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Arena - The Seventh Degree of Separation CD (album) cover





3.47 | 346 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Oh dear.

Okay, as one of the biggest defenders of Arena, I have to say that my hands were sweaty with excitement at first. Okay, the trailer said:' Their best work yet!'. Uh-Oh. Something's ALWAYS wrong when a band claims that their latest work is the best (Metallica, Journey and Rush went through the same pattern). Then, the songs they chose to give us a listen were..uh..tacky? So I got suspicious...with reason apparently.

Tacky. That's about the only word that sums up well. Arena always flirted with the 80's, and 'till Pepper's Ghost, it was the good side of the decade. But this time, oh Lord no. No! NO! It's really under what this band can do. Looks like the heavyness is there to stay, and John Mitchell is carrying the whole album on his shoulders with, as usual, a talented mix of power chords and arpeggios. The vocals are done by Vincent from the Beauty and the Beast Tv Show, and well I might add...but I still do miss Rob; he sounded less pop. What's lacking then?

The things that I liked about Arena are kinda gone: blistering keyboard solos with a victorian style, varied atmospheres of songs (not just sad), and more inventives structures. Now, it's just the same song for 50 minutes, with the same boring keyboard textures, drumming exciting as a bathroom scale for a gift and the same Stratocaster sound over and over. Where's the instrumental prowness? Where's the colors? Where's the reflexion?

Oh man. I really wanted this to be grand. But alas. The songs are from another era, a bad one. Feels like Adult Oriented Rock (AOR), like a blend of REO SpeedWagon and Bruno Pelletier. Like a scrawny guy acting tough because he has a goaty, Arena is trying unsuccessfully to be edgy and black, instead we see through this and find cheesy hard rock taste, a bottle of Hair Spray and a Trixter T-Shirt. Good Lord what happened?!?

*Sigh* Well, cheer up. Looks like Metallica's also having a crappy year.

It's like a can opener with a pink ribbon around: okay but still disappointing.

Menswear | 3/5 |


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