Ayreon - The Theater Equation DVD review

Extravagant live concept captured on film.

Ayreon The Theater Equation DVD cover

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Last year, Ayreon’s 2004 concept album The Human Equation was given a genuinely melodramatic staging during four shows in Rotterdam. The result was The Theater Equation, a bold attempt to give a visual dimension to the sweeping storyline presented musically a decade earlier.

It was always going to be tough to ensure that what was left to the imagination on the original album could be brought to life. However, with a vast array of vocalists brought in to play the individual characters the result is very convincing.

The likes of James LaBrie, Heather Findlay and Anneke van Giersbergen do a magnificent job in their respective roles, not only as singers but in acting the plot through, and the musicianship is also of the highest calibre. Every part of the stage is used, and those involved get completely into their parts. Which makes this a self-contained experience that retains your attention.

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.