Thumbs up: +8
My ranking of all Ayreon's studio albums. The indisputable best album for me is Into The Electric Castle, followed up closely by The Human Equation (I think Disc II is superior to Disc I though). 01011001 is an amazing album that contains brilliant long and epic tracks, although it also suffers from a few pretty mediocre tracks, so it's not a very consistent album in my opinion. And although The Universal Migrator Part I: The Dream Sequencer is a great album, it contains a few weaker tracks. My absolute least favourite album is Actual Fantasy, which has more mediocre tracks than great tracks. I have included ratings as well as the best songs (which are my favourites) of each album (3 songs (1-disc album) or 6 songs (2-disc album)), although this was extremely hard for #1 on this list, since I love pretty much every song on that album.

Here are links to the full albums (YouTube):
1. Ayreon - Into The Electric Castle (Part 1) & (Part 2)
2. Ayreon - The Human Equation (Part 1) & (Part 2)
3. Ayreon - 01011001 (Part 1) & (Part 2)
4. Ayreon - The Theory Of Everything
5. Ayreon - The Final Experiment
6. Ayreon - The Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight Of The Migrator
7. Ayreon - The Universal Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer
8. Ayreon - Actual Fantasy

Created by: Erik M. | 29.03.2013



1. Ayreon - Into The Electric Castle
1998 / Rating: 10 / Best songs: Isis & Osiris, Amazing Flight, Time Beyond Time, The Garden Of Emotions, Cosmic Fusion, Another Time, Another Space.
2. Ayreon - The Human Equation
2004 / Rating: 9.5 / Best songs: Day Two: Isolation, Day Five: Voices, Day Twelve: Trauma, Day Fifteen: Betrayal, Day Seventeen: Accident?, Day Twenty: Confrontation.
3. Ayreon - 01011001
2008 / Rating: 9 / Best songs: Age Of Shadows/We Are Forever, Beneath The Waves, The Fifth Extinction, Waking Dreams, Unnatural Selection, The Sixth Extinction.
4. Ayreon - The Theory Of Everything
2013 / Rating: 8.5 / Best songs: Phase I: Singularity, Phase III: Entanglement.
5. Ayreon - The Final Experiment
1995 / Rating: 8.5 / Best songs: The Awareness, The Banishment, Ayreon's Fate.
6. Ayreon - The Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight Of The Migrator
2000 / Rating: 8 / Best songs: Dawn Of A Million Souls, Into The Black Hole, The New Migrator.
7. Ayreon - The Universal Migrator Part I: The Dream Sequencer
2000 / Rating: 8 / Best songs: One Small Step, The Shooting Company Of Captain Frans B. Cocq, And The Druids Turn To Stone.
8. Ayreon - Actual Fantasy
1996 / Rating: 7 / Best songs: Abbey Of Synn, Computer Eyes, Back On Planet Earth.



Disclaimer: All top lists are unofficial and do not represent the point of view of the MS Staff.
[ More lists by Erik M. ]



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Ozman - 30.03.2013 at 18:29  
Let me be te first to comment...

to me all of Ayreon's albums are bad
Rhiannon - 30.03.2013 at 18:47  
To me not. I only heard Into The Electric Castle and 01011001, but really liked them. So I totally agree with the winner of this list
Erik M. - 30.03.2013 at 20:33  
Written by Ozman on 30.03.2013 at 18:29

Let me be te first to comment...

to me all of Ayreon's albums are bad


Hahaha.

That's your opinion, but you haven't listened to all of them, or did you?

I have a feeling you might like my next list more (yeah I know, I'm obsessed with making them, haha)... let me just say it's got something to do with the genre death/doom. The thing is, I want to start off with at least 50 albums on it, so it might be a while before I'll create it, hehe. Feel free to PM me for some essential death/doom records.

Written by Rhiannon on 30.03.2013 at 18:47

To me not. I only heard Into The Electric Castle and 01011001, but really liked them. So I totally agree with the winner of this list


Haha, thanks. You should listen to the others too though, since most of them are great. I only think Actual Fantasy is a pretty mediocre album in comparison, but the 3 best songs that I listed here are definitely great songs, but the others aren't as good in my opinion.
R'Vannith - 31.03.2013 at 06:00  
Yeah Actual Fantasy isn't nearly as good as the others, I haven't heard it in a good while. The first two are on equal footing for me, though the Human Equation was the first Ayreon release I heard so I tend to prefer that one. The Final Experiment would be next in my ranking, "Eyes Of Time" being my favourite Ayreon track.
Of the Universal Migrator ones I like the first one better, though the second one has an interesting vocal lineup.
Ozman - 31.03.2013 at 14:52  
Written by Erik M. on 30.03.2013 at 20:33


Hahaha.

That's your opinion, but you haven't listened to all of them, or did you?



Of course I have listened to all of them, or else I wouldn't be able to say what I did, now, would I?
Erik M. - 01.04.2013 at 16:11  
Written by R'Vannith on 31.03.2013 at 06:00

Yeah Actual Fantasy isn't nearly as good as the others, I haven't heard it in a good while. The first two are on equal footing for me, though the Human Equation was the first Ayreon release I heard so I tend to prefer that one. The Final Experiment would be next in my ranking, "Eyes Of Time" being my favourite Ayreon track.
Of the Universal Migrator ones I like the first one better, though the second one has an interesting vocal lineup.


