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Arena - Live & Life  CD (album) cover





4.36 | 77 ratings

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3 stars A decent live release from the Contagion tour. The band missed a bit of a trick here - whilst it is nice to have an (almost) complete live rendition of the Contagion album as disc 1, they could have made the live show a real treat by reincorporating into the running order the additional songs from the Contagion saga which were trimmed from the studio album and distributed amongst the Contagious and Contagium EPs. Then again, at least disc 2 here offers a decent selection of non-Contagion tracks, even if there is a large overlap with the track selection for their previous two live albums.

One thing Live and Life does particularly well is tease out what makes this era of the band stand out - namely, that whilst they at times seem to be rehashing old ground in the "prog" stakes, they inject a healthy dose of high-energy *RAWK* into the "rock" side of the "neo-prog rock" equation. Your enjoyment of Arena's 2000s releases, I suspect, will largely hinge on whether or not you consider that an improvement by your personal standards and tastes.

Warthur | 3/5 |


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