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Arena - The Cry CD (album) cover





2.98 | 76 ratings

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4 stars This E.P. shows ARENA at their most lyrical, musically speaking. A theme ("The Cry") is played in many different ways but mostly in ethereal, sometimes sad, nostalgic tones. The gem of the album is a trio of successive tunes showing the richness and depth of ARENA's compositional abilities: the first, "Fallen Idols", is a smooth keyboard instrumental with a most moving melody. Without your noticing it, it slides into "Guidance", an eerie instrumental where you can feel the ashes smouldering under every note, as if something ominous is about to happen. Then a haunting female choir slips in, humming a melody that slowly takes shape and at times bursts into feverish, operatic wails. Finally, the music breaks out into the most exquisite track of the trio, "Only Child" - it is basically a reprise of the wonderful "Crying for Help IV" from their debut album, but arranged in a slightly different way (although I prefer the old version as far as the arrangements are concerned, I find the vocals on "The Cry"'s version more convincing). The CD closes with "The Healer", a solid rocker with an anthemic beat la "Jericho".

I can't honestly consider this E.P. a collectors' item only. Not only does it clock in at almost 36 minutes but without it, I think you'd be missing out on some essential ARENA material, if only for the trio mentioned above.

Hibou | 4/5 |


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