style: Progressive metal

Rating:

8.5 | 364 votes

Owners:

305 have it
59 want it


Disc I
01. Phase I: Singularity
    1 - Prologue: The Blackboard
    2 - The Theory Of Everything (Part I)
    3 - Patterns
    4 - The Prodigy's World
    5 - The Teacher's Discovery
    6 - Love And Envy
    7 - Progressive Waves
    8 - The Gift
    9 - The Eleventh Dimension
    10 - Inertia
    11 - The Theory Of Everything (Part II)
02. Phase II: Symmetry
    1 - The Consultation
    2 - Diagnosis
    3 - The Argument I
    4 - The Rival's Dilemma
    5 - Surface Tension
    6 - A Reason To Live
    7 - Potential
    8 - Quantum Chaos
    9 - Dark Medicine
    10 - Alive!
    11 - The Prediction

Disc II
01. Phase III: Entanglement
    1 - Fluctuations
    2 - Transformation
    3 - Collision
    4 - Side Effects
    5 - Frequency Modulation
    6 - Magnetism
    7 - Quid Pro Quo
    8 - String Theory
    9 - Fortune?
02. Phase IV: Unification
    1 - Mirror Of Dreams
    2 - The Lighthouse
    3 - The Argument II
    4 - The Parting
    5 - The Visitation
    6 - The Breakthrough
    7 - The Note
    8 - The Uncertainty Principle
    9 - Dark Energy
    10 - The Theory Of Everything (Part III)
    11 - The Blackboard (Reprise)

Disc III [Special Edition DVD]
01. The Making Of The Theory Of Everything
02. Full-length Interviews
03. Recording Session Time Lapse Footage

Top 20 albums of 2013: 13

Lyrics (4)


Line-up
Arjen Anthony Lucassen - all instruments, vocals

Session musicians
Ben Mathot - violin
Siddharta Barnhoorn - orchestrations
Ed Warby - drums
Maaike Peterse - cello

Guest musicians
Michael Mills - vocals, irish bouzouki
Marco Hietala - vocals
John Wetton - vocals
Cristina Scabbia - vocals
Tommy Karevik - vocals
Janne "JB" Christoffersson - vocals
Sara Squadrani - vocals
Troy Donockley - uillean pipes, whistles
Rick Wakeman - keyboards
Keith Emerson - keyboards
Jordan Charles Rudess - keyboards
Steve Hackett - guitar


Additional info
The Theory Of Everything is released in three differend formats:
- Limited Edition 2CD + 2CD + DVD Artbook
Artbook is LP-sized with a 48-page booklet
2+2 CDs (The actual album plus full instrumental versions)
DVD with 2 1/2 hours of behind-the scenes content, including a 47-minute "Making of" documentary, 90 minutes of in-depth interviews, and time lapse clips of the recording sessions.

- Special Edition 2CD + DVD Mediabook

- 2LP Vinyl Edition
2LP Gatefold vinyl (180g black) with 12-page booklet
2 CDs included (for listening convenience)

Found in 42 lists
Top lists

MechanisT XIII  | #143
R'Vannith Albums of interest: 2013  | #36
Korah 2013 in the Giant's Mountain with Korah  | #18
hadriel Hadriel's Favorites Of 2013  | #23
Kalmari Top 30 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2013 (Alphabetical Order)  | #5
Red_Travis My Top Albums Of 2013  | #19
Chris Steele My Top 20 Albums From 2013  | #1
Erik M. Ayreon Albums: Best To Worst  | #4
More lists with this album (42) | Create a list! ››



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Erik M. - 10.11.2013 at 02:17  
Rating: 8
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 05.11.2013 at 16:43

Written by Vonpire on 05.11.2013 at 16:40

Probably the best from this mediocre band called "ayreon", the most overrated band ever on M.S. .



we don't agree on much But here I fully agree with you.


