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DOUBLE VISION

Arena

Neo-Prog


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Arena Double Vision album cover
4.00 | 145 ratings | 9 reviews | 26% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Studio Album, released in 2018

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Zhivago Wolf (4:48)
2. The Mirror Lies (6:58)
3. Scars (5:17)
4. Paradise Of Thieves (5:10)
5. Red Eyes (6:41)
6. Poisoned (4:28)
7. The Legend Of Elijah Shade (22:39)

Total Time 56:01

Line-up / Musicians

- Paul Manzi / vocals
- John Mitchell / guitars, backing vocals
- Clive Nolan / keyboards, backing vocals
- Kylan Amos / bass
- Mick Pointer / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Joćo Martins (Grendel)

CD Verglas Music ‎- VGCD042 (2018, UK)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino + Yam Yam for the last updates
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Buy ARENA Double Vision Music


Double VisionDouble Vision
Verglas Music 2018
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ARENA Double Vision ratings distribution


4.00
(145 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(26%)
26%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
36%
Good, but non-essential (23%)
23%
Collectors/fans only (13%)
13%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

ARENA Double Vision reviews


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kev rowland
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover Prog Team
5 stars Arena, a band that in many ways was brought together by a running joke in an underground fanzine, which led directly to Mick Pointer realising that there was quite a vibrant prog scene. In turn he was introduced to Clive Nolan, and the rest as they say, is history. The debut 'Songs From The Lion's Cage' was released in 1995, and the jokes soon started about never being at far left or far right on a band photo as you would be the next to leave, but the guys have been stable now for quite some times, with the same line-up since 2011's 'The Seventh Degree of Separation'. That was the last album I heard, as for some reason I missed 2015's 'The Unquiet Sky', although I have been listening to quite a lot of Clive's other works, as well as releases featuring guitarist John Mitchell (the line-up being completed by singer Paul Manzi and bassist Kylan Amos).

Having played Clive's 'Alchemy' so much that it is almost worn out (according to LastFM it is my second most played album since I joined that site in 2007, behind only Camel's 'The Snow Goose), plus having known him for more than quarter of a century (I feel old) and having most of his projects, I was really looking forward to this album, and I wasn't disappointed. While Arena are first and foremost a progressive rock band, what I found fascinating with this album is the amount of theatricality within it. Paul Manzi surely has one of the most expressive and emotive voices around, and his relationship with Clive is long-standing in this and other projects, and they have an innate understanding of what is needed to take a song to the next level. There are times when I am clearly reminded of his performance on the aforementioned 'Alchemy', such is the power of his storytelling.

But, this is very much a band album, although it obviously has been heavily influenced by Clive who wrote or co-wrote every songs and provided all the lyrics, but Mick is playing better than ever, Kylan has a great sliding style that really suits the music. Then on top of it all there is the incomparable John Mitchell. He may not have been the original guitarist (who was Keith More, ex-Asia, for the first two albums) but he has been there for twenty years now, during which time he has built a considerable reputation as one of the finest guitarists in the scene, and I don't think anyone was really surprised when he joined It Bites. He knows when to riff and drive the music along, when to provide solos, when to use restraint and when to just let the music rock.

Here we are in 2018 and both Galahad and Arena have this year released possibly the finest albums of their careers, only time will fully be able to judge that, showing that although they were in the underground scene in the Nineties, playing all the dives that entailed due to no publicity (or internet!), they are ready and able to reap the rewards of keeping going when others have given up. This is a stunning album, one that all progheads need to discover at once if not sooner. I loved it the very first time I played it, and it has only got better the more I listen to it.

Review by rdtprog
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Metal / Heavy / RPI / Symph Prog Team
5 stars After a couple of albums of more concise songs, the band is back with songs of epic scale. Arena has always been critical about their own compositions and the production. There are not many bands that can produce albums exempts of ordinary songs. "Double Vision" has seen the light after 1 year and a half of preparation. The first song has a dark intro and we can feel the epic style with symphonic passages. In the song "The Mirror Lies" we have a spacey Pink Floyd keyboard part of Clive that bright things up the straightforward first part of the song that ends nicely with some heavy guitars and a brief acoustic part. "Scars" brings some majestic keyboards lines and a long instrumental section. I am not sure if this song is a suite of "Crying for Help" because of the lyrics but it's a different atmosphere for sure. "Red Eyes" is a dark song with some of the heaviest stuff of the album where Clive is leading the way a while before stopping suddenly into a short calm ending. The song has some special vocals effect and a clear influence from the band Muse. "Poisoned" is a fine acoustic ballad to give a breather into this stormy music. And how can be an Arena album without an epic song at the end with countless tempo shifts, moods, and atmospheres where the intensity is always kept. Clive is going from the piano to the keys to finish in a pure Rick Wakeman style with the church organ. This is a solid 4.5 stars, time will tell if it stands out for being one of their best.
Review by Menswear
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Back to the good stuff.

