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Artension Phoenix Rising  album cover
4.05 | 20 ratings | 2 reviews | 40% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Area 51 (7:30)
2. Through The Gate (6:43)
3. Valley Of The Kings (8:47)
4. Blood Brother (4:44)
5. Into The Blue (4:59)
6. Phoenix Rising (7:45)
7. Forbidden Love (4:52)
8. The City Is Lost (7:38)
9. Goin' Home (6:08)
10. I Really Don't Care (2:13)

Total Time: 61:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Kevin Chown / bass
- Vitalij Kuprij / keyboards
- Roger Staffelbach / guitars
- Mike Terrana / drums
- John West / lead vocals

Releases information

CD Shrapnel SH / CD Roadrunner RRCY 1058

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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Buy ARTENSION Phoenix Rising Music

ARTENSION Phoenix Rising ratings distribution

(20 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ARTENSION Phoenix Rising reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by b_olariu
4 stars I can't belive I'm the first reviewer of this great band. No one was intrested to discover this talented and in same time very skilfull band so far. This is their second album from 1997 named Phoenix rising. I might say I was really impressed, great musicianship combined with great ideas, awesome instrumental passages. Here are gathered a bunch of great musicians, taken each one as individual they are really skilfull. The music from here is like you combined Yngwie Malmsteen, Rainbow and even in places Deep Purple, but they are not a copy/paste band, they have their own aproach to prog metal. The cherry on the cake is for me, the voice of John West (who has many collaborations with bands like Royal Hunt, solo careeretc), a realy gifted singer, with some outstanding jaw droping vocal parts, and the key of the ukrainean player Vitalij Kuprij, these two are simply amazing what is doing here. The other musicians involved here are the omnipresent Mike Terrana on drums also playing with Rage, colaboration with Yngwie Malmsteen, solo career, etc did a great job here, showing that is one of the best in last 20 years in his field. The guitar parts are aranged by the main songwriter and the cofounder of Artention with Vitalij - Roger Staffelbach - who is a good guitar player but is not so evident here, he is doning his job and that's all, anyway a good one. The bass elements are great but nothing realy outstanding. The best pieces are all to me , from mellow parts to a more rough ones made from this second album a good addition to any colection, a great album with a lot to offer, 4 stars easy. One of the best I've heared in last couple of years in prog metal.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Is this only the second review of this album? I feel the need of advertising this band. Artension were from Switzerland but featuring the Ukrainian monster keyboardist Vitalij Kuprij, that's the reason why I went to know this band as I'm a Kuprij's fan.

Kuprij is a monster keyboardist of classical extraction, or better he is a classical pianist and orchestral director who likes composing and playing progressive metal and the remarkable thing with Artension is that I don't see a big gap between the keyboard and the other instruments. The rest of the band is composed by people so skilled that you won't see anything like i.e. Emerson Lake and Palmer. There's not a leading instrument, it's an ensemble.

The singing is almost always clean and the guitar is often launched in fast solos alternated with the keyboard's. The band appears to be influenced by the early hard-rock and metal bands, in particular Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and Iron Maiden with an eye to the longhair metal bands of the 80s but also thank to their skills they have developed a very personal style since from the debut.

This Phoenix Rising is not properly a concept album but requires a mention about the lyrics, too. Of course I will only reproduce parts of the lyrics in order to avoid copyright issues.

"Area 51" is a complex song with many variations in the theme and very powerful, don't listen while driving.... some of the lyrics say: "My powerful doubt burns a hole in my mind Is it confusion, predictions of thoughts concealed Come with me, take my hand, see what I've seen". You can find the first good and very fast keyboard's riff just in the middle of this song, and when it ends Staffelbach is able to continue with the same speed on the guitar. After the solos there's a 30 seconds passage very classically influenced before the song comes back to the original theme.

The song starts with "Packed their bags and left that day one way ticket to outer space Mohtership has sailed away blinded by the comets fall Faithfully they follow, into the fire they ride Fearless hope by their side if only they knew the stories he told were untrue" Still clean vocals and a song format for this track. It's probably because of Kevin Chown's vocals, but this song reminds me to Iron Maiden. There's also an excellent "duel" between keyboards and guitar. The Area51 guy has convinced somebody to leave "through the gate" then "No one told them it all was a lie (he said) take my hand and together we'll fly".

"Valley Of The Kings" begins slow with a piano base, the metal arrives after 1:30 minutes. It's quite a standard for the genre: a slow melodic song with dark elements like, just to mention one, the Metallica's "Nothing Else Matter", but I like in particular the vintage sounds used by VK. The lyrics say: "Cross the sea to the Valley Of The Kings men are fools never know what the future brings gold and thieves in the Valley Of The Kings look what you've done, oh the damage is done ". It's a long track, so the slow part is later replaced by a central true metal section made of fast drumming even though it's still melodic. I have in mind Bruce Dickinson's "Tears Of The Dragon".

The following song is about a sort of schizofreny: "Came across a memory of me as someone else", then "Didn't recognize me, Didn't know what to do In another lifetime I could have been you" This is the Blood Brother. This song has an Uriah Heep flavor specially in the descending scales and the excellent organ solo. An old fashioned song on which Chown sounds between Dickinson and David Byron. One of the album's best.

The story is now a little clearer. We are on a starship going somewhere in the deep space following a lie: "Light years are days the bravest of hearts lead the way While loved ones on earth are praying"Come back to me"". Another good metal song with fast drums and a lot of notes played by bass, guitar and keyboards in the instrumental parts. Excellent performances of guitar and voice in particular.

The title track has a very dramatic start: "Awake but you're asleep you're drawn into the light", then "And all your fantasies are real, and now you can see I see a phoenix rising". It's a bluesy dark song which makes me think to Lucassen's "Star One" as reference.

An intrusion of classical elements starts "Forbidden Love". It's a sort of love song. It says: "in my arms once again knowing that you can never be mine divided by mountains of circumstance". Not very original but very well arranged and played as the whole album is. The instrumental part and its guitar solo raise its level.

Now we know what the starship is seeking for: "The City is lost we search for Atlantis whatever the cost The City is lost child of the sea for eternity tossed The City is lost". Also this song can remind to Maidens but just as reference. The sentence below clarifies everything:" Survivors escaping disaster sailing to far away lands brought knowledge of pyramids, physics and flight the proof is beneath ancient sand". So the phoenix seems to be the mankind and the knowledge survived to Atlantis.

"Goin' Home" starts as a slow love song with piano and vocals. "Take me far away, across the Seven Seas We'll sail to yesterday, our burning hearts set free" then a sort of goodbye "Divin' through the night through the stormy weather Make it last forever and a day" It proceeds melodic but powerful: a classic metal love song.

At the end is quite unusual that the closer is an instrumental with the emblematic title "I Really Don't Care". It an extraordinary piano solo on which VK has the possibility of showing his virtuoso skill. It's just a two minutes track but I wish an entire album made of this stuff if possible.

As written at the beginning of this review I think that this band surely deserves more attention. The album is very good and with a bit of a concept that makes it more tasteful for progheads. No doubts in giving it 4 stars.

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