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Arena - Pride CD (album) cover

PRIDE

Arena

 

Neo-Prog

3.69 | 233 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Emperor
4 stars The second album by Arena is constructed by the same type as the previous one: the tracks nos 2, 4, 6 and 8 are the continuing story of the same old "Crying For Help"-parts, but other 5 compositions are independent musical pieces. And once again I would be glad in case there are no one of those "Cryings For Help", really! That part where the new vocalist Paul Wrightson sings without any instrument is simply annoying - this track is performed so trivially and unsincere in addition with absolutely banal melody, that I don't want anything except to finish with the track as soon as it possible! I believe it'd be wise decision by Arena's participants not to release two albums in 1995 and 1996, but to create the only one without all of those "Crying"-parts... Though I'm really glad that other five tracks are very good.

The 1st track Welcome To The Cage is the real opener - it's powerful, pompous, very catchy, with so memorable refrain. Very useful introduction for the album! Another influentive track with very memorable melody is Medusa - mid-tempo rocker characterizing by many hooks of guitar and keyboards. I think both songs are potential hits - they even could hit the British or US chats in case of serious show-business promotional work...

But the real highlights of the album are the other three tracks unmentioned to the moment. They are longer and closer to real "Progressive trademarks". Empire Of Thousand Days is my mostly favorite here - it's slightly psychedelic, rather groundbreaking, with pulsing keyboard-guitar sound, characterized by "crystally-cold" mood and sound. Another two compositions - Fool's Gold and Sirens - are produced in more dramatic vein, with depressively sad melodies and the lyrics about "what a disappointment is this world".

I think that the both early albums by Arena are of the same level of quality - slightly less than 4 stars but much better than 3 ones. Once again I recommend this record for those who are new in Progressive and for the fans of Neo-Progressive ("early Marillion-esque" sound) at all.

Emperor | 4/5 |

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