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Arena - Pride CD (album) cover





3.64 | 336 ratings

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3 stars In just one year-time Arena had to face the departure of bassist Cliff Orsi and excellent singer John Carson along with the procedure of making a new album.To fill the holes the band hired Paul Wrightson behind the microphone and experienced bassist John Jowitt from IQ and Jadis.The new line-up recorded and released ''Pride'' in 2004 on the longtime Arena following label Verglas.

With so many things and changes going on in such a short time,it would be a miracle for the band to return with another masterpiece.But again ''Pride'' stands well among other great neo prog releases.The sound now is slightly heavier,while Wrightson's voice is more strong and aggressive than Carson's,yet very suitable to the new sound.Five normal tracks are connected with four bridges,entitled ''''Crying for help'',which are very soft compared to other tracks,having almost a pastoral symphonic sound.The overall style remains in the neo/symphonic field with grandiose keyboards by Nolan,good guitar solos by More,changing moods and haunting atmospheres.However the album lacks in coherence,''Medusa'' is an all-time classic neo prog hymn,followed by the totally flat and uninteresting a capella bridge ''Crying for Help VII''.These dead flows make the album less attractive compared to the masterful ''Songs from the lions cage''.

Despite its light disadvantages,many bands would be really proud of even reaching the atmosphere of ''Pride'' and so the album comes strongly recommended to every neo/symphonic buff...3.5 stars

apps79 | 3/5 |


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