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CONTAGIUM

Arena

Neo-Prog


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Arena Contagium album cover
3.13 | 37 ratings | 7 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. On the Edge of Despair (5:43)
2. The March of Time (7:30)
3. Confrontation (5:33)
4. Special Remix of Salamander (4:45)

Total Time: 23:31

Multimedia Extras:
1. Painted Man Special Video
2. Ghost Vocals, Contagion - The Story
3. Tour Photo Gallery, Lyrics, Contagion Screensaver, Master Tracklist

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Rob Sowden / vocals
- John Mitchell / guitar and back vocals
- Clive Nolan / keyboards and backing vocals
- Ian Salmon / bass
- Mick Pointer / drums

With 'March of Time Choir': Les Wardle, Chas Allen, Mark English, Paul Bro..., Jon Stralding, Mike Orlev, Olga Otten and Sian Robert

Releases information

CD Verglas VGCD025 (2003, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to NotAProghead for the last updates
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ARENA Contagium ratings distribution


3.13
(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
19%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
24%
Good, but non-essential (46%)
46%
Collectors/fans only (8%)
8%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

ARENA Contagium reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars The final piece in the "Contagion" jigsaw

"Contagium" forms the final part of the "Contagion" saga, complete with instructions on where to insert the tracks from the 2 EPs ("Contagious" and "Contagium)" into the original "Contagion" album.

"On the edge of despair" and "The march of time" are excellent Arena tracks, powerful and melodic. "Confrontation" is one of the band's wonderful instrumental breaks which allows Clive Nolan and John Mitchell a bit more room in which to display their respective Keyboards and guitar talents. The remix of "Salamander" which originally appeared on the "Contagion" album does not enhance the song at all, and could have been avoided.

The EP has good extras for the PC, including a couple of "ghost vocals" sung by John Mitchell and the Clive Nolan written "Contagion" story on which the album's concept is based.

Recommended to complete the "Contagion" package.

Digipak versions of the "Contagion" album included spaces to insert the two EPs, but they are well presented in their own right anyway.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#25689) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, March 19, 2004

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars COMPANION OR CONPAGIUM

This is the second of two companion mini-albums to complete Arena's main work : the "Contagion" album. Some multimedia gadgets and four musical tracks are featured.

"On the Edge of Despair" belongs to the best of the whole "Contagion" concept. A very inspired and beautiful rock song. Although the intro sounds somewhat hard, it is followed by a passionate and acoustic part during which Rob (again) will be excelent. A very effective Arena song (but they have written a lot, haven't they). The whole song will be a swap of these two parts.

"The March of Time" is very catchy as well. Acoustic and gentle as well as hard and dark. The background vocals at the end of the song are rather hypnotic. Some great guitar and heavy keys for this rather good Arena number.

The structure of this EP is pretty much similar to "Contagious". Two good tracks (although the ones here are really on par with the best ones of the main release), an instrumental ("Confrontation") which features great work from John (his guitar play is almost always very effective) and one remix. The "Salamander" one is also better than "Witch Hunt" on the previous EP (but remixes are almost never my cup of tea).

This work is definitely better than "Contagious" but my conclusion will almost be the same (except for the rating) : this EP is essential for Arena fans and a good complement to "Contagion" but it makes the whole of the "Contagion-Contagious-Contagium" suite, an expensive story (around 30 ? for the whole).

Three stars for this good but not essential work.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#124006) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
3 stars Another batch of tasty leftovers!

Contagium is one of out two EPs (the other one is called Contagious) that Arena released in the wake of their full length masterpiece album Contagion. Stemming from the same sessions and originally intended to be included on the actual album, the extra songs presented on these two EPs are - not surprisingly - very much in the same fashion as those that ended up on Contagion. Apparently (since I don't own any of the EPs in physical form, I had to look up this information from another source), the two EPs came with instructions on how to insert these extra tracks (not including the remixes, of course!) into the original running order of the original Contagion album. I have followed these instructions and listened to the album in its full form (apparently known as 'Contagion Max'). And while listening to the album with these extra songs added is a great experience, I must say that this long version does not flow as well as the original version. I am therefore in fullest agreement with the band's decision to keep these songs off the actual album (A future release of Contagion Max on double CD has been discussed though!).

While Contagious had four tracks, Contagium has three (again, not counting the two redundant remixes that closes the two EPs). All in all, this amounts to a further 36 minutes of music in the style of Contagion! This is indeed very good news for us who already love the band and the Contagion album in particular. While generally not as strong as the Contagion material itself, these "leftovers" are very tasty indeed! On The Edge Of Despair and The March Of Time are very good songs and Confrontation is an instrumental. Whenever I heard these EPs, I want to hear the album afterwards!

For those yet to discover Contagion, I strongly recommend to start with the short version. As I said, it flows better and it is therefore the ultimate version.

Good, but only essential for fans of Arena and the Contagion album in particular.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#237649) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, September 06, 2009

Review by Flucktrot
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars After thoroughly enjoying Contagion, I knew if there was more material like it, I had to find it. Unfortunately, I definitely reached the point of diminishing returns, as the quality of music is not equal to my investment to obtain it, although it's certainly not bad, to be sure.

Edge of Despair rehashes a melody or two from Contagion, but is mostly a fairly simple power ballad. Good choice leaving this off the main album.

The March of Time is a decent, but largely uninspired, plodder that features some good moments. I do enjoy this lyric: "Keep that smile spread wide across your face, till your head splits in half." Otherwise quite unremarkable.

Confrontation made this worth getting, as it is a nice instrumental with notable work from Nolan (getting good use of the organ, choir effects and other synth varieties). This is good enough quality to have made Contagion.

Decent material, but don't blow your life savings to acquire it!

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Send comments to Flucktrot (BETA) | Report this review (#283969) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, May 29, 2010

Latest members reviews

3 stars Arena is a bad that I have tried very hard to get into. I like Pendragon, Galahad, and IQ so I thought I would also enjoy Arena. But it has failed to catch my interest the same way as those other bands. This release has 23 minutes of music including "On the Edge of Despair" and "The March of Time".T ... (read more)

Report this review (#746995) | Posted by mohaveman | Monday, April 30, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I am not fully into why this EP was released. I believe it was a fan thing and a marketing ploy. Which is a fair game by Arena and their record label. What we get here is twenty minutes plus divided on four songs. All four songs are within the Neo-Prog genre. There are some metal, nu-rock and ... (read more)

Report this review (#461252) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Tuesday, June 14, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Contagium and Contagious are kind of extensions to the brilliant contagion album including remixes of tracks from that album. Salamander gets the treatment on Contagium, but personally I prefer the original version. The EP also contains some great multimedia extras including painted man live v ... (read more)

Report this review (#100258) | Posted by laghtnans | Friday, November 24, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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