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Arena - Pepper's Ghost CD (album) cover

PEPPER'S GHOST

Arena

 

Neo-Prog

3.65 | 420 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I am heading now to one of my last Arena review since I am now almost on track with their latest releases. I have always like this band since their early days of "Songs From The Lions Cage". I have never rated one album with the maximum amount of stars possible so far (but none of their original albums won't be ranked lower than the three stars level in my rating).

Their first two albums were great but these "Crying" little pieces did keep me away of the maximum rating. Both "The visitor" and "Contagion" were great albums deserving four stars in my scale of reviewing. Their live albums were always very good but there was always something that prevented me to allow one of their work with the absolute five stars rating.

At the time of this release, I was really enthusiastic when I saw that the band reverted to longer compositions and I was really thrilled to listen to their last studio effort. And there will be no disappointment. Only great songs all the way through.

If you like the almost metal-prog-rock from Arena, you will be extremely happy with this release. No compromise : each song will be extremely powerful, yet catchy. The opening number will set the pace but really it is difficult to name one track which would be better than the other one. The whole album is a true gem of rock music. Whether it is truely prog is a useless discussion. This is great music, period.

The listener will be brought from one great song to another till "Opera Fanatica". The highlights being "Bedlam Fayre", "The Shattered Room" and "Purgatory Road" (my second or third fave, well actually I do not know since there are so many...). But none of the other songs are fillers.

So, we are heading now "Opera Fanatica". This is the number that will definitely turned my rating to the max of the five stars. It is an extraordinary piece of music. So complex that they wouldn' t play it live (at least when I saw Arena during the supporting tour of this great album in October 2005 at the Spirit of 66, of course).

As the title indicates, it is almost an opera. A wonderful intro, extremely heavy keys and a fantastic beat. This instrumental introduction (around three minutes) is one of the most powerful I have ever heard. All genres, all periods. FABULOUS.

When Rob will be in charge, the feeling just gets higher. Emotion, power, fantasy, imagination. It is an incredible song. IMHHO (in my humble and honest opinion), it is Arena's best song ever. Even superior to the great "Solomon", "Valley Of The kings", "Fool's Gold" or "Sirens".

When you listen to this wonderful track, only one advice : put it real loud. Then, you'll get the max out of it.

Five stars (did you ever doubt about that ?).

ZowieZiggy | 5/5 |

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