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Arena - The Cry CD (album) cover





2.98 | 76 ratings

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3 stars Unlike typical EP that usually precedes a full-fledge album, The Cry was released as follow-up of two previous albums of ARENA namely "Song From The Lions Cage" and "Pride". If you have already enjoyed both of them, enjoying this EP (with cheaper suggested price than the regular CD) is a rewarding experience. If you haven't, it's still a very enjoyable and accessible mini album to enjoy - especially on the use of acoustic guitar by the band's new guitarist John Mitchell, who contributed in the "Welcome to the Stage" live album and whom later would become the band's key member. One might say that this EP was a test case for John Mitchell doing studio work.

The opening track "Theme" (0:55) is an ambient music that welcomes the acoustic based "The Cry" (3:10). The original version of this appeared under "Crying For Help VII" song in Arena's second album "Pride" which has only vocal acapella without accompanying musical instrument. John Mitchell's guitar work enriches the original song textures. "The Offering" (2:33) is a light classical music exploring Clive Nolan's keyboard. It's a relaxing music and very accessible and an alternative version of "Crying for Help V" (Pride). While "Problem Line (4:02) is an alternative version of "Crying for Help III" of debut album. "Isolation" (1:59) is an acoustic guitar outfit newly created by the band. Excellent guitar work.

"Fallen Idols" (4:12) is for those who love a touchy classical outfit "Crying For Help II", featured originally in Song From Lions Cage album, because this alternative version is very entertaining as the keyboard work by Nolan gives a floating nuance. The most interesting track featured in this EP is track number 8 "Only Child" (5:03) which has a guest guitarist, Steve Rothery of Marillion. It's really a melodic track that represents the best track, in my opinion, of the whole EP.

Overall it's a very good record and if you are an Arena fan, this is a must. Observe the differences between the studio versions with this alternative arrangement. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Gatot | 3/5 |


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