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Arena - Songs From The Lion's Cage CD (album) cover

SONGS FROM THE LION'S CAGE

Arena

 

Neo-Prog

3.84 | 415 ratings

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Kjarks
5 stars This record is amongst those who assured me prog rock was really coming back to life in the mid 1990's. Of course, in the late 1980's and the former 1990's, neo prog groups still had tried to make prog rock rise again. But something was missing in the music of IQ, Pendragon and even Marillion : i needed more complex compositions, more virtuosity and maybe a kind of excessiveness !

"Songs from the lion's cage" immediatly satisfied this need. It melts intelligently different influences : the neo prog of Pendragon, the emphasis of 1970's symphonic rock masters, more especially thanks to Nolan's keyboards alternating deep and large floods and classical flights, a floydian guitar, but also stronger moments introducing metal elements. The combinaison of all in elaborated musical structures integrating impressive instrumental developements was close to perfection and could easily make us think a prog giant was born.

Unhappily, like the following one, the album is a little bit weakened by the small crying for help pieces : pretty without any doubt but not creative. I have never understood the interest of this long divided suite.

Nevermind, the true substance of the album, the 5 main titles, give us enough musical food to feel plenitude. And the enormous final piece, "Solomon", with its subtile progression, its complex imbrication of themes, its fantastic keyboards / guitar duels and its floydian and emphatic final is a real masterpiece of prog rock in my opinion.

Kjarks | 5/5 |

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