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Arena - Immortal? CD (album) cover





3.94 | 483 ratings

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4 stars This album was my first Arena-related purchase and a quite enjoyable such!

During this particular period I was highly influenced by Marillion which resulted in me buying every release that I could get a hold of at the time. Once the Marillion well started to dry up in terms of quality a friend of mine recommended me to check out Arena by acknowledging the presence of an ex-Marillion member in its line-up. Although I've never been much of a Mick Pointer fan since his drumming on A Script For Jesters Tear was lackluster at best, I still could not decline this proposition. I said alright and borrowed Immortal? and Songs From The Lion Cage from him. The latter album didn't impress me all that much but I'm glad that I still continued on to Immortal? since it turned out into a much more satisfying experience!

The first noticeable difference had to do with the improved production quality which is completely understandable considering the five year time span between the two releases but it's ultimately the great material that gives this album the upper hand. Chosen is anthem like performance which paves the way nicely for the rest of material. This particular composition may not be all that representative of the album since most of the material here is performed in a much more dramatic manner still it peaked my interest for the next composition and Waiting For The Flood didn't disappoint in that department. Things elevated to a whole different level with the opening of The Butterfly Man and it got even better once the strong melodic chorus pondered it's message right in my receptive brain. I definitely recommend streaming this song here on Prog Archives.

Nearly towards the end of the album we are treated to an epic suite titled Moviedrome which definitely takes a while to get into and although I love the compositions striking ending section I'm still not sure that I like it enough to call it a complete masterpiece. The overall feeling you get after listening to it is non-the-less strong enough to make me want to revisit this 20 minute suite from time to time. The album ends on a sweet stripped down ballad Friday's Dream and it's probably the best way to wind down after a long composition.

This album showed definite signs of maturity from the band which eventually brought forward an even stronger performance with the release of Contagion. Immortal? is non-the-less an excellent album for fans of Symphonic and Neo-Prog.

***** star songs: The Butterfly Man (8:56)

**** star songs: Chosen (6:20) Waiting For The Flood (5:52) Ghost In The Firewall (4:55) Climbing The Net (4:40) Moviedrome (19:43) Friday's Dream (4:44)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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