Ayreon is one of the many projects that Dutch composer and musician Arjen Anthony Lucassen has going on. Like Maynard and Puscifer, Ajern is the only permanent member in Ayreon. With that being said though, each Ayreon album has a complex story, with many characters, and each character is voiced by a different singer. So, like in a movie, if a character appears in another album (As all the CDs are connected in some fashion.) then he makes sure to cast the same singer for that part.
My favorite Aryeon album is The Human Equation. There are 20 tracks on it, and each track is one day that the main character (Me) is in a coma. He comes to inside his own head, with no memory of how he got there. As he starts to piece together his memory, he meets his mental projection of people he knows, and the personas of various emotions. At the same time, Me's Wife and Best Friend visit his body in the hospital.
This might not be the best start to Ayreon as it's not really representative of the rest of the discography. (I believe this is the only track with any kind of screams in it.) But that's also one of the reasons that I love it. It's Day Sixteen: Looser. In it, Me's abusive Father is basically telling him not to fight to leave the coma. That Me is worthless. Et cetera.
Another great album is Into The Electric Castle. In it, a mysterious voice has announced that he has drawn various people from various eras of Earth. They must travel through a plane of "no space and no time", find The Electric Castle, and search it for a way back home. This song, The Castle Hall, is mostly dealing with Barbarian and Knight as they have to face the ghosts of those they have slain.
This next album I'm going to bring up, Universal Migrator Part 1: The Dream Sequencer, is one of the albums that connects many others together. For the sake of simplicity, I'm going to try to leave those connections out, and still try to make sense. In short, Earth has been destroyed, and a group of survivors have fled to Mars. But after a while, they ran out supplies, and have died off. The main character of the album is the only surviving human left, and he was born after the colonists fled Earth. So the only way he can experience Earth is by using a machine called the Dream Sequencer that puts the user in an hypnotic sleep so they can experience old memories, or even memories of past lives. It ends with him eventually going back to when the first homo sapien appeared. Musically, UM pt1 is much slower than it's counter-part. Parts of it even remind me a bit of Pink Floyd.
Universal Migrator Part 2: Flight of the Migrator continues the story of The Dream Sequencer, in which the last colonist decides to see if he can go back in time any further. He finds a way to go back to before the Big Bang, and see the birth of the very first soul, The Universal Migrator. Doing so, however short circuits the machine, and kills him. But as the machine can only show you your own past lives, it turn out the he is/was/will be the Universal Migrator. Musically, this album is heavier that pt1 as it's supposed to show the chaos of the Universe before the Big Bang.
Well, I think that's going to be it for Ayreon. If you liked it, be sure to also check out The Final Experiment, Actual Fantasy, and 01011001. Those are his other LPs. Of course, if you're like me, you might also want all the singles, EPs, and compilations as they all have unique songs.