Didn't you forget about Summoning and Alcest just now?
neonxaos - 11.11.2013 at 12:22  
  I don't understand why this is so popular... It's way, way overdone in my opinion. I have to respect such diverse and obviously proficient musicianship, but the overall result sounds like a tedious musical to me.
Shmyt - 11.11.2013 at 14:31  
  I want to like it but i guess Ayreon is simply too...something...for my tastes... I'm truly not sure what it is, part cheesy, possibly boring, pretentious maybe, but little of it is memorable or very interesting. It is well made and well played but what they made and played is not up to the standards it was done at, like hiring Peter Jackson to do some shitty teen movie or buying a Formula One racer to get to work in the morning, in Iqaluit. I just can't like this album, and just Ayreon in general.
calebSA - 11.11.2013 at 14:48  
  It's a good and intresting album, maybe a little boring, but it's not a METAL album.. Soft progressive rock
Swamphell - 11.11.2013 at 15:10  
Rating: 7
Written by Iamawalker on 07.11.2013 at 03:43

Written by Swamphell on 07.11.2013 at 00:55

Why I gave it 6:-
1)not that heavy you can call it Progressive rock
2)the guests are not that good (comparing with last 2 albums) and their voices seem so similar to me
3)the lyrics (the language is so weak)
4)the concept (I don't understand how it's end and I need to know what is the theory of everything or any hint about it)
5) [and the most important one] 42 tracks ?!why?! I can handle a 4 long tracks or he can make it 8 or even 6


Hope you don't mind , but I'd like to "counter-explain" (lol, is that even a term?) the points you make (no hard feelings(!), just another perspective).

1) Wether or not it's Prog Rock instead of Prog Metal, it shouldn't automatically mean worse music (unless you only like the more agressive stuff). This album relies much more on emotions and atmosphere instead of heaviness. Speaking of that, I think there definitely are bursts of Metal to be found on this album. It's just not thrown at us constantly.

2) The list of guest singers on this album is maybe not as high-profile as in the past, but popularity is not necessarily an indication of quality. Technically, I think there are some awe-inspiring performances here! I'm curious on why you think they're so similar. To me some of them sound very wide and deep, others stretch up high in range and become thinner, some are male, some are female, etc...

3) The lyrics are written in a very straight-forward manner, but in the context of the album I think it all makes perfect sense. They're pretty much the equivalent of dialogues in a movie; They seem to be there to support the characters and the story rather than amaze us with intricate poetry and metaphors (like several(?) people have said here). In the bigger picture within the plot and between the characters, I feel the lyrics become fairly complex.

4) I don't think this album is really all that much about science and mathematics, as much as it is about the emotional bond between human beings and the psychology. I also think the ending was supposed to be vague and mysterious; The unanswered questions are what stays with us the longest. Plus the part where the different characters sort of acknowledged the completion of "the theory", while not spilling it out and giving it away really magnified the effect. It became clear that it was some really powerful stuff, and that keeps the listener wondering and guessing about it. The sense of mystery remains (maybe the next album is going to go deeper into that somehow).

5) I partially agree with this one, as I also found it a bit unnecessary to divide the four songs into all those tracks. But apparently that makes the listening experience easier for some people, and besides that, we can always just pretend the numerous tracks aren't there and just listen to the album as four long songs (which several(?) people have said here). No matter how we look at that, it doesn't change anything on the album.

The album is really long and there's a lot to discover here, you should give it a second chance to see if it's grown on you! (6/10 is a decent rating so there's gotta be something you liked about it?)


I read ur counter explain and it makes sense in some points and after a more 3 or 4 times listing this album I've changed my vote to 7 :] and this is my "counter - counter - explain" :
1)the music is so awesome as Prog. Rock but I still have my same opinion about it ; I prefer some heavy stuff at least in one song
2) I didin't chang my mind about this one
3) u made sense with this one
4) this one have two option a) if Arjen is going to continue the plot in his next album ts good thing b) if not I'd rather him to back to his previous plots like (10110.. , the human equation and into electric castle) I liked those stuff so much I guess they relate to each other in some way.
5)we agreed on this one
Iamawalker - 12.11.2013 at 00:04  
Rating: 10
Written by Swamphell on 11.11.2013 at 15:10

I read ur counter explain and it makes sense in some points and after a more 3 or 4 times listing this album I've changed my vote to 7 :] and this is my "counter - counter - explain" :
1)the music is so awesome as Prog. Rock but I still have my same opinion about it ; I prefer some heavy stuff at least in one song
2) I didin't chang my mind about this one
3) u made sense with this one
4) this one have two option a) if Arjen is going to continue the plot in his next album ts good thing b) if not I'd rather him to back to his previous plots like (10110.. , the human equation and into electric castle) I liked those stuff so much I guess they relate to each other in some way.
5)we agreed on this one


