Netherlands, 2000, progressive rock / progressive metal / rock opera
Ayreon – Universal Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer: In this more synth- and electronic-driven prog-rock opera, Lucassen picks up the narrative where Ayreon, thwarted by Merlin, failed to save humanity. Now it’s 2084, and the final war on Earth has wiped out everyone except for one last human living in a Martian colony. He uses the Dream Sequencer machine to go back and visit different eras of human history. This album is yet another essential element in the overarching mythology.
Ayreon – Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator: Much heavier than its companion, this album couches itself in a power metal feel straight from the beginning, working in prog elements, like strings and flutes, sparingly. The narrative continues with the final human stranded on Mars. Getting a bit more curious/ambitious, he decides to set the controls of the machine to take him back to before the beginning of time, and there he witnesses the birth of the cosmic soul, called the Universal Migrator. The machine overloads, killing the man inside, but he lives on as he merges with the cosmic soul, thus becoming the new Migrator.