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Arena - The Visitor CD (album) cover





4.06 | 703 ratings

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4 stars By this album Arena has suddenly and concretely changed their style: after those very melodic, typically "Neo"-kind guitar and keyboard solos the band went into metallic vein of musical performance with sound occupation of distorted guitars, exploiting drum-bar and more accompaniment-sort (than soloing) keyboards. The themes of the bands lyrics were also a bit changed: after fantastic and pompous tales, Arena has performed more realistic and actual texts about dangers and problems of nowadays.

It's hard to say was THE VISITOR the improvement in musical sense or not. In one hand, you won't find so brilliant and luxury single tracks (like Valley Of The Kings, Solomon or Empire Of A Thousand Days) here one the album, melodies and arrangements has gone more hookless and not so pompously-nice, but in other hand, this is the conceptual album and (God Heavens!) there are any "Crying For Help No More"! This is the end of "Cryings"!

Though, once again, THE VISITOR album is not less without disappointed moments (fortunately, there's a minimum of them to compare with other Arena's records I've heard). In some tracks I have got annoying portions of absolutely usual average hard'n'heavy (but not Progressive!) - at first I mean A Crack In The Ice and Enemy Without - the kind of typical heavy-metal tracks with monotonous rhythms and primitive refrains - and may this be called Progressive? I guess NO. Some other moments are also too simple and usual for my own tastes and requests (Tears In The Rain, Running From Damascus and the title track, which is the last one on THE VISITOR album).

Well, at least the whole impression of the album is good. The record is very tight and adequate to its conception. Speaking about highlights I'd like to admit nice and fresh (with very good guitar work) Pins And Needles/Double Vision, also a more depressive The Hanging Tree and a short but diverse A State Of Grace.

After all I need to admit that THE VISITOR seems like the most quintessential album by Arena, containing as many elements typical for the debut album, as heavier and "colder" sound characterizing the later records by the band.

Emperor | 4/5 |


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