Ayreon - Transitus review




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Reviewer:
6.1

107 users:
6.78
Band: Ayreon
Album: Transitus
Release date: September 2020


Disc I
01. Fatum Horrificum
02. Daniel's Descent Into Transitus
03. Listen To My Story
04. Two Worlds Now One
05. Talk Of The Town
06. Old Friend
07. Dumb Piece Of Rock
08. Get Out! Now!
09. Seven Days, Seven Nights

Disc II
01. Condemned Without A Trial
02. Daniel's Funeral
03. Hopelessly Slipping Away
04. This Human Equation
05. Henry's Plot
06. Message From Beyond
07. Daniel's Vision
08. She Is Innocent
09. Lavinia's Confession
10. Inferno
11. Your Story Is Over!
12. Abby In Transitus
13. The Great Beyond


Transitus the latest record by the Dutch prog mastermind with way too many phone numbers in his mobile phone… Arjen Anthony Lucassen. Who did he call this time to perform on his latest record?

Well, we've got another all-star cast, with names like: Tommy Karevik, Simone Simons, Dee Snider, Joe Satriani, Marty Friedman and many more. Tom Baker (well-known from the Doctor Who series) also has a big part on Transitus, as he takes on the role of the narrator. But more on that later.

I'm going to start with some positive notes. First of all, there's the story. A story about forbidden love. Basically it's a Romeo and Juliet kind of tale mixed with some dark Victorian vibes.

Then we've got the production. It's as good as you expect it to be from an Ayreon album. a production that feels overall similar in style to the one we've experienced with The Source, very clean and balanced. Guitars and drums have punch, the bass is mixed in well and all the vocals get a chance to shine.

Speaking of which… the vocals on this record are overall well done. You've got dependable talent here and they deliver good performances. I never really got a "wow" feeling, though, and that's because there isn't really a chemistry. It more than often shows that the vocalists weren't in the same room to record, and that's a big issue for a drama/love story; you expect passion and a connection between the characters, but it isn't there.

For me there are 2 people that really stood out. Dee Snider's performance on "Get Out Now" is excellent and brings the necessary energy for a song like that. This is one of the few moments where I actually do feel a connection between the characters in that song. The second performance I want to mention is Tom Baker's; the narration he delivers on this record is really captivating and keeps the listener interested in the story from start to finish.

However, this is also the moment where I will talk about some of the issues that I have with this album. And the narration is the first thing I want to talk about. But I just told you that I liked Tom Baker's narration? Yes, but the problem here is not the performance, it's the fact that every single song is introduced by some narration, and a lot of that narration is unnecessary. either because it's already worked into the music (and it's repeating itself) or could have been worked into the music. This results in an album that severely suffers from a lack of flow. Half of the time it feels like you're listening to an audiobook, one with a lot of fluff added to it.

On top of that there's the issue that the emotions of the characters are stated rather than felt, and it isn't done subtle either. It's something that the previous record also suffered from in my opinion. But in a passion story it's even more jarring.

The music itself is solid throughout, performed by musicians who are great at their craft. But the songs themselves aren't exactly all that memorable. The first track that actually managed to shake things up for me is "Get Out Now", which is coincidentally the track which features Dee Snider. And honestly, it's probably the only track I will listen to on a semi-regular basis.

So what more is there to tell about Transitus? Well, not a lot. I'm glad I gave it a listen just for the enjoyable story. The second listen (which I did for this review) was already more than enough. This record won't get (m)any repeated listens in the future. It isn't memorable enough for that.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 7
Songwriting: 5
Originality: 5
Production: 8


 



Written on 22.10.2020 by You know I'm right, you just haven't realised it yet...


Comments

Comments: 11   [ 1 ignored ]   Visited by: 162 users
22.10.2020 - 10:59
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
He had way to many number to call, but way to much cash to pay those.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
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22.10.2020 - 11:31
musclassia
I thought Cammie Gilbert also stood out in terms of singers, most of the particularly enjoyable bits involved her. But otherwise this is definitely the dullest rendition of the Ayreon sound to date, and the whole 'tell don't show' approach to the lyrics is eye-rollingly dull to be subjected to for the duration of an album as long as this one.
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22.10.2020 - 12:02
Bad English
Tage Westerlund
Tobias Stammat use a lot of studio vocalist, years ago he told he paid all of.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
22.10.2020 - 13:43
nikarg
Mod
Kudos for giving it more than one listen and thus taking one for the team. I forced myself to finish only one listen.

This album is way too bland and boring when it is supposed to be narrating a passionate story. I also think "Get Out Now" is the only track that is quite alright, mainly because of Dee, and Cammie Gilbert does stand out as musclassia said. But in all fairness, this is such a waste of talent.
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22.10.2020 - 17:21
UnknownCheese
That is some wack album art for a band that usually has really good covers.

I haven't been into Ayreon since Flight of the Migrator, and even back then his discography was spotty. Not interested.
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22.10.2020 - 17:42
SAY10
To me it was very disappointing, and I consider myself a fan of Arjen's work. Basically no standout songs, I don't like the story and narration is indeed excessive. It was even the first time I didn't like Tommy Karevik, his performance here is so forced and over the top that it's just not enjoyable to listen IMO. It's the first Ayreon album that I didn't enjoy. Even "The Source" was a great source (pun intended) of escapism, while not being his best work to date. But compared to Transitus, it's great.
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22.10.2020 - 19:38
tominator
At best deranged
Written by musclassia on 22.10.2020 at 11:31

I thought Cammie Gilbert also stood out in terms of singers, most of the particularly enjoyable bits involved her. But otherwise this is definitely the dullest rendition of the Ayreon sound to date, and the whole 'tell don't show' approach to the lyrics is eye-rollingly dull to be subjected to for the duration of an album as long as this one.


Yeah, the story itself is fine, it's just every single decission made of how to deliver the story, is wrong. Too much narration, the "tell don't show" style (like you mentioned),... It's all done so bluntly that eye-rolling is a natural reaction.
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22.10.2020 - 20:11
tominator
At best deranged
Written by nikarg on 22.10.2020 at 13:43

Kudos for giving it more than one listen and thus taking one for the team. I forced myself to finish only one listen.

This album is way too bland and boring when it is supposed to be narrating a passionate story. I also think "Get Out Now" is the only track that is quite alright, mainly because of Dee, and Cammie Gilbert does stand out as musclassia said. But in all fairness, this is such a waste of talent.


There's always that little bit of hope of an album suddenly clicking and connecting with a second listen, but that obviously didn't happen with this one. To be honest, I didn't expect it to suddenly change my opinion. After the first listen there were already too many red flags unfortunately. Things like flow or story delivery are things that are immediately apparent right from the start.

I agree that a lot of potential and talent is wasted with this record.
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24.10.2020 - 07:08
Opethian
Just when I thought that 'Theory' was his worst work to date. This is cringe.
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24.10.2020 - 12:40
tominator
At best deranged
Written by Opethian on 24.10.2020 at 07:08

Just when I thought that 'Theory' was his worst work to date. This is cringe.


Yeah Transitus is far from his best record. From the ones I've listened to this is probably the weakest. Well... this or Actual Fantasy but it's been a very long time since I've listened to that album.
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04.11.2020 - 20:47
Danyael
"Theory" was a masterpiece compared to this album. I'm quite disappointed.
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