It’s been a week since Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s new album, “Lost in the New Real”, hit the shelves in Europe, and we here at Progulator couldn’t be more excited, as we’re all huge fans of his work. In fact, you’ll be seeing a review on the record any day now. This release marks the first time since 1994’s “Pools of Sorrow, Waves of Joy” that Arjen has released a solo project under his own name instead of one of his side projects (Ayreon, Guilt Machine, Star One, etc.), but that didn’t stop a little debate to break out among the Progulator writers. Matt called the album an Ayreon album; I strongly disagreed. What ensued was a Facebook comment mini-war with my giving reasons why I believe Ayreon is a separate entity and with Matt and Tyson lambasting each one of them. So, I decided I’d just let the man himself settle the debate. Arjen had the following to say in an interview back in 2009:

As for whether there will be another Ayreon album, I’m never sure. Ten years could go by before I decide to do another one. I have to say that a lot of the reviews for 01 said it had some cool moments but it had that typical Ayreon sound, that there was nothing new being offered, and I think I can agree with that. I decided I’m going to stop with this Ayreon story, with this sound, and concentrate on other projects first. Then, if I decide to go back to Ayreon I’ll do something different with it. I have no idea how (laughs), but if there’s going to be another one it should be different.

When describing “Lost in the New Real”, Arjen admitted that he’d “been wanting to record a solo album with just [him] singing for about 10 years now” but that his “last solo attempts have turned into an Ayreon, Star One and Guilt Machine releases instead!” Lucassen admitted “some connections to the Ayreon saga” but ultimately states at “Lost in the New Real” is “a separate story.” Um… in your faces, Matt and Tyson. And I’d like to give a special thanks to Arjen Anthony Lucassen for proving my point. Without further ado… THE NEWS:

  • We’re almost a week away from the release of “Storm Corrosion”, the highly anticipated collaboration between Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson and Opeth’s Mikael Åkerfeldt, and I can barely contain myself. Seriously, I’m losing sleep over this record. And it certainly didn’t help when the duo teased us last week with a video for the track Drag Ropes, the first listen we’ve had at a full song off the record. Check it out for yourself and you’ll agree; the next week of waiting is going to be painful. The track is creepy and brutally dark, contains beautiful guitar and vocal work, and uses keyboard patches I haven’t heard since playing Earthbound on the SNES.
  • Return to Forever, the Chick Corea’s Jazz Fusion group, has released a 3-disc live package with two audio CDs and over two hours of footage on the accompanying DVD, set to be released later this summer. If you’ve never dipped your feet in the admittedly intimidating world of jazz/rock fusion, Return to Forever is a great place to start. You won’t be disappointed. Thanks to user Man With Hat on the Prog Archives boards for the info.

And two other quick bullets:

  • Progstreaming 2.0 is here! You already love it! Matt freakin’ REALLY loves it! Check ’em out!
  • According to John Petrucci’s Facebook account blah blah Dream Theater is writing new material blah blah and filming new DVD blah blah.