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Arena - The Unquiet Sky CD (album) cover





3.67 | 287 ratings

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3 stars Oh well, another disappointing release from what used to be one of the best neo prog bands around. What happened to the progressive Arena, anyway? The band that made GREAT albums like The Visitor and Immortal? I had assumed that Seventh Degree of Separation was just an aberration, but apparently I was mistaken. The transformation from prog band to AOR(rock) band is now complete.

OK, I must admit that the musicianship and production are top notch, and there are some good melodies here. And, as a straight rock album, this is pretty good. But it's just not what I've come to expect from Arena. The singer, Paul Manzi, is not bad, although his style matches the new style of band. I think Rob Sowden was far better, and I miss him.

Now apparently this is a concept album, and Arena has done concept albums before. The difference here is there are no recurring themes, at least that I've recognized yet. This just sounds like a bunch of rock and/or hard rock songs strung together. So I will be generous and give this 3 stars, because it's still pretty good as a straight rock album. But, unfortunately, it cannot hold a candle to Arena's string of great prog albums of the 1990's and 2000's.

emperorken | 3/5 |


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