Oh, that's cool!
I apologize because I shouldn't have used the words "counter-explain". I made it sound like your opinion was wrong which was not my intention. So I'm glad you didn't take it like that.
Given that Arjen said "01" was the conclusion to the old concept and this new album being the start of something different, I guess we should expect the next albums to continue further with this "Theory"-storyline (unless this new album is completely self-contained from both the old concept and any future ones too... ).
LascaillesShroud - 14.11.2013 at 03:20  
Rating: 10 The Theory of Everything is an actual proposed equation in mathematics/science/physics that has no representation of itself it yet. It unifies and explains all the forces of the universe in a single equation, uniting physics and quantum mechanics (see the opening lyric: "Unification of the great and small" - meaning physics and quantum mechanics) so to actually try and spell it out definitely would be (to me) somewhat unnecessary and kind of dangerous in a story-telling sense.

The ending is very simple, and it goes hand in hand with the way the lyrics are written. The lyrics are written so they are meant to be heard, just reading them they are somewhat awkward - that's when the guest singers job comes in to bring in emotional and contextual inflection to the words so as you hear them the story is easily explained as it goes along.

As for the ending (spoiler ahead for those who don't know) when The Prodigy is visited by his father at the lighthouse, and they discover/solve the "Theory of Everything" his father is actually dead, as he killed himself the night before in shame. It is first alluded that all the medication The Prodigy took created this illusion, allowing him to solve the problem (this is done by "The Girl" to "The Teacher"), but the last verse - sung by one of the most amazing voices I've heard, JB as The Teacher - says "Will we ever know how to different handstyles came to grace this blackboard"

So basically, his father DID kill himself - but after death he still came to help his son, The Teacher notices there are two DISTINCT and SEPARATE hand writing styles on the blackboard working in collaboration to solve the problem.

I think perhaps The Theory of Everything could possibly reveal how his father came to aid him after death, and this could be a continuation of the story on the next album. I personally think it's a fantastic and enthralling story about obsessive devotions and the emotional drives everyone has in seeking personal fulfillment.

I've listened to this album a lot. Start to finish about 100 times since it's release. I also dont think the 42 tracks should affect the rating - as it doesn't stop me from listening to it any form. If anything it is nice to have to reference certain parts of the story - but I only listen to the album start to finish, it's just that kind of album for me.
yeah1980 - 15.11.2013 at 10:03  
Rating: 7 This album is so hard to evaluate for me...
I'm a fan of Arjen and I love the complete discography, but this one has something that seems not to work.
Lyrics sometime sound weird, and the tracks are not always well connected.
So far i gave 7/10, but I understand there is some excellent part in it, so with the time it could grow on me more and I could raise my evaluation...

EDIT: ok, just watching the bonus DVD made me change my impressions and evaòuation to 8/10... :-D
BloodJuNkie - 15.11.2013 at 15:36  
Rating: 4 This album isn't boring or anything.
3rdWorld - 16.11.2013 at 23:08  
 
Written by BloodJuNkie on 15.11.2013 at 15:36

This album isn't boring or anything.

Then how else is this?
The Voyager - 17.11.2013 at 05:54  
 
Written by LascaillesShroud on 14.11.2013 at 03:20

The Theory of Everything is an actual proposed equation in mathematics/science/physics that has no representation of itself it yet. It unifies and explains all the forces of the universe in a single equation, uniting physics and quantum mechanics (see the opening lyric: "Unification of the great and small" - meaning physics and quantum mechanics) so to actually try and spell it out definitely would be (to me) somewhat unnecessary and kind of dangerous in a story-telling sense.

The ending is very simple, and it goes hand in hand with the way the lyrics are written. The lyrics are written so they are meant to be heard, just reading them they are somewhat awkward - that's when the guest singers job comes in to bring in emotional and contextual inflection to the words so as you hear them the story is easily explained as it goes along.

As for the ending (spoiler ahead for those who don't know) when The Prodigy is visited by his father at the lighthouse, and they discover/solve the "Theory of Everything" his father is actually dead, as he killed himself the night before in shame. It is first alluded that all the medication The Prodigy took created this illusion, allowing him to solve the problem (this is done by "The Girl" to "The Teacher"), but the last verse - sung by one of the most amazing voices I've heard, JB as The Teacher - says "Will we ever know how to different handstyles came to grace this blackboard"

So basically, his father DID kill himself - but after death he still came to help his son, The Teacher notices there are two DISTINCT and SEPARATE hand writing styles on the blackboard working in collaboration to solve the problem.

