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





3.47 | 346 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
2 stars After a 6 year hiatus comes Arenaīs new work. I tried very hard to give this CD a fair review. I didnīt want to rush my opinion over it, which I almost did on Pepperīs Ghost, their previous album. But, alas, to no avail. This work does not seduce me like any other Arena did in the past. Donīt get me wrong, itīs not bad. Itīs well done, performed and produced. And I was quite hopeful, since I heard bassist extraordinaire John Jowitt was back to the fold. New vocalist Paul Manzi is good and his voice is not very different from that of former singer Rob Sowden

But something has changed: too much vocals, too few guitar solos (and, believe it or not, no keyboards solos at all!), no instrumental tracks and most of the songs are too much alike. In other words: not much to do with their previous works and style. It almost seems like guitarist John Mitchell took over as a leader and Clive Nolan is just happy to follow along filling the few spots left by the ever present distorted guitar riffing. Of course there are good moments (like Close Your Eyes), but nothing that stands out too much. Overall the feeling left is that of a big lack of inspiration hit the band hard.

After repeated spins over the year my opinion hasnīt change much: The Seventh Degree Of Separation is good, but definitely inferior to anything those guys have released before. I like to hear it when I put it on the CD player, but it doesnīt make me feel like other Arena material used to (i.e., to push the repeat button). So donīt be fooled by the two stars rating. I guess it actually deserves three, but I decided to give it a little less to counterbalance the misleading reviews that rate it as a masterpiece (something I really donīt understand, specially because Iīm a big fan of Arena). I really hope next time theyīll come up with more convincing material and performances.

Tarcisio Moura | 2/5 |


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