Yep, Actual Fantasy is by far the worst. Interesting to see that your opinion differs a lot from mine. To be honest, I think Disc II of The Human Equation (THE) is much better than the first, so that's why I can never put it at #1. THE has some seriously annoying parts in a few songs, like the ending of Day Eleven, I totally hate that kind of thing (Arjen tends to do that on more songs). Same goes for 01011001... Web of Lies? What a crappy song with dumb lyrics is that anyway? However, since those long epic tracks are amazing, I still think the album is great overall, with again Disc II being superior to the first one. That being said, on Into The Electric Castle (ItEC), there's not a single song I don't like at all, they're all great and I couldn't even choose which disc is better. After ItEC I think The Universal Migrator Part II is a very consistent album, maybe even the most consistent Ayreon album of them all, since I like pretty much every track equally. On The Universal Migrator Part I I especially dislike 3 songs: Dragon on the Sea, Temple of the Cat and Carried by the Wind. I must admit I usually skip those, but the other songs are all great. Because of those three songs I put it so low on the list or else it would be at least at #4 I think.

THE was my first Ayreon album too by the way... I bought it when it came out after seeing the video "Loser" on tv, haha.

Written by Ozman on 31.03.2013 at 14:52

Of course I have listened to all of them, or else I wouldn't be able to say what I did, now, would I?


Fair enough, but why would you keep listening to them if you didn't like anything you've heard? Would you give his new album (The Theory of Everything) a chance or are you going to ignore it?
Ozman - 01.04.2013 at 16:16  
Written by Erik M. on 01.04.2013 at 16:11



Fair enough, but why would you keep listening to them if you didn't like anything you've heard? Would you give his new album (The Theory of Everything) a chance or are you going to ignore it?


Of course I will listen to it, maybe Arjen might surprise with a good album for a change.
Erik M. - 01.04.2013 at 16:20  
Written by Ozman on 01.04.2013 at 16:16

Of course I will listen to it, maybe Arjen might surprise with a good album for a change.


Haha, okay then. Well, it just might not be your kind of music... I don't think he'll surprise you seeing as you don't like anything he made so far.
Ozman - 01.04.2013 at 16:22  
Written by Erik M. on 01.04.2013 at 16:20

...seeing as you don't like anything he made so far.


Not entirely true, because I really enjoy Arabia by Vengeance where he wrote most of the music for and I also enjoy what he did with Bodine.
Erik M. - 01.04.2013 at 16:26  
Written by Ozman on 01.04.2013 at 16:22

Not entirely true, because I really enjoy Arabia by Vengeance where he wrote most of the music for and I also enjoy what he did with Bodine.


I actually meant anything he made with Ayreon. I never heard anything of those bands, though maybe I should check them out.
Dark†SymphonY - 01.04.2013 at 21:26  
Not really a big Ayreon fan, but I have listened to some of their albums like The Human Equation and 01011001 and I agree that they are excellent albums. Haven't listened to The Electric Castle, so it will be on my 'listen to' list and I will also listen to the rest sometime too. I like that you have recommended songs too.
Erik M. - 01.04.2013 at 21:43  
Written by Dark†SymphonY on 01.04.2013 at 21:26

Not really a big Ayreon fan, but I have listened to some of their albums like The Human Equation and 01011001 and I agree that they are excellent albums. Haven't listened to The Electric Castle, so it will be on my 'listen to' list and I will also listen to the rest sometime too. I like that you have recommended songs too.


Yeah I agree. Most people prefer The Human Equation over Into The Electric Castle... why? I don't know, maybe because THE has by far the best story (which you can understand by just listening to the lyrics) out of all Ayreon releases. However, ignoring the story, I think ItEC is better musically (THE has a couple of very short songs that aren't really great if you listen to them seperately) and I overall like the theme a lot more. As far as the guest musicians go, I think THE might be superior as well, but only slightly. The bottom line for me is that THE has a few songs that I don't like a lot, as well as the first disc being inferior to the second disc, while both discs of ItEC are just plain excellent and I couldn't really choose a favourite of the two, let alone choose my ultimate favourite songs, apart from Isis & Osiris, probably. Anyway, have fun listening to it and let me know your verdict.
strade - 02.04.2013 at 06:58  
Good list. The Human Equation is by far my favorite, and one of the first metal albums I ever loved.
Erik M. - 02.04.2013 at 21:02  
Written by strade on 02.04.2013 at 06:58

Good list. The Human Equation is by far my favorite, and one of the first metal albums I ever loved.


Thanks. Have you heard every Ayreon album? I explained why The Human Equation isn't at #1 for me, but that doesn't mean I don't think it's an amazing album. I just enjoy Into The Electric Castle more overall.
R'Vannith - 03.04.2013 at 15:04  
I'd go so far as to say THE is the greatest concept album ever. I mean Electric Castle has a great concept too but doesn't come as close to nailing it like THE does. Well they all have great themes really and they're all linked in some way.

THE is more eclectic in sound for me, which is why I prefer the first half of it as I'd say it is a bit more diverse than the second, though it's all fantastic! Electric Castle is the best if you're after that "spacey" Ayreon sound I think, it really is perfected on that album. It is a "Space Opera" after all.

You don't like Temple of the Cat!? That's a great one I think. You know I think I'd be hard pressed to actually pick an Ayreon track I dislike.
Erik M. - 03.04.2013 at 22:29  
Written by R'Vannith on 03.04.2013 at 15:04

I'd go so far as to say THE is the greatest concept album ever. I mean Electric Castle has a great concept too but doesn't come as close to nailing it like THE does. Well they all have great themes really and they're all linked in some way.

