Arjen Lucassen has a talent for making epic, building compositions. WHile this may dissuade some people, I would actually call him one of the best initial prog metal musicians. There are multiple reasons why. Firstly, there's no extreme metal vocals in his Ayreon albums. Secondly, there is a strong prog rock influence, to the degree that disk one can easily be called the Pink Floyd of metal. Thirdly, all the guitar riffs progress and are well written, but allow room for other instruments to shine, like the tasteful, precise composition of the classical parts on disc 2. The vocal range is phenomenal, the vocals are strong, the production is excellent, and this is an excellent concept album when you want easy listening atmosphere and headbanging metal. 11/10!