Best Songs from Ayreon's Into the Electric Castle

kempokid
Into the Electric Castle (also known as Into the Electric Castle — A Space Opera) is the third album of the progressive metal project Ayreon by Dutch songwriter, producer, singer, and multi-instrumentalist Arjen Anthony Lucassen, released in 1998.

The Top Ten

1 The Garden of Emotions

Definitely one of the most majestic, epic songs on the album, especially with the intro, which simply explodes and instantly grabs my attention. I love how it goes from this intensely powerful piece to a slightly odd sounding, mid paced song with the vocals extremely far back in the mix, only for the guitar to then jump in after a few minutes with an extremely cool riff that captures the instability of the group as a collective. The intense performance from each element during this middle section is like the Decision Tree, but actually properly achieving what was attempted. This is another one of the songs from the album that simply get better the further on it goes, with an incredible amount of dynamic between the various vocalists, really displaying the massive scope of this album. - kempokid

Aw rats, you beat me to it! Well anyways, this album is an amazing culmination of different sounds, tones, and ideas. I haven't listened to much Ayreon but Into the Electric Castle has really sucked me in.

I highly recommend The Human Equation then, the lineup is simply incredible, the story is interesting, and the music in general is quite a bit better in my opinion, along with the album being more consistent in my opinion, since I find parts of this one to drag a bit. - kempokid

2 Amazing Flight

I really like the classic rock sound that the first section of this song has, as it really has this song stand out from the rest. The first section contains some absolutely awesome and powerful vocals from Jay Van Feggelen as the barbarian. What makes these vocals even more enjoyable however is the incredibly fun, catchy chorus sung by Arjen Anthony Lucassen, providing some great contrast. The large instrumental section at the end is definitely where I find the most enjoyment however, as the addition of the flute is quite cool, and the duelling solos it has with the synths sounds incredible, - kempokid

3 Across the Rainbow Bridge

This is another one of those songs that has an incredible amount of power to it, with the chorus building amazingly each time. I really love the section involving Arjen, as it becomes very heavy and the vocals sound great. I love how much this song builds throughout, starting off as a fairly mellow acoustic focused song, until it progresses into something far more energetic. - kempokid

4 Isis and Osiris

I really love the structure of this song, containing multiple sections that each sound similar, but are still different enough to be defined, while still maintaining cohesion. I really love how the female sung choruses sound incredibly eerie, which contrasts excellently with the more hopeful middle eastern sounding sections. I also like how so many characters manage to be introduced, showing off the different personalities as well as the varying vocal styles of the people on the album. The solo near the end is the crowning jewel on this already spectacular song. - kempokid

5 Time Beyond Time

I find the melodies here to be utterly breathtaking, and incredibly beautiful. The guitar solo, rather than simply sounding impressive or cool, sounds like there is a great deal of emotion put behind it, which then wonderfully fades back into the acoustic line. I also love the way the 2 parts of the main vocal lines get stacked on top of one another, creating an extraordinary effect. - kempokid

6 The Two Gates

After a string of fairly lackluster songs, this one stands out as something definitely amazing. The slightly bouncy rhythm sounds similar to Tower of Hope done properly. I absolutely love the keyboard here, and truly think that the song in general is great. The hopeful, energetic approach is quite nice and is definitely one of the highlights on the mostly weak second half of the album. - kempokid

7 The Castle Hall

I find this song to be quite fun in general, with a riff that is so easy and fun to just bob up and down to. I don't know what it is about this song that I find so fun, but it's the only song on the album that never fails to put a smile on my face to listen to, which could be considered concerning, considering the dark subject matter of the song. - kempokid

8 Another Time, Another Space

I quite like this song, it closes off the album in a great way, with some really nice, pleasant instrumentals and some decent lyrics, providing a decent end to the story. - kempokid

9 Cosmic Fusion

The opening passage is very eerie, due to how stripped back compared to the majority of the album it is. This slowly fills out and adds more elements, while continuing to create a dark atmosphere, even though the other vocalists are singing optimistic lyrics. This all changes in a big way once the death growls enter and the backing synthetic orchestra does wonders while mixed with the constant chugging of the guitar. I also really like the solo that takes place near the end. - kempokid

Cosmic Fusion's "Death's Grunt" section is one of my favorite vocal parts in the song.

10 Valley of the Queens

Despite the song only going on for 2 minutes, this is definitely one of the most beautiful, saddening moments on the entire album. The vocal harmonies are utterly perfect here, with the flute further increasing the emotional impact that this song has. - kempokid

The Contenders

11 Welcome to the New Dimension

From the moment this album begins, there is such an amazing atmosphere that I can't think of many other ways to describe it other than saying that this sounds big. The synths with the narrator provide this sense of pure majesty, and is an absolutely stunning start to the album. - kempokid

12 The Mirror Maze

I really love the vocals of Arjen in general, with this song being one of my favourite performances of his. The quiet nature of the song in general, especially the excellent piano, are of very high quality in general. The second half is admittedly less impressive than this opening section, but is still good nonetheless. - kempokid

13 Tunnel of Light

The female vocals here are definitely where this song shines, as the vocals sound quite off-putting while simultaneously sounding beautiful. The song has a certain dreamlike quality to it that I absolutely love, as it also manages to convey the feeling of sadness quite effectively without beating the listener over the head with it. - kempokid

14 The Decision Tree (We're Alive)

I really like the whole idea of creating a song that's a debate between two people about which one of them will die. While this is a song that's considered as filler by some, I still find it to be a really cool song simply due to its awesome concept. I wish that the song would be somewhat more intense, but other than that, I like this song, although it still does feel like one of the weaker ones on the album. - kempokid

15 "Forever" of the Stars

While there isn't much song here, I really love the atmosphere built up thanks to the heavily altered voice of the narrator and the spacey synths and the like in the background. - kempokid

16 Evil Devolution

I really like the somewhat mysterious sound that this track has, with the chorus further increasing this tone that's being pushed forward. The issue is that the second half ends up being quite generic, sounding quite similar to some previous tracks on the album - kempokid

17 Tower of Hope

While I do find the bouncy riff to be different from the rest of the album, I'm personally not too much of a fan of it, as it personally somewhat breaks the flow of the album for me. A couple of elements also don't quite feel right to me, specifically the odd sounds that keep appearing throughout, sometimes at moments which simply don't sound right. - kempokid

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