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Arena - The Visitor CD (album) cover





4.04 | 674 ratings

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4 stars Great album. A pretty good one to start with from Arena - it's got more long-ish tracks, like Pepper's Ghost or the first two, but lots of short ones like Contagion.

So, track by track:

1. A Crack In The Ice (7:25) - A good booming intro. Quite varied, great riffs.

2. Pins And Needles (2:46) - Quite tranquil, a good follow. Much lighter than most of the album.

3. Double Vision (4:24) - Starts off with an interesting keyboard riff, which is joined by great guitar stuff. Great vocals too.

4. Elea (2:36) - Instrumental, follows nicely from Double Vision. The guitar is the main focus here, excellent solo.

5. The Hanging Tree (7:09) - The most epic track, similar to The Visitor at the end. The opening is quiet, and it is mainly vocal. The highlight is the ending, with excellent singing, beautifully mirrored by the guitar solo (a shorter version than the one in The Visitor).

6. A State Of Grace (3:26) - Slightly odd/with hints of pop, this track, but the vocals are great, along with keyboards.

7. Blood Red Room (1:47) - Atmospheric track, mainly silent. Provides a good intro to Blink.

8. In The Blink Of An Eye (5:29) - Good keyboard intro and solo. Quite upbeat, in parts, but darker towards the end. Fades out nicely.

9. (Don't Forget To) Breathe (3:40) - A popular live track, though some may disagree with the start. The singing is excellent here, especially the monumental finish and guitar at the end. Sadly, it fades out.

10. Serenity (2:10) - A slow guitar solo. Very good indeed.

11. Tears In The Rain (5:43) - A piano driven ballad with a guitar solo as the centerpiece. Truly awesome.

12. Enemy Without (5:05) - Quietly fades from Tears, with excellent riffs, and a great chorus. The keyboards are also very prominent, plus the drums feature highly.

13. Running From Damascus (3:44) - Seamlessly merging from Enemy Without, providing a good, retrospective view of the album so far. Quite varied with good guitar and a nice false finish.

14. The Visitor (6:13) - Awesome. The first 3 minutes are good enough, acoustic. The last 3? One of the best damn guitar solos ever. Much like the vocal part of The Hanging Tree. Words cannot describe it.

So, yeah, a great album from Arena. It would feel a lot more progressive if the tracks were together in longer epics, but this is personal preference. There aren't really weak points here - strong points are The Hanging Tree, Blink Of An Eye, Breathe, Tears In The Rain, Enemy Without and The Visitor. Perhaps less neo-pogressive, more of a metal edge - it's much heavier than the last two albums, which some listeners may dislike.

Just don't ask me to choose between Contagion and The Visitor...

Staker | 4/5 |


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