Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Arena - Songs From The Lion's Cage CD (album) cover





3.86 | 388 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Really, this album is to be considered part one of a pair, with the follow-up 'pride' acting as a sequel. The structure of both such that the sequence of songs alternates between a standalone song and a short-to-medium length piece entitled with an enumerated variant of 'cry for help', usually instrumental pieces, but some containing vocals.

In feel, this is very marillion-esque, particularly calling to mind their early albums with Fish. This is no surprise on inspection of the musicians responsible - Arena is a prog supergroup, and includes several marillion members either as full band members or as regularly contributing guest musicians. Even the vocals, supplied by John Carson, contain something of a Fish-esque edge to them, though perhaps show more restraint than marillion's former singer.

Perhaps it is this restraint that leads this album, or, indeed, this pair of albums, to ultimately not quite measure up to Fish's Marillion. This is no disgrace, however - those early Marillion albums are prog classics virtually unrivalled for their brilliance in the neo-prog subgenre. Comparatively, this is a little less 'Pawn Hearts' and a little more 'Going for the One' in style - a little more conservative, but still definitely prog.

In terms of mood, one certainly shouldn't expect a great deal of cheer ' really, in this sense it does what it says on the tin. An album in which half the songs are entitled 'crying for help' is hardly going to make you laugh. A particular favourite of mine is the fourth incarnation of this, an entirely musical piece, occasionally punctured by the melancholic ringing of an unanswered telephone, before the final relaying of an answerphone-style message that the helpline is unavailable - with the obvious figurative meaning here.

Just to ensure that it ticks all the prog boxes, the album closes with a near 15 minute epic, Solomon, though this isn't particularly remarkable - good, but never great. And that sums up this album nicely, really ' it's a non-essential but certainly very decent addition to a progger's collection, especially if you are a fan of Marillion.

Overall, I give this album 3/5

stranded_starfish | 3/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this ARENA review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives