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Arena - Pride CD (album) cover





3.64 | 336 ratings

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3 stars You'll have to be very careful with this album. If you do not pay attention, you might think you are listening to their first one : "Songs From The Lion's Cage".

Arena develops further the "Crying For Help" concept. Some of these interludes were nice on their debut album, but I do not feel useful to repeat the concept once again. Maybe they should have produced a double album at once. The album opens on "Welcome to the Cage...". Is this another album ? Actually this track is a very good one. Full of rhythm, somewhat poppy. A good opener by all means.

Now, as far as the "Cryings" are concerned : "V" is my preferred one. A subtle piano oriented interlude. Very peaceful my friend. "VI", sounds medieval at start, then again a nice acoustic part makes it more bearable. "VII" is absolutely boring. Wringston singing a cappella all the way through. Maybe good for a scout camp. "VIII" is a monotone and spacey number. A nice choir will raise the level of this part. The second best "Crying" here.

Three long numbers will perpetrate the tradition. Arena will be known for his nice long piece of music. But on this one no such thing as "Out Of The Wilderness" nor "Solomon", unfortunately.

On this album, we'll have to live with some rather heavy numbers like "Empire of a Thousand Days" which almost starts as "Run Like Hell" (Floyd). Vocal parts will add some variety. A very good guitar break towards the end and the vocal parts make this track probably one of the best ones of the album.

"Fool's Gold" shows a lot of similarities with "The Knife". A strong and powerful rock number. It won't be as violent as "The Knife" throughout its lenght, but it is a good song as well. Great guitar work (almost symphonic).

The only outstanding piece of music is, IMO, the closing number "Sirens". Complex number, featuring lots of tempo changes. Nice keys and great rhythmic section. Finally a great number (the longest one). At times, it sounds almost as "The Apocalypse" from "Supper's Ready". Great musicianship and almost bombastic from start to finish. A great Arena track with a strong finale.

I was a bit disappointed to listen to this album after their first and very encouraging one. "Pride" is IMO, just a repetition of their debut effort. Fortunately there will be a song like "Sirens" to save this album from being rather average. Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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