In the early 2K's, I would've bet a sack of nuts Arena was hands down the best band around. I bought everything they produced (DVD included) and saw them in concert; yes, I was an Arena machine. They had so much to offer: incredible melodies, mouth-watering keyboard solos, dramatic singers, emot emotionnal guitar solos and dark, brooding artworks that could not do wrong. They delivered from the star start a series of (dire I say, very) enjoyable albums filled with everything you want.

Let's be frank, 7th Degrees and the Unquiet Sky were (to our amazement) duds and I lost interest, di disappointed that one of my favorite bands lost it's mojo. And how! What happened?! The reason they de delivered 2 wet blankets back to back still eludes me today. Sometimes your muse takes a break and le leaves you alone, it happens (it did for Van Halen, Tori Amos and The Cure).

Just like M.Night Shayamalan, Arena are back with rejuvenated energy and Double Vision doesn't disappoint. The curse seems to have vanished and they kick it Contagion style right away with the best songs they offered us since more than decade. The recipe is working again, and they hit major points with their super-duper-enjoyable epic 'The Legend of...', full of...er...everything I love about them them. What bombastic, catchy melodies and effortless time changes! Yummers!

Once again, what happened?! They are back in super shape and the Shayamalan curse is off...good fo for us.

Now that's what I call a freakin' comeback!!

Review by aapatsos
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal and Heavy Prog Teams
4 stars Like it or not, I am the best chance you got...

...and that is returning to the ''original'' Arena song-writing. The 2-album ''gap'' where the band deviated from their trademark sound seems to have disappeared with the release of Double Vision. I first approached this with cynicism after the two previous efforts, which left me indifferent.

There is here reference to the ''Pepper's Ghost'' era of Rob Snowden - to my ears, THE reference vocalist for the band. And although Paul Manzi does not reach the theatrical grandeur of Rob, in this album he seems to have adjusted to the new (old) style of the band to deliver much more epic melodies and songs veiled in some mystery - and consequently, interest - for us poor listeners. Double Vision delivers signature Neo Prog of the 90's with emphatic guitar riffing and lush - but balanced - keyboard playing by Clive Nolan.

It does seem that the chemistry is back (or was it a conscious decision to revert to the old, safe and sound, style?). Not groundbreaking as the 90s/00s releases but still a very solid and well-played album, an excellent addition to the Arena catalogue. What next? Stick to the proven recipe or try something new?

Latest members reviews

5 stars This is the biggest surprise of 2018 for me. I skipped the last album, and almost skipped this one based on the cover alone. I could circle around to The Unquiet Sky later, but right now I am going to spend time letting Double Vision marinate for a while. I do have most of their albums, and Doubl ... (read more)

Report this review (#1939486) | Posted by javajeff | Saturday, June 16, 2018 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Another album in the line of similarly-sounding recent Arena releases - slick, but safe, for them, spinning pompously vague tales of the supernatural and fallibility of reality in a heavy adult-oriented rock fashion. The songs are catchy, to be sure, but predictable, made from familiar ingredient ... (read more)

Report this review (#1936219) | Posted by Progrussia | Thursday, May 31, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars It's almost 3 years since the release of The Unquiet Sky and Arena returned with a new album. Double Vision was released a few weeks ago, and as it seems, it is the best album the band recorded since Contagion (2003). In Double Vision Arena re-discover their musical identity, and present an al ... (read more)

Report this review (#1935566) | Posted by The Jester | Wednesday, May 30, 2018 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This band is back in great shape again. There is an extremely strong magnitude in the sonority of this new album Double Vision, giving notoriety to the production and the excellent execution of the work of all the members of the band. All of them completed their mission in a grandiose way, giving a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1932374) | Posted by freddie71 | Friday, May 18, 2018 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Arena is a very famous new avant-garde band and can be considered as a leader in this school. They were established in Surrey, England in 1995. It is a super combo, played by Marillion's former drummer Mick Pointer and Pendragon's keyboard. Kevin More, the guitarist of Clive Nolan and Asia, was repl ... (read more)

Report this review (#1919855) | Posted by mitarai_panda | Sunday, May 6, 2018 | Review Permanlink

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