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Arena - Immortal? CD (album) cover





3.94 | 538 ratings

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A Crimson Mellotron
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Among Arena's best we have to mention 'Immortal?', the band's fourth full-length studio release, put up for the world to enjoy in the first year of the new millennium. This one is also the first record with vocalist Rob Sowden, who would record two more before parting ways with the band, and has the severely difficult task of following up the stellar masterwork of Arena, 1998's 'The Visitor'. Of course, the core of the band, in the face of Clive Nolan, John Mitchell and Mick Pointer, as well as the other two players do not disappoint and deliver the second installment of what could certainly be considered the 'Holy Trinity' of Arena albums, including 'Contagion' as well.

'Immortal?' opens with 'Chosen', a dark, heavy song, with a throbbing main riff and a haunting atmosphere, this is still Arena, but they dare to go to some even gloomier places than before, still focusing on atmosphere, as on 'The Visitor'. The 9-minute 'The Butterfly Man' is another highlight of the album - this is pure neo-prog mixed up with heavy metal, ultimately ending up as one of the most evocative songs in Arena's entire catalogue. 'Ghost in the Firewall' is pure emotion, always highly anticipated when playing the album, this for me is one of the band's all-time bests tracks. 'Climbing the Net' does reflect slightly Mick Pointer's Marillion days, as this one is certainly an homage to the 80s neo-progressive rock scene, reminiscent a bit of 'Double Vision', a song appearing on Arena's previous album. Then there is the great 20-minute composition 'Moviedrome', this one is epic and suspenseful, dark and melancholic, heavy and abundant, everything you might expect from this group.

'Immortal' is a great debut for Sowden, and a very strong release for Arena; It is, my least favorite of their classic three, but the album definitely has a lot to offer and serves impactfully as one of the better neo-prog releases of the early 2000s.

A Crimson Mellotron | 4/5 |


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