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The Human Equation
Studio album by Ayreon
Released May 25, 2004
Recorded 2004
Genre Progressive metal
Length 1:42:14
Label InsideOut Music
Producer Arjen Lucassen
Ayreon chronology
Ayreonauts Only
The Human Equation

The Human Equation is the sixth album by Arjen Anthony Lucassen, released under the name Ayreon. It was released on May 25, 2004. As with other Ayreon albums, it features guest appearances from several musicians previously unrelated to the project, including James LaBrie of Dream Theater, Mikael Åkerfeldt of Opeth, Eric Clayton of Saviour Machine, and Devin Townsend, performing music arranged and written by Lucassen.


Concept and storyline

The album explores the idea of psychological rebirth, and follows the story of a man who, after falling into a coma following a car accident, is confronted with his past, his emotions, and his current situation as he lays trapped inside his own mind. The circumstances surrounding the accident are mysterious, as the man ("Me", portrayed by James LaBrie) ploughed into a tree on a deserted road in broad daylight. Following this, he slips into a twenty-day coma, with each day represented by a single song. Each song follows a slightly different format, though there are major common themes, such as the presence of Me's manifest emotions in his dream world (including Fear portrayed by Mikael Åkerfeldt, Reason portrayed by Eric Clayton, and Pride portrayed by Magnus Ekwall); the presence of Me's Wife (Marcela Bovio) and Best Friend (Arjen Anthony Lucassen) at his bedside; and the past events that Me is forced to reflect on.

The plot builds from Me’s early broken state to his eventual rebirth as a new and better man. His own dark past; in which he suffered beneath an abusive Father (Mike Baker), was driven to become merciless by school bullies, and eventually betrayed his closest friend for his own benefit; is intertwined with the plot surrounding Wife and Best Friend, eventually revealing the cause of the accident: Me had witnessed the two sharing an intimate moment, and had swerved his car into a tree in his despair. The three eventually come clean and forgive each other, leading Me to conquer his negative emotions and escape his nightmarish prison.

The story terminates with a sci-fi twist in contrast to the psychodrama of the album, but reminiscent of earlier Ayreon releases. The final song cuts suddenly to silence as it reaches a crescendo, and a computerised voice announces the shut-down of the Dream Sequencer. The voice of Forever then speaks the final words of the album, tying its events into the overall Ayreon plot that began with The Final Experiment.

Track listing

# Title Writer/lyrics Composer/melody Time
1. "Day One: Vigil" Arjen Anthony Lucassen Arjen Anthony Lucassen 1:33
2. "Day Two: Isolation" 8:42
3. "Day Three: Pain" Lucassen, Devin Townsend 4:58
4. "Day Four: Mystery" Lucassen 5:37
5. "Day Five: Voices" 7:09
6. "Day Six: Childhood" 5:05
7. "Day Seven: Hope" 2:47
8. "Day Eight: School" Lucassen, Townsend 4:22
9. "Day Nine: Playground" Lucassen 2:15
10. "Day Ten: Memories" 3:57
11. "Day Eleven: Love" 4:18
12. "Day Twelve: Trauma" 9:54
13. "Day Thirteen: Sign" Lucassen, Heather Findlay 4:47
14. "Day Fourteen: Pride" Lucassen 4:42
15. "Day Fifteen: Betrayal" 5:24
16. "Day Sixteen: Loser" Lucassen, Townsend 4:46
17. "Day Seventeen: Accident?" Lucassen, Devon Graves 5:42
18. "Day Eighteen: Realization" Lucassen 4:31
19. "Day Nineteen: Disclosure" 4:42
20. "Day Twenty: Confrontation" 7:03


This album is released as three different editions:

  • Regular Edition: 2 CDs
  • Special Edition: 2 CDs and one DVD with behind-the-scenes videos
  • Limited Deluxe Edition: 2 CDs, one DVD and also a 36-page booklet

The Limited Deluxe Edition doesn't come in a regular CD case, but in a large cardboard book that opens up with the two CDs on the left inside cover, the DVD on the right inside cover, and 36 pages in between featuring the lyrics and a large illustration for each day.


  • Inside [45:27] - behind the scenes
  • Concept [3:05] - the concept of The Human Equation
  • Drums [3:32] - Ed Warby's drums
  • Video [3:49] - videoclip of Day Eleven: Love
  • Teaser [1:28] - teaser trailer


James LaBrie and Arjen Anthony Lucassen


Acoustic instruments

Additional keyboards and solos


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