THE is more eclectic in sound for me, which is why I prefer the first half of it as I'd say it is a bit more diverse than the second, though it's all fantastic! Electric Castle is the best if you're after that "spacey" Ayreon sound I think, it really is perfected on that album. It is a "Space Opera" after all.

You don't like Temple of the Cat!? That's a great one I think. You know I think I'd be hard pressed to actually pick an Ayreon track I dislike.


THE the greatest concept album ever? You know what, I agree. That being said, I still enjoy ItEC more overall, and that's what music is all about, isn't it? THE has just the best damn story I ever heard on an album... which isn't that strange considering most albums don't even have a story. I do feel ItEC is a little less coherent, if you know what I mean. The downside to a concept album like THE is that you (well, I) don't really enjoy the songs seperately (this especially is true a couple of short songs on the first disc) a lot and you really have to listen to both discs at one time to fully appreciate it. Sure, this is also true for ItEC, but in a far less extreme sense, as I enjoy pretty much every song when I listen to them at random.

Interesting you prefer the first disc while I definitely prefer the second disc. And yeah, ItEC is indeed the perfect Ayreon style album, being incredibly superior in that style to everything except for THE, which is pretty different from the rest with its theme.

Well, I do like The Temple of the Cat, as in that it's a decent song, but far from great in my opinion. I think everything from The Universal Migrator Part 1 is amazing, except for those three songs (which I mentioned) and that's why I put it so low on the list. The whole atmosphere is great on that album, a lot better than The Universal Migrator Part 2, but since that one is very consistent I overall prefer that one, but not by much. To be honest, albums #4-#6 on this list are very close to eachother and I could just as well switch them... I only know the top 3 is like it should be for me, as well as Actual Fantasy being dead last, where it belongs.

As for Ayreon tracks I dislike, the only ones I really dislike are on Actual Fantasy.
Dark†SymphonY - 04.04.2013 at 21:18  
Written by Erik M. on 01.04.2013 at 21:43

Written by Dark†SymphonY on 01.04.2013 at 21:26

Not really a big Ayreon fan, but I have listened to some of their albums like The Human Equation and 01011001 and I agree that they are excellent albums. Haven't listened to The Electric Castle, so it will be on my 'listen to' list and I will also listen to the rest sometime too. I like that you have recommended songs too.


Yeah I agree. Most people prefer The Human Equation over Into The Electric Castle... why? I don't know, maybe because THE has by far the best story (which you can understand by just listening to the lyrics) out of all Ayreon releases. However, ignoring the story, I think ItEC is better musically (THE has a couple of very short songs that aren't really great if you listen to them seperately) and I overall like the theme a lot more. As far as the guest musicians go, I think THE might be superior as well, but only slightly. The bottom line for me is that THE has a few songs that I don't like a lot, as well as the first disc being inferior to the second disc, while both discs of ItEC are just plain excellent and I couldn't really choose a favourite of the two, let alone choose my ultimate favourite songs, apart from Isis & Osiris, probably. Anyway, have fun listening to it and let me know your verdict.


Just listened to the album 'Into the Electric Castle' and I am really liked it alot. Lots of great musical elements and different vocalists too. A few songs did get my attention like 'Isis and Osiris and 'The Garden of Emotions'. I couldn't say that its the best one overall as I've listen to 'The Human Equation' too and I couldn't which is better. I really get put off when it comes to extremely long albums like Ayreon's, but their albums are definitely worth listening to all the way through.
Erik M. - 04.04.2013 at 21:32  
Written by Dark†SymphonY on 04.04.2013 at 21:18

Just listened to the album 'Into the Electric Castle' and I am really liked it alot. Lots of great musical elements and different vocalists too. A few songs did get my attention like 'Isis and Osiris and 'The Garden of Emotions'. I couldn't say that its the best one overall as I've listen to 'The Human Equation' too and I couldn't which is better. I really get put off when it comes to extremely long albums like Ayreon's, but their albums are definitely worth listening to all the way through.


First of all, I really need more than one listen to fully grasp pretty much every album, though in the case of Ayreon this is even more true, since a few of his albums are twice the length of a normal-length album. And yep, Isis & Osiris and The Garden of Emotions are among my favourite tracks of the album, definitely great songs. Obviously I agree that The Human Equation is a better concept album, but like I said, it doesn't mean it's therefore a better album. I see what you mean about extremely long albums, but I don't really have that "problem" to be honest. You can also listen to it in two parts, although that's not how it was meant to be I think, since both discs belong together (especially in the case of The Human Equation).

I might add ratings to this list, how about that? THE and ItEC are not really far off anyway, in terms of quality.
3rdWorld - 06.04.2013 at 05:33  
Recently been heavily into Arjen's projects, of his Ayreon albums, I've only heard The Human Equation which is an epic of epics. The guy has really a signature style composition and easily stands out from the rest of the prog world. Guilt Machine was really incredible and his solo outing last year, Lost in the new real was my most listened-to album of last year. I really love his bombastic style and heavily synthesizer filled compositions which is best seen on his album.
Erik M. - 06.04.2013 at 16:57  
Written by 3rdWorld on 06.04.2013 at 05:33

Recently been heavily into Arjen's projects, of his Ayreon albums, I've only heard The Human Equation which is an epic of epics. The guy has really a signature style composition and easily stands out from the rest of the prog world. Guilt Machine was really incredible and his solo outing last year, Lost in the new real was my most listened-to album of last year. I really love his bombastic style and heavily synthesizer filled compositions which is best seen on his album.


