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Arena - Pride CD (album) cover





3.64 | 336 ratings

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The Crow
Prog Reviewer
3 stars My least favourite Arena album... But with a pair of memorable moments!

The style of the album clearly follows the previous and excellent Songs from the Lion's Cage... Some long and epic tracks, are mixed up with shorter ones and the Crying for Help interludes. So if you have heard the first Arena album, this second one is not really different. Maybe the most important difference is the addition of the vocalist Paul Wrightson... But his voice sounds not so well like in the later The Visitor. Maybe that's strange, but I miss the original singer John Carson in Pride. Wrightson has more personality and his voice is powerful, but I really liked the Carson's work in Songs..., so being Pride very similar in style and sound, I think this songs would have been better with his voice. But Wrightson makes a good performance anyway, like in the very vocal oriented Medusa, and the a capella track Crying for Help VII.

The new bassist, John Jowitt (who also plays in IQ...), makes also a good work... So, where is my problem with this album? Just the songwriting. The songs are not so brilliant like in the previous work... Only Sirens is really in the same level. The rest is not so catchy, and the vocal melodies are not so epic like in Songs form the Lion's Cage. And the Crying for Help thing is a bit boring here... Specially the silly ambiental song Crying for Help VIII.

But like I said before, the album is far from being bad... Clive Nolan makes a pretty enjoyable work, as usual, and Keith More is also a competent guitarist, making again a variated and deep work... You have only to hear the bluesy guitar solo in the beginning of Sirens. So I think every Arena's fan, and neo- prog lover, will find enough worthy moments in Pride.

Best tracks: Welcome to the Cage (very apropiated opening: catchy, fast, with very nice keyboard melodies and an outstanding guitar solo), Medusa (I specially like the verses...), Crying for Help VII (curious a capella track...) and of course, Sirens (the best track of the album... And the only long ones wich is really remarkable)

Conclusion: not as good as Songs from the Lions's Cage... But still enjoyable. I miss the John Carson's voice, because I think his voice is better for this kind of songs, and I find the long tracks a bit boring, with the exception of the great Sirens. Nevertheless, this is a very good album, wich every Arena's fan should hear. But if you are not into the career of this great band, I recommend you to start with another album, because Pride is their weakest efforth in my opinion.

My rating: ***1/2

The Crow | 3/5 |


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