Review: Ayreon – Universal Migrator, Pt. I & 2 (2022 Remixed & Remastered)
Music Theory Recordings (November 18th, 2022)
Reviewer: David Mark Pearce
This was the first Ayreon album I ever heard if I recall, and what an album to start with as my introduction to Arjen Lucassen‘s music. This album has been a massive influence on me especially at the beginning of when I joined Oliver Wakeman’s band. The soloing style rubbed off on me a lot. Always a delicate balance to be influenced by something and downright copy it.
Anyway you’re not here to read about that, but instead my review of how this album sounds, being that it’s a remix and remaster. It can be a tricky thing to get right because in one way you want to make it all seem shiny new and fix anything you didn’t feel was right or could’ve been done better on the original whilst still trying to have it sound like the original but better. Same but different as my Mrs would say. A good example of this remix procedure is Purple Rain by Prince which I really don’t like. It was given the full whitewash treatment and a lot of subtleties were either mixed down or removed altogether, hence why I rarely listen to that version.
So did they achieve brilliance with this or not? Well yes and no. Firstly it sounds great and it’s been brought right up to date but I feel because it’s been remixed then things are a little different here and there. A few times I feel some of the female vocals get a little lost and some of the more whooshy keyboards don’t now put the same shiver done my spine as they once did.
But I have a choice, where in the future I can either put this on, or the original, and I dare say I will get the same pleasure out of both of them, especially when it’s cranked up. It’s a brilliant album regardless of what mix you listen to and you’ll do yourself a massive favour listening to either!!!