The Human Equation (THE) seems to be the most popular album by Ayreon, but it's actually the only Ayreon album that doesn't feature the standard Ayreon theme: space (simply put). Every album except for THE has some kind of spacey theme and feeling, so it's quite different from the rest. By the way, thanks for reminding me of Guilt Machine, since I've been meaning to check that album out for a while now, as I've heard good things about it. Haven't heard Lost in the New Real, but since I'm not too fond of progressive rock (in general) I'm not sure if I'll like it or not. As you can see in this list, I think Into The Electric Castle is Arjen's best work. Be sure to check out that one, and thanks for the +1.
3rdWorld - 06.04.2013 at 21:21  
Written by Erik M. on 06.04.2013 at 16:57

By the way, thanks for reminding me of Guilt Machine, since I've been meaning to check that album out for a while now, as I've heard good things about it. Haven't heard Lost in the New Real, but since I'm not too fond of progressive rock (in general) I'm not sure if I'll like it or not. As you can see in this list, I think Into The Electric Castle is Arjen's best work. Be sure to check out that one, and thanks for the +1.


Lost in the New Real is a testament to the fact that Arjen hasn't lost his touch even little. If u liked Ayreon, u r surely gonna love GM also. But there is really something abt Lost In the New real that makes it so addictable for me, one thing may be that i find it to be the most well-produced and heavily synthizer filled album of his.
Benjamin - 07.04.2013 at 14:18  
The Human Equation is better than Into The Electric Castle.
I think the concept, lyrics, guest vocalists and production are all slightly better on The Human Equation, therefore making the best Ayreon album. So far...

As for the other albums, its hard to separate them. I don't think Actual Fantasy deserves to be last. Even though some of my favourite vocalists (Simone and Jonas) appear on the album I think 01011001 might be last in my rankings.
Erik M. - 07.04.2013 at 17:04  
Written by 3rdWorld on 06.04.2013 at 21:21

Lost in the New Real is a testament to the fact that Arjen hasn't lost his touch even little. If u liked Ayreon, u r surely gonna love GM also. But there is really something abt Lost In the New real that makes it so addictable for me, one thing may be that i find it to be the most well-produced and heavily synthizer filled album of his.


Interesting, I might check that album out anyway. However, I watched that music video (Pink Beatles in a Purple Zeppelin) and honestly I think it's a really bad song and not something I like at all, hence why I never wanted to bother with Lost in the New Real. I'm listening to Guilt Machine - On This Perfect Day right now and I like it a lot so far, so thanks again for suggesting it.


Written by Benjamin on 07.04.2013 at 14:18

The Human Equation is better than Into The Electric Castle.
I think the concept, lyrics, guest vocalists and production are all slightly better on The Human Equation, therefore making the best Ayreon album. So far...

As for the other albums, its hard to separate them. I don't think Actual Fantasy deserves to be last. Even though some of my favourite vocalists (Simone and Jonas) appear on the album I think 01011001 might be last in my rankings.


You're right, The Human Equation is indeed the best concept album, but I don't think it's the better album overall. The spacey feeling, theme and great diversity of songs on Into The Electric Castle make that album the perfect and ultimate Ayreon album for me. I could even go as far as rating the discs seperately to make a point... the first disc of The Human Equation would be a 9 for me, while the second disc would be a 10. In other words, I enjoy the second disc more and the songs are just better for me, although the first disc does have more diversity. As for Actual Fantasy, it only contains three really great tracks, while the others are still not bad, but in comparison rather boring for me, so overall it's a kind of dull album. 01011001 is not an extremely consistent album, but it does contain way more excellent tracks than Actual Fantasy. I cannot understand at all why anyone would think Actual Fantasy is superior to 01011001, but it's your opinion.
Rhiannon - 12.05.2013 at 15:39  
Now that I listened to all of them (I admit, it was a little stupid of me to comment earlier, when I only heard two ), I more or less agree with the list. The first 2 are my favorites too, but I would put Universal Migrator Part I to the 3rd place, that album really amazed me with its dreamy atmosphere and great vocals, much better than the 2nd part imo (that just seems like a Star One prototype ). And The Shooting Company Of Captain Frans B. Cocq really was one of the highlights of the album, that song got stuck in my head for days First I though it was Arjen singing, that guy has a very similar voice to him, but better
And I agree with Actual Fantasy being the last, I didn't really like that either.
Erik M. - 13.05.2013 at 17:10  
Written by Rhiannon on 12.05.2013 at 15:39

Now that I listened to all of them (I admit, it was a little stupid of me to comment earlier, when I only heard two ), I more or less agree with the list. The first 2 are my favorites too, but I would put Universal Migrator Part I to the 3rd place, that album really amazed me with its dreamy atmosphere and great vocals, much better than the 2nd part imo (that just seems like a Star One prototype ). And The Shooting Company Of Captain Frans B. Cocq really was one of the highlights of the album, that song got stuck in my head for days First I though it was Arjen singing, that guy has a very similar voice to him, but better
And I agree with Actual Fantasy being the last, I didn't really like that either.


