Ayreon’s Transitus album: where gothic horror, prog metal and Doctor Who come together

Ayreon’s epic Transitus is the missing link between prog metal and Andrew Lloyd Webber – with added Doctor Who

Ayreon: Transitius album sleeve
(Image: © Music Theories Recordings)

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Transitus is a rock opera based on a gothic ghost story, featuring Dee Snider, Marty Friedman and Joe Satriani, and narrated by Doctor Who star Tom Baker. It’s classic Arjen Lucassen – the Dutch polymath, Ayreon’s prolific progenitor and mastermind at writing music for geeks – that boasts more stars than the Milky Way. While it’s easy to get sidetracked by the guest appearances, that have included James LaBrie and Bruce Dickinson on past albums, the magic abounds in the way that Lucassen writes for those voices. On Get Out! Now!, Dee Snider snarls as the “twisted” (arf) Father while Tommy Karevik and Oceans Of Slumber’s Cammie Gilbert on Two Worlds Now One is a spinetingling spotlight moment. The epic feast of cod-theatrics might not be to everyone’s tastes but this is definitely Lucassen finally achieving his Lloyd Webber moment.

Holly Wright

With over 10 years’ experience writing for Metal Hammer and Prog, Holly has reviewed and interviewed a wealth of progressively-inclined noise mongers from around the world. A fearless voyager to the far sides of metal Holly loves nothing more than to check out London’s gig scene, from power to folk and a lot in between. When she’s not rocking out Holly enjoys being a mum to her daughter Violet and working as a high-flying marketer in the Big Smoke.