I think perhaps The Theory of Everything could possibly reveal how his father came to aid him after death, and this could be a continuation of the story on the next album. I personally think it's a fantastic and enthralling story about obsessive devotions and the emotional drives everyone has in seeking personal fulfillment.

I've listened to this album a lot. Start to finish about 100 times since it's release. I also dont think the 42 tracks should affect the rating - as it doesn't stop me from listening to it any form. If anything it is nice to have to reference certain parts of the story - but I only listen to the album start to finish, it's just that kind of album for me.

Physics and quantum mechanics aren't different things.
LascaillesShroud - 17.11.2013 at 18:18  
Rating: 10 I am referring to the bodies of scientific study that govern the properties and interactions of the "small" (Sub-atomic particles, atoms, etc) and the bodies of scientific study that govern the "great" (stars, galaxies, orbits, black holes, etc.). Wording should of been better, my apologies.

General relativity, and quantum theory - to correct my incorrect wording earlier.
WorpeX - 19.11.2013 at 06:05  
Rating: 3 I'm having a lot of trouble getting into this album. Almost no instrumentation in this at all it feels like and the lyrics are terrible. I likely haven't given it enough of a chance, but for now, im extremely disappointed.
Luneth - 20.11.2013 at 17:53  
  Im terrified for this album...if its anything like electric castle I'm excited...but these long albums are so hard to get into.
Erik M. - 21.11.2013 at 22:30  
Rating: 8 Damn, having listened to this nearly 10 times I have to say I love the first three phases (songs), but the last song is just rather boring and lame compared to the others. If Phase IV would've been as great as the others, this album would be close to my AotY for sure, but sadly now it isn't. I simply can't ignore that last disappointing song.
M C Vice - 22.11.2013 at 11:10  
Rating: 8 When I rate this, I'm docking a point for splitting the songs up into smaller tracks.
Lit. - 23.11.2013 at 05:30  
 
Written by BloodJuNkie on 15.11.2013 at 15:36

This album isn't boring or anything.

You're actually right for once. It's not boring at all.
Lethrokai - 23.11.2013 at 13:03  
Rating: 10
Written by Erik M. on 21.11.2013 at 22:30

Damn, having listened to this nearly 10 times I have to say I love the first three phases (songs), but the last song is just rather boring and lame compared to the others. If Phase IV would've been as great as the others, this album would be close to my AotY for sure, but sadly now it isn't. I simply can't ignore that last disappointing song.


Funny that you'd say that. For me, Phase IV was actually my favourite part of the album. Of course, I've seen so many different opinions on which song was the best that I shouldn't be surprised. I am curious as to why you think this though...
Erik M. - 23.11.2013 at 16:19  
Rating: 8
Written by Lethrokai on 23.11.2013 at 13:03

Funny that you'd say that. For me, Phase IV was actually my favourite part of the album. Of course, I've seen so many different opinions on which song was the best that I shouldn't be surprised. I am curious as to why you think this though...


Indeed interesting opinions differ so much. I think only the first few parts of Phase IV are truly great (The Lighthouse and The Argument 2 just sound amazing), but most of the other parts are just a bit boring to me, it just drags on and on without being very interesting. And then the part I truly hate, The Visitation, just brings down the whole song due to its cheesiness, ugh. Also, most Ayreon albums have some sort of epic closing song/outro but that isn't the case at all with this album. It just ends rather abruptly. The first three phases are all much more interesting to me as there's a lot of variety to be found in those, even though there are some annoying parts in every song, but that's not such a big deal.
BaneConall - 28.11.2013 at 16:37  
  I used a program to combine all the tracks into only the 4 phases. And it makes listening to the album much more enjoyable for me. Mostly because my phone always inserts a small break between tracks while I'm listening.
Westvann - 30.11.2013 at 21:03  
  I just love this album. My first though when I saw that every song lasted over 20 minutes was: Boooring But no! This album is entertaining from start to finish.
LeKiwi - 05.12.2013 at 11:15  
Rating: 9
Written by LascaillesShroud on 14.11.2013 at 03:20

I've listened to this album a lot. Start to finish about 100 times since it's release.

