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Ayreon - The Theater Equation DVD review

Extravagant live concept captured on film.

Ayreon The Theater Equation DVD cover

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 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. He would later become a founding member of RAW rock magazine in 1988.

In the early 90s, Malcolm Dome was the Editor of Metal Forces magazine, and also involved in the horror film magazine Terror, before returning to Kerrang! for a spell. 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. He was actively involved in Total Rock Radio (opens in new tab), which launched as Rock Radio Network in 1997, changing its name to Total Rock in 2000. In 2014 he joined the TeamRock online team as Archive Editor, uploading stories from all of our print titles and helping lay the foundation for what became Louder.

Dome was the author of many books on a host of bands from AC/DC to Led Zeppelin and Metallica, some of which he co-wrote with Prog Editor Jerry Ewing.