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Arena - Songs from the Lions Cage CD (album) cover





3.86 | 469 ratings

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4 stars Having taken a decade away from the music business, Mick Pointer would return to the drummer's stool with Arena, alongside his erstwhile co-founder and business partner in Verglas Music, Clive Nolan. The album an impressive neo-prog piece which establishes itself as a darker and more complex affair than some of Nolan's other side-projects such as Shadowland, with decent vocals from John Carson and excellent guitar playing by Keith More (plus a guest appearance from Pointer's fellow Marillion co-founder Steve Rothery), and the inclusion of the subdued Crying for Help instrumentals between the major songs weaves a common thread through the album and lends it a fair amount of cohesiveness.

As for Mick's drumming? To be honest, it still isn't stellar - but as on Script For a Jester's Tear, Pointer proves able to set a rhythm and create a context in which the rest of the band's magic can unfold - and when you combine this with his very capable songwriting contributions, that's more than enough.

Warthur | 4/5 |


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