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Arena - Immortal? CD (album) cover

IMMORTAL?

Arena

 

Neo-Prog

3.94 | 483 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars An album which will live forever

"Immortal?" (note the question mark!) was the follow up album to the excellent "The visitor", and the first with new vocalist Rob Sowden. Sowden's vocals fit in well with the band's sound, while adding his own distinctive signature.

Wisely, Arena did not try to make "The visitor 2", "Immortal?" being a bit heavier and with 7 unconnected tracks (whereas "The visitor" had substantially more shorter tracks which linked together to for a magnificent whole).

The stand out track is the 20 minute "Moviedrome", a stunning composition which offers a bleak view of life in the late 20th century, before climaxing with a more optimistic ending. The references to the intrusion of television into our lives ("we let him in and offer no defence) is reminiscent of The Moody Blues references 30+ years earlier on "Days of future past" ("cold hearted orb which rules the night, removes the colours from our sight.") The tension builds through the various time changes leading to the glorious finale. Even now after countless plays, I find the track as new and striking as on first hearing.

The other tracks are all superb, with my personal exception of the plodder "Chosen" which I found a bit uninspired, and disappointing as an opening track. That said, the highly atmospheric "The butterfly man" more than compensates, and the closing track "Friday's dream" is a beautiful ballad with an inspirational chorus. As such, it forms the perfect counter to the preceding "Moviedrome".

A fine album which falls neatly into the neo-prog category, Pity about the cover illustration though.

Easy Livin | 5/5 |

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