Don't worry about it. I also think part 1 of The Universal Migrator is great, but I don't like a few tracks (tracks #7-#9) which is why it's so low on the list. If not for those tracks, it would've been at least at #4 on the list I think, because the album indeed has a very good atmosphere and it's a bit more unique than part 2 of The Universal Migrator. And yeah, The Shooting Company of Captain Frans B. Cocq is one of my favourites as well, great song for sure. Most people actually think Arjen has a good voice, although the guest musicians are pretty much always better than him. Actual Fantasy was great at first for me, but I quickly grew bored of it for some reason. Only a few tracks on that album I can still enjoy now (mainly the three I added as my favourites here).
Opethian - 17.06.2013 at 00:35  
I love Ayreon and for the troll who claims that Arjen hasn't made anything worth listening to but likes to hand out his opinion like its a valid one is a fucking joke

1. Into The Electric Castle
2. The Human Equation
3. 01011001
4. Actual Fantasy
5. The Universal Migrator Pt. 2
6. The Final Experiment
7. The Universal Migrator Pt. 1 (The album has some good tracks, but overall its his least inspiring work IMO)
Erik M. - 17.06.2013 at 15:25  
Written by Opethian on 17.06.2013 at 00:35

I love Ayreon and for the troll who claims that Arjen hasn't made anything worth listening to but likes to hand out his opinion like its a valid one is a fucking joke

1. Into The Electric Castle
2. The Human Equation
3. 01011001
4. Actual Fantasy
5. The Universal Migrator Pt. 2
6. The Final Experiment
7. The Universal Migrator Pt. 1 (The album has some good tracks, but overall its his least inspiring work IMO)


That would be Marcel... it's his opinion, but I totally disagree with him (obviously). Ayreon might not be for everyone, but it's a FACT he does quite a few things extremely well. For example, there is no metal band that has a better story (lyrics, themes and characters) in their albums in my opinion. As far as concept albums go, Ayreon is easily #1 for me, just look at The Human Equation and Into The Electric Castle, totally awesome concept albums with numerous interesting characters. Also, when it comes to variety in the music, very few bands come close. Glad to finally see someone who also thinks ItEC is the best Ayreon album, instead of the cliché THE. And while I do care about getting thumbs up, I'm not going to adjust my opinion to get them. Because if I would've had THE at #1, I'd have gotten way more thumbs up... just look at the comments here.

Anyway, it's too bad we disagree on Actual Fantasy, because otherwise we would have almost the exact same ranking, since at least our top 3 is identical. As for The Universal Migrator pt. 1, opinions really differ on that album for some reason. I think every track except for #6-8 is excellent. Those three tracks are pretty bad in comparison to the others and if they were just as good I'd probably have this album at #4 on this list.
Opethian - 17.06.2013 at 19:57  
Written by Erik M. on 17.06.2013 at 15:25

Written by Opethian on 17.06.2013 at 00:35

I love Ayreon and for the troll who claims that Arjen hasn't made anything worth listening to but likes to hand out his opinion like its a valid one is a fucking joke

1. Into The Electric Castle
2. The Human Equation
3. 01011001
4. Actual Fantasy
5. The Universal Migrator Pt. 2
6. The Final Experiment
7. The Universal Migrator Pt. 1 (The album has some good tracks, but overall its his least inspiring work IMO)


That would be Marcel... it's his opinion, but I totally disagree with him (obviously). Ayreon might not be for everyone, but it's a FACT he does quite a few things extremely well. For example, there is no metal band that has a better story (lyrics, themes and characters) in their albums in my opinion. As far as concept albums go, Ayreon is easily #1 for me, just look at The Human Equation and Into The Electric Castle, totally awesome concept albums with numerous interesting characters. Also, when it comes to variety in the music, very few bands come close. Glad to finally see someone who also thinks ItEC is the best Ayreon album, instead of the cliché THE. And while I do care about getting thumbs up, I'm not going to adjust my opinion to get them. Because if I would've had THE at #1, I'd have gotten way more thumbs up... just look at the comments here.

Anyway, it's too bad we disagree on Actual Fantasy, because otherwise we would have almost the exact same ranking, since at least our top 3 is identical. As for The Universal Migrator pt. 1, opinions really differ on that album for some reason. I think every track except for #6-8 is excellent. Those three tracks are pretty bad in comparison to the others and if they were just as good I'd probably have this album at #4 on this list.


As far as i am concerned, Arjen is a Prog Guru! There is an insane level of creativity and passion in his music that if it doesn't inspire you then there is something wrong with you! lol. I can't wait for the new Ayreon album i know that Arjen is going to give it his all and deliver my Album of the Year
Erik M. - 18.06.2013 at 23:44  
Written by Opethian on 17.06.2013 at 19:57

As far as i am concerned, Arjen is a Prog Guru! There is an insane level of creativity and passion in his music that if it doesn't inspire you then there is something wrong with you! lol. I can't wait for the new Ayreon album i know that Arjen is going to give it his all and deliver my Album of the Year


I'm not into progressive metal like you, but I agree about what you say about Arjen. Although since the music is bombastic and sometimes cheesy I can definitely understand that not everyone likes it, but calling it bad is just ridiculous. I'm also eagerly awaiting the next album, but I'm pretty sure it won't be album of the year, because I don't think it's possible for it to be even better than Summoning - Old Mornings Dawn (which is by far the best album of 2013 for me).

