And then there were sixteen. The next phase of the Arsies starts today, and Ayreon continue their winning streak with the coin toss. Prescient, that.
It must be said that The Source is not the easiest album to get behind. It's a double album, filled with science fiction tropes and musical cameos to the point of distraction. But what else would one expect from Ayreon, a musical project dedicated to creating sci-fi metal operas? Within that context, this album is perfectly theatrical and arch. It's also unapologetically European in its metal leanings, although thanks to Arjen Anthony Lucassen's vision, that winds up being a pretty diverse sonic palette. And after an hour and a half of the Ayreon, Ufomammut does not stand up to comparison very well; the same songs that before felt triumphant and intoxicating now feel thin and flat, two things I never thought I'd say about Ufomammut. Ayreon surprise me yet again, and move on to the Quarterfinals.
Tomorrow, APMD and He Is Legend go mano a mano.