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Various Artists (Label Samplers) - Lions & Fables - Verglas Music Sampler vol. 1 CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Label Samplers)


Various Genres

3.51 | 3 ratings

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3 stars Neo bands don't easily enter my top list; often there is some disliked factor like the singer's voice (IQ, Pendragon) if the style is otherwise, though rarely, up to my taste. But yes, I do have a certain appetite for the genre in all its clichés, and I was delighted to get very cheaply this compilation from the Verglas label (led by Clive Nolan?). It pretty well satisfies my curiosity in that particular field, but also I must say I enjoy strongly when I listen this CD through. When I'm in the mood for Neo-Prog's adolescent adrenalin dose!

ARENA seems always have had same sort of singers. The most FISH-clone is the first, Paul Wrightson. 'Valley of the Kings' is a gorgeous 10-minute opener with tasty keyboard/guitar sound patterns. The two later Arena tracks are not as good but the naive pompousness doesn't fail. SHADOWLAND is another Clive Nolan band, and the style comes a bit closer to early 80's new wave pop with almost DuranDuran/ABC-reminding singer. As long as you're in the right mood, everything's just fine.

URBANE was Arena guitarist John Mitchell's side step. 'Fading Out' is not proggy but more like 80's chart-topping pop - that said, rather good. Fine-voiced DAMIAN WILSON's track is a gentle one and pleasantly free of Neo's adolescent atmosphere, but rather close to oversweetness. CASINO featured Nolan and 12th Night singer Geoff Mann in '92, year before Mann's death. Wow, I'd like to hear the whole Casino album!

As I said, very enjoyable compilation for a certain mood, recommended to those who wish for tasters only from ARENA et al. (The cover sucks; I designed a better one with a SciFi-like urban landscape.)

Matti | 3/5 |


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