Anyway, thanks for the +1.
Opethian - 19.06.2013 at 03:42  
Written by Erik M. on 18.06.2013 at 23:44

Written by Opethian on 17.06.2013 at 19:57

As far as i am concerned, Arjen is a Prog Guru! There is an insane level of creativity and passion in his music that if it doesn't inspire you then there is something wrong with you! lol. I can't wait for the new Ayreon album i know that Arjen is going to give it his all and deliver my Album of the Year


I'm not into progressive metal like you, but I agree about what you say about Arjen. Although since the music is bombastic and sometimes cheesy I can definitely understand that not everyone likes it, but calling it bad is just ridiculous. I'm also eagerly awaiting the next album, but I'm pretty sure it won't be album of the year, because I don't think it's possible for it to be even better than Summoning - Old Mornings Dawn (which is by far the best album of 2013 for me).

Anyway, thanks for the +1.


yeah dude, no problem.
Angel_Lament - 25.07.2013 at 12:39  
My exact same thoughts on Ayreon albums, although I would shift places between the two Universal Migrator albums, the "My House on Mars" duet between Floor and Johan is one of my fav songs ever, plus I would add Liquid Eternity and Ride The Comet to 01011001's best songs
Nevertheless, awesome list
Erik M. - 01.08.2013 at 01:02  
Written by Angel_Lament on 25.07.2013 at 12:39

My exact same thoughts on Ayreon albums, although I would shift places between the two Universal Migrator albums, the "My House on Mars" duet between Floor and Johan is one of my fav songs ever, plus I would add Liquid Eternity and Ride The Comet to 01011001's best songs
Nevertheless, awesome list


Thanks! I also kind of forgot about your comment until just now.

Anyway, the reason I have the first part of The Universal Migrator that low is because I don't like songs #6-8 all that much (I even usually skip those). The other songs are all excellent, but I have to rate the album as a whole so hence why it's "only" an 8. If it weren't for those three songs this album would easily been an 8.5 if not a 9. The second Universal Migrator album has less stand-out tracks, but is overall more consistent in my opinion. Lastly, I only add 3 songs per album (6 if it's a double-disc album) as my favourites and while the ones you mention are indeed great, they aren't better than the ones I mentioned here.
YoreLore - 08.09.2013 at 14:35  
1 - Into the Electric Castle
2 - Universal Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer
3 - 01011001
4 - Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator
5 - Actual Fantasy
6 - The Final Experiment
7 - The Human Equation

I used to put Dream Sequencer as number 1 but I think Electric Castle is flawless while Dream has the awful "Temple of the Cat". I think the rest of the tracks on Dream Sequencer are fantastic though. 01011001 is brilliant but I really dislike some of the vocalists on show; Tom S. Englund, Jonas Renkse (painfully boring vocals on this album), Jørn Lande (fed up of this guy) and one or two of the female vocalists. Flight of the Migrator has a great lineup, a couple of the tracks could maybe be cut by 1 or 2 minutes and that's coming from someone who loves long songs. A few of the tracks don't stand out so that's why it's lower. Actual Fantasy is a tiny bit better than Final Experiment as it has Abbey of Synn and one of my favourite Ayreon tracks - Computer Eyes. Lastly I have put in most peoples favourite - The Human Equation. It's an album I have listened to about a dozen times but just can't get into it. I really don't like a lot of the vocalists and really can't stand Devin Townsend. The lyrics are fantastic and the songs are well made but I would place every single album over this one in terms of my own enjoyment.
3rdWorld - 21.09.2013 at 14:47  
I could swear that Day11:Love and Day16:Loser are among the best of THE.
Erik M. - 22.09.2013 at 21:40  
Written by YoreLore on 08.09.2013 at 14:35

1 - Into the Electric Castle
2 - Universal Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer
3 - 01011001
4 - Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator
5 - Actual Fantasy
6 - The Final Experiment
7 - The Human Equation

I used to put Dream Sequencer as number 1 but I think Electric Castle is flawless while Dream has the awful "Temple of the Cat". I think the rest of the tracks on Dream Sequencer are fantastic though. 01011001 is brilliant but I really dislike some of the vocalists on show; Tom S. Englund, Jonas Renkse (painfully boring vocals on this album), Jørn Lande (fed up of this guy) and one or two of the female vocalists. Flight of the Migrator has a great lineup, a couple of the tracks could maybe be cut by 1 or 2 minutes and that's coming from someone who loves long songs. A few of the tracks don't stand out so that's why it's lower. Actual Fantasy is a tiny bit better than Final Experiment as it has Abbey of Synn and one of my favourite Ayreon tracks - Computer Eyes. Lastly I have put in most peoples favourite - The Human Equation. It's an album I have listened to about a dozen times but just can't get into it. I really don't like a lot of the vocalists and really can't stand Devin Townsend. The lyrics are fantastic and the songs are well made but I would place every single album over this one in terms of my own enjoyment.


That's an interesting ranking, especially because you have many people's favourite ranked as dead last. Of course I totally disagree with The Universal Migrator Part 1 so high. Not only Temple of the Cat is annoying, but also Dragon on the Sea and Carried By the Wind. If it weren't for those 3 songs, I'd have it at #4 or even #3, beating 01011001 (which also has a couple totally annoying songs, like Web of Lies (probably the worst Ayreon song ever) and Connect the Dots). I totally agree with you about Abbey of Synn and Computer Eyes, which are easily the two best tracks on Actual Fantasy. Sadly, 2 out of 9 being excellent isn't enough for me to rank it anywhere but dead last. Not saying the other songs are bad, but mostly underwhelming or just decent. About The Human Equation... well, I think it's a little overrated despite the fact that it's an excellent concept album. Most songs I like a lot, but some songs are just (again) a bit annoying. In the end it's indeed mainly personal preference.
Erik M. - 22.09.2013 at 21:44  
Written by 3rdWorld on 21.09.2013 at 14:47

I could swear that Day11:Love and Day16:Loser are among the best of THE.


