The Age of Shadows has begun. The Forever of Y have forgotten what it is to live. In an effort to recapture the spark of life they create humanity, however their own flaws are inevitably inherited by their intergalactic children.
- Bob Catley (Magnum) – Forever ❊
- Tom S. Englund (Evergrey) – Forever ϟ
- Anneke van Giersbergen (ex-The Gathering)– Forever ♡
- Daniel Gildenlöw (Pain of Salvation) – Forever ®
- Floor Jansen (After Forever) – Forever Ω
- Hansi Kürsch (Blind Guardian) – Forever 🕈
- Jørn Lande (Masterplan) – Forever (Bird)
- Steve Lee (Gotthard) – Forever ☯
- Magali Luyten – Forever ☾
- Jonas Renkse (Katatonia) – Forever ⛧
- Arjen Anthony Lucassen – Mr. L on "The Truth Is in Here", and backing vocals on "Connect the Dots"
- Liselotte Hegt (Dial) – Mr. L's nurse on "The Truth Is in Here"
- Simone Simons (Epica) – Simone on "Web of Lies"
- Ty Tabor (King's X) – an average middle-class worker on "Connect the Dots"
- Marjan Welman – a 21st-century scientist on "E=mc2"
- Wudstik – a 21st-century scientist on "E=mc2"
- Phideaux Xavier – PX on "Web of Lies"
- Arjen Anthony Lucassen – electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitars, mandolin, keyboards, synthesizers, Hammond, and Solina
- David Faber – cellos
- Ben Mathot – violins
- Ed Warby – drums and percussion
Guest musicians Edit
- Tomas Bodin (The Flower Kings) – synthesizer solo on "Waking Dreams"
- Joost van den Broek (After Forever) – synthesizer solo and piano on "The Sixth Extinction"
- Michael Romeo (Symphony X) – guitar solo on "E=mc2"
- Derek Sherinian (ex-Dream Theater) – synthesizer solo on "The Fifth Extinction"
- Jeroen Goossens – flute; soprano and tenor recorder on "The Truth Is in Here"; bass flute on "Unnatural Selection"; tin whistle on "River of Time"
- Lori Linstruth – guitar solo on "Newborn Race"
More information on the Characters from this album can be found on the separate page: Characters from 01011001.
Through technological advancement, 'Forever', a race of aquatic beings living on Planet Y, have found the secret of longevity. They have advanced to the point that they have become completely dependent on machines and are losing their emotions. A passing comet on a collision course with Planet Earth provides the opportunity to revitalize their race; 'Forever' harness the comet to carry their DNA to a new home on Earth. When the comet and Earth collide, the cataclysmic impact exterminates the dinosaurs (The Fifth Extinction), but from the ashes of destruction, humans arise. At first, the experiment seems successful: through the humans, ‘Forever’ vicariously relive the emotions they experienced before the age of machines. In order to help mankind overcome their physical ailments and mental limitations, the 'Forever' speed up human evolution. But the result is tragic: people develop a similar technological dependency with their emotions waning just like 'Forever' and moral development not keeping pace with their capacity to invent. 'Forever' attempt to save mankind from its imminent self-destruction, but ultimately fail at this goal, and humanity dies in cataclysmic nuclear fire. The one remaining human on Mars reincarnates into the new Migrator Soul throught the Dream Sequencer, ultimately completing the circle and breathing new life into Forever's emotions.
- This album finally ties together story arcs from The Final Experiment, Into the Electric Castle and the Universal Migrator albums.
- Age of Shadows
- We Are Forever
- Liquid Eternity
- Connect the Dots
- Beneath the Waves
- Beneath the Waves
- Face the Facts
- But a Memory...
- World Without Walls
- Reality Bleeds
- Newborn Race
- The Incentive
- The Vision
- The Procedure
- Another Life
- Newborn Race
- The Conclusion
- Ride the Comet
- Web of Lies
- The Fifth Extinction
- Glimmer of Hope
- World of Tomorrow Dreams
- Collision Course
- From the Ashes
- Glimmer of Hope Reprise
- Waking Dreams
- The Truth is in Here
- Unnatural Selection
- River of Time
- The Sixth Extinction
- Echoes on the Wind
- Radioactive Grave
- To the Planet of Red
- Spirit on the Wind
- Complete the Circle
"The Human Equation"
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"The Theory of Everything"