Ayreon — Into The Electric Castle

The Art Corner was a series of articles by graphic artist Mattias Norén, who was part of the DPRP team and designed the layout we had at the time. In this series, Mattias reviewed the artwork of albums. The series started in January 1999 and ran for about 18 months.

The original introduction of the series is included below and will tell you what it was all about. This category no longer runs, so information about submitting an album for review has been removed, but we're keeping the archived articles as a separate series in the Features category.

Check out Mattias Norén's company website: ProgArt!

Dear visitor of The Art Corner!

Some people say that it's just the inside that counts, but I'm actually one of those men that cares much about the outside as well! :-)

The Art Corner only concentrates on the outside. What I think about the inside, the music, I'll keep for myself in this case.

Each album has been given 1 to 5 points in seven different categories.

  • Design / Composition: Is the idea and layout good?
  • Technical skill: Is the artist good at what he is doing?
  • Connection to the music: Is the artwork inspired by the music, album title and the lyrics? Does it feel good to look at the cover at the same time you listening to the music?
  • Logotype: How good is the design of the logotype?
  • Typography: How good is the typography? (cover and backcover)
  • Booklet: How good is the typography, artwork, layout and paper quality?
  • Disc: How good is the typography, artwork, layout on the disc?

Mattias Norén

Ayreon - Intro The Electric Castle (Transmission Records TM-014, 1998)


Paintings by Jef Bertels.
Lay-out and cunning image handling by John van den Oetelaar at Fat John's Kitchen.


category score
Design and composition
Technical skill
Connection to the music

Score: 4.5


This is about the cruelest piece of work I have ever seen on a record.

The cover painting is absolutely brilliant, with tons of hidden details. I can stare at this artwork for hours and still find something new every time I take a look at it.

The booklet is probably the thickest and most worked I have in my collection. I wonder how many hours of work it is behind it. Thanks Ayreon for giving us this piece of work. Take my advice and commission this artist for the next album as well. He is awesome!