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Arena The Theory of Molecular Inheritance album cover
4.07 | 136 ratings | 6 reviews | 38% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2022

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Time Capsule (5:30)
2. The Equation (The Science of Magic) (6:28)
3. Twenty-One Grams (6:34)
4. Confession (2:20)
5. The Heiligenstadt Legacy (5:42)
6. Field of Sinners (6:27)
7. Pure of Heart (6:18)
8. Under the Microscope (6:51)
9. Integration (4:48)
10. Part of You (5:54)
11. Life Goes On (5:11)

Total Time 62:03

Deluxe edition bonus CD:

1. Vindication (4:24)
2. The Equation (acoustic version) (5:22)
3. Pure of Heart (acoustic version) (4:40)
4. The Heiligenstadt Legacy (acoustic version) (5:31)
5. Life Goes On (acoustic version) (3:07)
6. Twenty-One Grams (instrumental version) (6:34)
7. Field of Sinners (instrumental version) (6:32)
8. Part of You (instrumental version) (5:56)

Total Time 42:06

Line-up / Musicians

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

Releases information

Label: Verglas Music
Format: Vinyl, CD, Deluxe Edition Ear Book, Digital
Official release date - October 21st, 2022
Cover: David Wyatt

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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ARENA The Theory of Molecular Inheritance ratings distribution

(136 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(38%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (18%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

ARENA The Theory of Molecular Inheritance reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Heavy Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars

ARENA The Theory of Molecular Inheritance

The 30-year old band of "NeoProggers" are back with another album, their tenth and first in four years. Thanks to the absolute perfect fit of power-singer Damian Wilson, this may be one of their best.

1. "Time Capsule" (5:30) incredible vocal performance--perhaps the best I've ever heard from prog veteran Damian Wilson. (9.5/10)

2. "The Equation (The Science of Magic)" (6:29) rather dull despite the excellent final 90 seconds. (8.25/10)

3. "Twenty-One Grams" (6:34) stereotypic drum play beneath the heavy verses but not in the more delicately textured soundscapes in the choruses. Another nice vocal performance from Damian. (8.667/10)

4. "Confession" (2:20) sounds a bit Broadway theatric. Perhaps Damian has done Phantom or Cats. (4.25/5)

5. "The Heiligenstadt Legacy" (5:42) a story song with wide dynamic range, it sounds so much like a classic rock song by JOURNEY or BON JOVI or something like that (I wouldn't really know: I was never a fan or collector of that kind of music). (8.5/10)

6. "Field of Sinners" (6:27) has a cinematic quality as well as a Thin Lizzy "Jailbreak" sound and feel to it. Nice guitar work from John Mitchell. I'm a little tired of these "borrowed" drum tracks: its as if Mick Pointer plays from programs injecting little or none of his own personality into his performances. When Damian is belting it he sounds so (too) much like some classic rock singer from the 1980s (if not Phil Lynott). (I'm too tired and lazy and disinterested to find out who.) A solid song with nice textures and layers but nothing new or special here. (8.75/10)

7. "Pure of Heart" (6:18) Standard heavy prog with a 1980s Power Rock/Metal sound and feel. (8.5/10)

8. "Under the Microscope" (6:51) perfectly matched music and vocal performance for the first two minutes before a PINK FLOYD "Comfortably Numb" chorus takes over. Speeding along after that is some excellent racing prog with both Clive and John firing on all cylinders. (13/15)

9. "Integration" (4:48) Damian singing some very powerful lyrics about the topic of nature v. nurture over piano and later synth. At the end of the third minute, Damian finishes, releasing the hounds to express themselves in a kind of Clive Nolan-dominated Scottish reel. Very Tony Banks/Genesis-like. (8.75/10)

10. "Part of You" (5:54) Damian sings "the world has done" over pulsing keyboard "strings" for the first minute before a more metal bass musical soundscape establishes itself as the foundation for the rest of the song. Like an old LOVERBOY song. Too clich'. (8.33/10)

11 "Life Goes On" (5:11) piano chord arpeggi are joined by Damian for a little intro before the rest of the band joins in. The music is rather unexceptional, the lyrics obtuse to me, and John Mitchell's solo is seasoned and fiery. The band ramps up for the final 90 seconds with its choral repetition of the song's title. A very solid studio song. (8.667/10)

Despite being the most likable Arena album I've heard (so far, I've only heard The Visitor, Immortal? and Contagion), this is, to my ears, nothing more than splicing and dicing of recapitulated sounds and riffs from past masters with a great singer singing about topics more relevant to current times.

B-/3.5 stars; a very good addition to any prog lover's music collection--especially for the masterful performances of singer Damian Wilson.

Review by The Crow
4 stars After three disappointing albums with singer Paul Manzi, Arena, in my opinion, had reached a somewhat stagnant point in their career. The golden era with Rob Sowden was behind them, and it didn't seem like things were going to get better.

However, 'The Theory of Molecular Inheritance' was released in 2022 to reignite hope for the band's fans!

Thanks to the addition of an exceptional singer with a unique voice, Damian Wilson, known primarily for his work with Threshold, Clive Nolan and Mick Pointer have produced a series of exceptionally high-quality songs, pure neo-prog of the finest vintage, which will delight lovers of this sub-genre.

The only downsides to note might be the abundance of mid-tempo and introspective songs, which occasionally slow down the album's pace. However, this is offset by Wilson's superb performance and the excellent instrumental work, with Nolan and Mitchell shining as always, perfect on their respective instruments.

So, if like me, you thought Arena was finished, I urge you to listen to this album, which undoubtedly returns them to the neo-prog Olympus, where they should never have left. Just typical Arena in their finest fort. Nothing more, nothing less!

Top tracks: The Equation (one of the songs that leaves the best impression on the first listen), Field of Sinners (reminiscent of some of the best moments of the excellent Pepper's Ghost), Pure of Heart (a tremendous chorus, with a vibrant Damian Wilson), Integration (the track where Nolan shines most intensely), and Under the Microscope (Mitchell's final solo might be the best of his entire career).

My Rating: ****

Latest members reviews

4 stars I can't say that this is my favorite Arena album. At least not if I take into account the amount of songs I've ended up adding to my favorites lists. However, I can't be impartial, because Damian Wilson is one of my favorite metal singers in the world, and to be able to enjoy him in a band of Ar ... (read more)

Report this review (#2874877) | Posted by Yubal | Friday, January 13, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars UK neo-proggers Arena have been around for nearly three decades now, guided by founding members Clive Nolan (keyboards) and ex-Marillion Mick Pointer (drums). The line-up soon coalesced around the two musicians as well as guitarist John Mitchell, and the trio together wrote and recorded most of the ... (read more)

Report this review (#2874862) | Posted by lukretio | Friday, January 13, 2023 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Arena founded in 1995, a mega group at the time with members from Marillion, Pendragon and Asia initially. A powerful neo, the 3rd generation of prog rock after Genesis and Marillion. The heaviness of their sound has in my opinion oriented the prog towards metal for the greater good. This is the ... (read more)

Report this review (#2840976) | Posted by alainPP | Monday, September 19, 2022 | Review Permanlink

5 stars To say that this tenth studio album by the British combo was expected is the most singular pleonasm and for various reasons, four years after the mixed "Double Vision", the Covid 19 pandemic having passed through there as for the whole world, musical or nope. The first of these reasons is obviously ... (read more)

Report this review (#2788043) | Posted by KansasForEver | Sunday, September 4, 2022 | Review Permanlink

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