You've listened to this 3 times a day for the last 5 weeks? I hope you weren't just sitting there listening to it

Anyways, I'm finally listening to this and 14 minutes in. Contrived, but I really like it
LascaillesShroud - 05.12.2013 at 23:08  
Rating: 10
Written by LeKiwi on 05.12.2013 at 11:15

Written by LascaillesShroud on 14.11.2013 at 03:20

I've listened to this album a lot. Start to finish about 100 times since it's release.

You've listened to this 3 times a day for the last 5 weeks? I hope you weren't just sitting there listening to it

Anyways, I'm finally listening to this and 14 minutes in. Contrived, but I really like it


While at work I listen to music with my MP3 player. Before I leave to go home I listen to the album start to finish at least 5-6 times (8-10 hour day) and at least once at home while I am sitting around relaxing.

I've listened to it probably closer to 200-250 by now. The CD is in my car, in my MP3 player, and going while I am at home - I am possibly obsesses.

When should I start stalking Arjen?
LeKiwi - 05.12.2013 at 23:26  
Rating: 9
Written by LascaillesShroud on 05.12.2013 at 23:08

While at work I listen to music with my MP3 player. Before I leave to go home I listen to the album start to finish at least 5-6 times (8-10 hour day) and at least once at home while I am sitting around relaxing.

I've listened to it probably closer to 200-250 by now. The CD is in my car, in my MP3 player, and going while I am at home - I am possibly obsesses.

When should I start stalking Arjen?

No need. Sneak in as a guest musician during the next recording
Creativinity - 07.12.2013 at 11:40  
  I don't get this album. I love all Arjen projects with the exception of Star One (even though it has Floor) but this CD... I just don't get. The lyrics don't awe me, the instrumentalism is good but not "I want to kiss this man's feet" like in other albums, and I enjoy some of the vocalists from their own projects, but not here. As a whole, this might be my least favorite Ayreon album, imo. I have given it a couple of dozens of listens, but still...

Fav songs on this CD for anyone? I'd like to give it one last try before completely removing it from my phone.
Lethrokai - 07.12.2013 at 16:05  
Rating: 10
Written by Creativinity on 07.12.2013 at 11:40

I don't get this album. I love all Arjen projects with the exception of Star One (even though it has Floor) but this CD... I just don't get. The lyrics don't awe me, the instrumentalism is good but not "I want to kiss this man's feet" like in other albums, and I enjoy some of the vocalists from their own projects, but not here. As a whole, this might be my least favorite Ayreon album, imo. I have given it a couple of dozens of listens, but still...

Fav songs on this CD for anyone? I'd like to give it one last try before completely removing it from my phone.


What really got me on this one was Michael Mills' vocals... so I guess the best example for that would be "The Parting." This song alone put this guy up as one of my favourite vocalists of all time, and also my favourite discovered talent through Ayreon.
Also from the same "song," I quite enjoyed Mirror Of Dreams.
"Quid Pro Quo" through "Fortune?"
Diagnosis
The Theory of Everything (parts 1 and 3)
Progressive Waves, because I like the way in which it kind of represents all these different forms of prog.

To be honest though, it's not an album where you can listen to these subsections and truly enjoy it. I find that to get the real fun from the album, I have to listen to listen to the 4 main songs in their entirety.
yeah1980 - 09.01.2014 at 15:25  
Rating: 7 After a while I have to come back to my original evaluation: 7/10
The only song that I love seems to be "The Lighthouse".
It's a good album, but my least favourite from Arjen...
yeah1980 - 09.01.2014 at 15:26  
Rating: 7 Ah, I agree about the voice of Mike Mills, he's just unbelievable, listen to Toehider's song "Whatever makes you feel superior", it alone convinced me to buy the whole discography!
Northern Danger - 12.02.2014 at 09:12  
  It's not bad,but too long for me. I can't listen "not bad" album for few hours.
R Lewis - 12.04.2014 at 16:27  
Rating: 9 It's not so strong on the first listen due to the lack of choruses, but it grows in time as a wonderful musical adventure.
3rdWorld - 14.04.2014 at 06:43  
  Didn't find it too special on the first listen. Spun this more than 5 times and couldn't see that it will grow on me either. Phase 1 is the only memorable song here. Rest of the album's decent though.

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