Ayreon and Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group have revealed “And The Druids Turn To Stone‘,taken from Universal Migrator Pt 1 & 2 (2022 Remixed and Remastered) on 18th November. You can listen to the song HERE.
Ayreon has also previously revealed the video for “Into the Black Hole” ft. Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) here. You can pre-order the album here: https://lnk.to/Ayreon
Talking about the song, Arjen Lucassesn says, “And the Druids Turn To Stone is my personal favourite track from the Ayreon Universe live shows. Mainly because of the amazing vocal performance of my talented friend Damian Wilson. I still remember that back when I sent him the demo for this song, he wasn’t totally convinced. Maybe in part because of the dangerously-close-to-Spinal-Tap lyrics about Stonehenge. Haha! But man, he surely elevated this song to great heights, showing off all aspects of his versatile and distinctive voice. In the re-mixed version I tried to make the track sound more transparent and bring every little subtlety to the surface. Hope I succeeded!”
It will be released on multiple formats – 1) A limited edition 56-page artbook including a 40-page comic, exclusive images of “the process”, 5 CDs (including previously unreleased audio) and a bonus DVD with 5.1 surround mix, 2 binaural headphone mixes and more. 2) A vinyl box set with 4 LPs on marble vinyl in 2 gatefolds, a 40-page comic book, a bonus DVD, a double-sided poster and a sticker sheet. The vinyl box set is limited to 1000 numbered copies webshop exclusive). 3) 2CD + Bonus CD. Additionally, “The Dream Sequencer” and “Flight of the Migrator” are available separately on 180-gram orange transparent vinyl and digitally on all platforms. The bonus CD will feature an hour of previously unreleased material, ranging from versions of the tracks with different (guide) vocals to entirely new (well, old) tracks that didn’t make the albums and were previously never released.
The two albums feature an extravaganza of stunning musicians and vocalists such as Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden), Floor Jansen (Nightwish), Edward Reekers (Kayak), Damian Wilson (Headspace/Threshold), Neal Morse (Spock’s Beard/Transatlantic/Flying Colors), Russell Allen (Symphony X), Andi Deris (Helloween), Michael Romeo (Symphony X) and many more.
Ayreon mastermind and Dutch multi-instrumentalist Arjen Lucassen remembers, “‘Into the Electric Castle’ was such a huge worldwide success that when I picked up the guitar to start working on the next Ayreon, I was terrified! I realized it would simply be impossible to recreate the magic of that album. So, instead of trying to make an ‘Electric Castle part two,’ I looked for new and challenging ways to create my next Ayreon album.”
He continues, “First, I decided to have each vocalist perform one individual song instead of using multiple singers interacting within the same song as I had on previous Ayreon albums. Second, I decided to separate my two extreme styles and make two contrasting albums instead. ‘The Universal Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer is a melodic and atmospheric journey through time, and ‘Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator is a heavy progressive adventure through space.”
“Ayreon fans come in all shapes and sizes, but I believed that overall, there were two distinct groups: the prog fans and the metal fans,” he explains. “By releasing these two albums separately, I wanted to give each group a chance to buy the album of the style they loved and, if they wanted, ignore the other. To my (pleasant) surprise, most fans loved both albums!”
Arjen Lucassen continues his crusade of remixing and remastering his finest work to absolute perfection and Universal Migrator, Pt. I & 2 (2022 Remixed & Remastered) is a stunning addition to his spectacular canon. Thanks to advancements in technology, fans can now get the chance to hear the albums through the ears of Lucassen as he intended them.