Favourite songs are all subjective of course. However, Day 11: Love is actually among my least favourites. Mainly because of the horrible outro, which Arjen doesn't seem to hear since he's done it multiple times (like the outro of Star One - The Eye of Ra, to name another example). Day 16: Loser however is indeed one of the best tracks on the 2nd disc, but just didn't make it as one of the best (favourite) songs I added to this list.
3rdWorld - 30.10.2013 at 23:05  
Where would The Theory Of Everything fit in the rest of their discog? Please provide your opinion from your golden pedestal of Ayreon/Arjen enlightment.
Erik M. - 30.10.2013 at 23:15  
Written by 3rdWorld on 30.10.2013 at 23:05

Where would The Theory Of Everything fit in the rest of their discog? Please provide your opinion from your golden pedestal of Ayreon/Arjen enlightment.


I'll have to disappoint you now, as I have only spinned the album once and seeing as it's such a massive album I honestly don't have a clue where I'd put it as of now.

Having so little free time now that I have a job and all makes it even worse. However, expect the album to be added next week, probably. Will need to spin it at least 5 times and maybe even more to decide where it'll belong on this list. I have a feeling it won't beat Into the Electric Castle and it will easily beat Actual Fantasy. Can't give you more than that right now.
3rdWorld - 30.10.2013 at 23:18  
I would be waiting for your opinion then as I absolutely have no time to backcatalog all the 6 albums other than THE.
Erik M. - 14.11.2013 at 22:59  
Added The Theory of Everything. Overall I like it a bit less than 01011001. Many might disagree but I feel the new album feels less energetic and inspired. It has some awesome parts (The Argument 2 comes to mind, what a fucking song, even though extremely short but follows up The Lighthouse very nicely) but also very annoying/cheesy parts (for example, The Visitation is in my opinion so cheesy it's just horrible). Right now I have listened to it 7 or maybe 8 times and feel I know the album well enough to include it here. Keep in mind my opinion might change and it could enter the top 3. However, it will probably never beat ItEC or THE for me.
Creativinity - 19.03.2014 at 18:54  
What am I missing? Although I LIKE all Ayreon songs, I don't LOVE the albums everybody loves. I'll get some flack for this:

1. 01011001 - (HOW DO YOU EVEN CHOOSE? Jorn & Floor duet? I will listen to Liquid Eternity & The Sixth Extinction the rest of my life)
2. UM II: Flight of the Migrator - (EVERY SONG, MY GOD!)
3. Actual Fantasy - (Abbey of Synn, Computer Eyes [of course!], Beyond the Last Horizon, Back on Planet Earth)
4. UM I: Dream Sequencer - (My House on Mars, One Small Step, The Shooting Company, Carried by the Wind, And the Druids)
5. The Human Equation - (Day Three: Pain, Day Seven: Hope, Day Eleven: Love, Day Sixteen: Loser)
6. Into the Electric Castle - (Amazing Flight, The Decision Tree, The Garden of Emotions, The Castle Hall)
7. The Theory of Everything - (The Theory of Everything I, Alive, Mirror of Dreams)
Erik M. - 22.03.2014 at 00:54  
Written by Creativinity on 19.03.2014 at 18:54

What am I missing? Although I LIKE all Ayreon songs, I don't LOVE the albums everybody loves. I'll get some flack for this:

1. 01011001 - (HOW DO YOU EVEN CHOOSE? Jorn & Floor duet? I will listen to Liquid Eternity & The Sixth Extinction the rest of my life)
2. UM II: Flight of the Migrator - (EVERY SONG, MY GOD!)
3. Actual Fantasy - (Abbey of Synn, Computer Eyes [of course!], Beyond the Last Horizon, Back on Planet Earth)
4. UM I: Dream Sequencer - (My House on Mars, One Small Step, The Shooting Company, Carried by the Wind, And the Druids)
5. The Human Equation - (Day Three: Pain, Day Seven: Hope, Day Eleven: Love, Day Sixteen: Loser)
6. Into the Electric Castle - (Amazing Flight, The Decision Tree, The Garden of Emotions, The Castle Hall)
7. The Theory of Everything - (The Theory of Everything I, Alive, Mirror of Dreams)


That's a pretty unusual, yet interesting list. It's safe to say our opinions differ greatly on this, especially you having ItEC and THE at/near the bottom of the list, and Actual Fantasy so high. I do agree UM II is extremely consistent (much more than UM I, because I dislike 3 songs of that album) but still wouldn't rank it that high. 01011001 is awesome but it suffers from a few weak songs, mainly Connect the Dots (funny and silly lyrics though) and especially Web of Lies, hands down the worst Ayreon song for me. Most of the other songs are epic as fuck though, especially the long songs. Now that I think about it, 01011001 might deserve the #2 spot, but I'll have to spin it (and THE) again to decide. ItEC will probably always be #1 for me.
Creativinity - 23.03.2014 at 06:45  
Written by Erik M. on 22.03.2014 at 00:54

