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Arena - Pepper's Ghost CD (album) cover





3.66 | 434 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The first time I listened to this, it left a sour taste in my mouth. Certainly, Arena had a few songs that bordered on prog-metal, but their signature sound was clearly Clive Nolan's keyboards combined with John Mitchell's soaring guitar work. In the typical Arena mix, they equally shared the spotlight. Pepper's Ghost is different. It does indeed have the sound of classic Arena (I'm speaking of Pride through Contagion), however it now contains a pervasive heavy metal guitar all over most of the songs often overpowering the vocals and keys.

With that said, after several listens spread out over months, I'm beginning to see this album grow on me. Even more than the previous albums. It just took my little brain a good long time for this one for some reason. My favorites on this disc are The Shattered Room with it's beautiful and haunting sound, the short and catchy, almost radio-friendly The Eyes of Lara Moon, the epic Opera Fanatica and the powerful Purgatory Road. Purgatory Road really works well with this "new sound" Arena has forged. I think the only thing I miss are Nolan's keyboard solos. They are there, but they're mixed too low.

Because a lot of reviews have already been written for Pepper's Ghost at Prog Archives, I'm going to keep this short and warn listeners that this one may take some time to grow on you, but it is well worth the wait. An excellent addition to any prog music collection. Easily worth four stars.

progaeopteryx | 4/5 |


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