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Arena - The Seventh Degree of Separation CD (album) cover





3.47 | 346 ratings

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The Crow
Prog Reviewer
2 stars After the departure of the best singer in Arena's history, Rob Sowden, along with the bassist John Salmon, Arena returned with a new line-up and some new ideas, starting a whole new era for the band.

But sadly, a great part of the magic of this band was sadly gone. The new singer Paul Manzi is a good one, but his heavy and high pitched style just don't fit in Arena. Rob Sowden is very missed here, but even other Arena singers were a better choice than Manzi in my opinion.

Nevertheless, the real problem in this album is the boring, predictable and average songwriting. In The Seventh Degree of Separation we can encounter a bunch of songs in a not very progressive dark-hard rock style where Manzi is the protagonist leaving little space to the great keyboards of Nolan (who is not prominent at all throughout the record) and the Mitchell's solos, being Catching the Bullet a fine exception.

The result is a less than average neo-prog record. Boring, repetitive, sometimes really insipid and not remarkable at all.

Best Tracks: The Great Escape, What if? (beautiful chorus) and Catching the Bullet (good progressive interlude)

Conclusion: Paul Manzi a good singer, but not a good choice for Arena. He lacks dramatic strength and true feeling in his singing. And this fact along with the mediocre songwriting, makes this album the weakest in Arena's discography in my opinion, Even under the not so loved Pride.

For this reason, I consider The Seventh Degree of Separation just for fans only and true neo-prog junkies. The rest can easily avoid this one, because does not offer anything really interesting.

My rating: **

The Crow | 2/5 |


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