Written by Creativinity on 19.03.2014 at 18:54

What am I missing? Although I LIKE all Ayreon songs, I don't LOVE the albums everybody loves. I'll get some flack for this:

1. 01011001 - (HOW DO YOU EVEN CHOOSE? Jorn & Floor duet? I will listen to Liquid Eternity & The Sixth Extinction the rest of my life)
2. UM II: Flight of the Migrator - (EVERY SONG, MY GOD!)
3. Actual Fantasy - (Abbey of Synn, Computer Eyes [of course!], Beyond the Last Horizon, Back on Planet Earth)
4. UM I: Dream Sequencer - (My House on Mars, One Small Step, The Shooting Company, Carried by the Wind, And the Druids)
5. The Human Equation - (Day Three: Pain, Day Seven: Hope, Day Eleven: Love, Day Sixteen: Loser)
6. Into the Electric Castle - (Amazing Flight, The Decision Tree, The Garden of Emotions, The Castle Hall)
7. The Theory of Everything - (The Theory of Everything I, Alive, Mirror of Dreams)


That's a pretty unusual, yet interesting list. It's safe to say our opinions differ greatly on this, especially you having ItEC and THE at/near the bottom of the list, and Actual Fantasy so high. I do agree UM II is extremely consistent (much more than UM I, because I dislike 3 songs of that album) but still wouldn't rank it that high. 01011001 is awesome but it suffers from a few weak songs, mainly Connect the Dots (funny and silly lyrics though) and especially Web of Lies, hands down the worst Ayreon song for me. Most of the other songs are epic as fuck though, especially the long songs. Now that I think about it, 01011001 might deserve the #2 spot, but I'll have to spin it (and THE) again to decide. ItEC will probably always be #1 for me.


Oh, definitely, 01011001 has probably the worst songs Ayreon has ever made, but those are easily skippable. And more importantly, it has the best songs Ayreon has ever produced, IMO. I've played Into the Electric Castle probably over 30 times, and while Amazing Flight's instrumental piece at the end is gorgeous, I feel the album doesn't captivate me like the other albums. I can imagine the story while I'm listening to it, but I'm not TAKEN there. With 01011001, Actual Fantasy, UM I & UM II, Arjen takes me to those places described.

I love how in Metal Storm there are more mature people than on other forums. You state your opinion and not everyone tries to stone you for voicing it. Kewlness.
Constantine - 28.03.2014 at 15:22  
The Human Equation is my favorite so far, a 9.5 from me too. But Crimson is the best concept album ever probably along with Metropolis 2: Scenes from a Memory.
Erik M. - 29.03.2014 at 00:35  
Written by Creativinity on 23.03.2014 at 06:45

I love how in Metal Storm there are more mature people than on other forums. You state your opinion and not everyone tries to stone you for voicing it. Kewlness.


Well, especially in these kind of lists it's pretty much the goal to discuss other people's opinions, so it doesn't happen often that I bash someone's opinion here. In other places that might happen though.
Erik M. - 29.03.2014 at 00:37  
Written by Guest on 28.03.2014 at 15:22

The Human Equation is my favorite so far, a 9.5 from me too. But Crimson is the best concept album ever probably along with Metropolis 2: Scenes from a Memory.


I think I agree with that, yes. Crimson is a brilliant album without a doubt and my favourite death metal album... along with Nocturnus - The Key. Haven't heard that DT album and doubt I ever will (I don't find DT an interesting band at all).

Thanks for the +1 by the way. Now go and listen to Into the Electric Castle.
YoreLore - 19.04.2014 at 19:34  
Written by Erik M. on 22.09.2013 at 21:40

That's an interesting ranking, especially because you have many people's favourite ranked as dead last. Of course I totally disagree with The Universal Migrator Part 1 so high. Not only Temple of the Cat is annoying, but also Dragon on the Sea and Carried By the Wind. If it weren't for those 3 songs, I'd have it at #4 or even #3, beating 01011001 (which also has a couple totally annoying songs, like Web of Lies (probably the worst Ayreon song ever) and Connect the Dots). I totally agree with you about Abbey of Synn and Computer Eyes, which are easily the two best tracks on Actual Fantasy. Sadly, 2 out of 9 being excellent isn't enough for me to rank it anywhere but dead last. Not saying the other songs are bad, but mostly underwhelming or just decent. About The Human Equation... well, I think it's a little overrated despite the fact that it's an excellent concept album. Most songs I like a lot, but some songs are just (again) a bit annoying. In the end it's indeed mainly personal preference.


As I say, I just can't get into The Human Equation. I can definitely tell why people love it and it is a fantastic concept but after so many listens it just hasn't clicked me with. No option to put it anywhere else but bottom. Well I do like those songs from Dream Sequencer, again I can see why some people may not like it as much. I suppose I really like it when Arjen just goes into prog rock mode. You are spot on about 01, those songs are pretty annoying and I feel that certain other tracks are ruined by some really annoying vocalists. I would probably like 01 more if it had some better vocalist choices. When it comes to Actual Fantasy, I mentioned those 2 songs but do like the rest, Back on Planet Earth and Farside of the World are great in my opinion. How do you feel about the latest effort? I think it would go straight into 3rd place for me. I probably can't move Dream Sequencer due to sheer nostalgia and I still think Electric Castle is the masterpiece. Theory of Everything definitely impressed me big time though.

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