Lucassen’s nous in using guest musicians – often the cream of the genre’s crop – has paid dividends, not only in raising Ayreon’s profile, but expanding the musician’s palette. Like many past Ayreon releases, The Source is a concept album, covering a multitude of moods and styles. Lucassen’s musicality is astonishing when taken as a whole, but his compositional talent is exceptional. Unlike Dream Theater, Ayreon is immersed in the ’70s, giving an album like The Source a retro feel without sounding antiquated.
The Source is out April 28 via Mascot Label Group Cool Green Recordings/Warner.