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Arena / Jon Jowitt split. New album in progress.

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yam yam View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 25 2014 at 13:03
From http://prog.teamrock.com/#news/2014-07-25/arena-split-with-bassist-john-jowitt today:

Arena bassist John Jowitt is to leave the band by mutual consent, they've confirmed.

He joined soon after they formed in 1995 but won't take part in their 20th anniversary celebrations next year, including the launch of eighth studio album 'The Unquiet Sky'.

Arena say in a brief statement: "Due to time pressure and numerous commitments, we are sad to announce we will be parting ways with John. This is a mutual decision, and we’d like to wish John good luck with his future projects, and say thanks again for all his work with Arena."

A replacement has not been named as yet. Mainman Clive Nolan has confirmed work on The Unquiet Sky will commence in the coming months, adding: "It will be a concept album, loosely based on an MR James horror story, with plenty of strong themes and dark drama – pure, classic Arena."

The band are planning an extensive touring schedule for next year.

Cool Thumbs Up

Edit: Arena's official page for the new album can be found here: http://www.arenaband.co.uk/the-unquiet-sky/Smile


Edited by yam yam - July 25 2014 at 13:05
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Aussie-Byrd-Brother View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aussie-Byrd-Brother Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2014 at 13:22
Thanks for this update, David! Sad news for me, Arena is a band I quite like and whose albums are always an instant buy. Strange, if anything I would have thought it would be Clive himself leaving (or rather putting Arena on ice), with all his theatre/Alchemy commitments!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2014 at 02:16
So for the first time since about 1992 Jowitt is neither in IQ or Arena. Is this retirement John?!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dorsalia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2014 at 07:51
I hope this album is good, even though a part of me has had the feeling that they've been going through the motions the last few years.
"Es ist übrigens unmöglich, eine Meinung zu haben, ohne dass es unerfreuliche Überschneidungen gibt. Die Grünen sind für den deutschen Wald, die NPD ebenfalls."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clepsydra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2014 at 08:08
I will bet that John wishes he did not leave IQ. Maybe he will re-join them!

Edited by Clepsydra - July 26 2014 at 08:08
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clepsydra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2014 at 08:09
Originally posted by Dorsalia Dorsalia wrote:

I hope this album is good, even though a part of me has had the feeling that they've been going through the motions the last few years.


Yes, I was very disappointed with the last one.Unhappy
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stonebeard Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 26 2014 at 12:35
Pepper's Ghost was a pretty great album, but what concerns me is how long it took after they announced The Seventh Degree before it came out. And it wasn't good. I know Clive has good music in him, so what's the deal?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Unitron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2014 at 20:15
I honestly loved 'The Seventh Degree of Separation' probably because of the heavier Dream Theater like sound to it, but then again, I usually have the unpopular opinions. Hope they continue in the direction they were going on TSDOS. Smile 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aussie-Byrd-Brother Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2014 at 20:31
Actually, I'm with Unitron, I really enjoyed `Seventh Degree', if only because it sounded a little different from their previous albums, if that difference was only more focus on songs/vocals. It's very underwhelming on the first few listens, but pretty quickly the melodic elements become quite memorable and catchy.

I certainly wouldn't recommend `Seventh...' over other Arena discs for newcomers, but I think somewhere down the line when you look back on their discography, hopefully it will stand out as a one-off that stands on it's own qualities

I really should consider writing up a positive review for it sometime soon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Unitron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2014 at 21:17
Originally posted by Aussie-Byrd-Brother Aussie-Byrd-Brother wrote:

Actually, I'm with Unitron, I really enjoyed `Seventh Degree', if only because it sounded a little different from their previous albums, if that difference was only more focus on songs/vocals. It's very underwhelming on the first few listens, but pretty quickly the melodic elements become quite memorable and catchy.

I certainly wouldn't recommend `Seventh...' over other Arena discs for newcomers, but I think somewhere down the line when you look back on their discography, hopefully it will stand out as a one-off that stands on it's own qualities

I really should consider writing up a positive review for it sometime soon.

I'm glad someone shares my enjoyment for that album, I always thought I was the only one who loved that album! Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Roj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 28 2014 at 02:41
JJ will be missed, no doubt about that, as he is with IQ.

There's some good songs on Seventh Degree but overall I find the album disappointing, it's a bit too simplistic, much less progressive and not a patch on Pepper's Ghost or indeed any of the previous releases.

They really miss Rob Sowden in my opinion, he was just perfect for Arena.  Undoubtedly Manzi is a fine vocalist technically but he's just not to my taste.  The fact that Sowden chose to leave as he didn't like the musical direction they were heading says it all really.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Clepsydra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2014 at 17:10
Originally posted by Unitron Unitron wrote:

Hope they continue in the direction they were going on TSDOS. Smile 


No Thanks! Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 06 2014 at 02:06
My first taste of this band is the dbl LP of The Seven Degrees ........ and I hope they are NOT going to follow this path........(3 stars at best for me.....). I have known about Arena for years.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yam yam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 23 2014 at 12:42
I'm a bit late on updating this thread, but Arena are happy to welcome bassist Kylan Amos into the fold.
 
 
Kylan appeared with the band at Leamington earlier in the year and gelled very well with the guys. He will play on the new album and you will see him in action on the next tour!
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 25 2014 at 21:39
Originally posted by Tom Ozric Tom Ozric wrote:

My first taste of this band is the dbl LP of The Seven Degrees ........ and I hope they are NOT going to follow this path........(3 stars at best for me.....). I have known about Arena for years.....
I'm choking on my own words coz I reviewed it with 4 stars - when I listened that afternoon, I cranked it right up and it just hit me how epic and powerful it sounded.
And let's just leave Tim Esau in IQ - that's where he belongs !!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2014 at 05:00
I can't imagine Jowitt returning to IQ . He bought his one way ticket out of there and that is that.

Might be interesting if Jowitt , Orford and Menel got together though ..
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tuxon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 31 2014 at 02:51
Originally posted by Tom Ozric Tom Ozric wrote:

Originally posted by Tom Ozric Tom Ozric wrote:

My first taste of this band is the dbl LP of The Seven Degrees ........ and I hope they are NOT going to follow this path........(3 stars at best for me.....). I have known about Arena for years.....
I'm choking on my own words coz I reviewed it with 4 stars - when I listened that afternoon, I cranked it right up and it just hit me how epic and powerful it sounded.
And let's just leave Tim Esau in IQ - that's where he belongs !!
 
Good you've come to your senses, Seven Degrees is actually possibly their strongest release IMO, just slightly behind The Visitor and Contagion and ahead of the rest.
 
So for me I hope they keep the good and hopefully make it even better.
 
Does anybody know the new bass player Kylan Amos I ha'ven't heard of him before.


Edited by tuxon - October 31 2014 at 02:56
I'm always almost unlucky _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Id5ZcnjXSZaSMFMC Id5LM2q2jfqz3YxT
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tom Ozric Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 31 2014 at 03:10
^ Excellent !!
There really is more to this album than meets-the-ears I think.
Sure, I love Nolan's widdly-widdly synth solos, but there is more to a great concept than show-offy synth solos. This album has shown me that it doesn't necessarily take fancy flights of any one instrument to make an excellent song. Yes, the guitar is the centre instrument here, but for all intents and purposes, it doesn't need much more to convey an effective result within the 'concept'. A very strong album, and thankfully, I haven't heard complete albums before this. Now, my pre-conception of Arena is that they are more of a Prog-Metal band that has successfully realised their sound.   Heavy Neo-Prog is a departure from the 'usual'..........
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