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Arena - The Visitor CD (album) cover





4.04 | 672 ratings

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The Crow
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Is this the best Arena's album? Not, In my humble opinion. But it's still a great piece of work...

The album opens in a magnificent way, with 5 great tracks in a queue... But in the middle of the album, the music loses a little of orientation and quality. Some songs in this section are just forgettable in my opinion... Like the mediocre A State of Grace and the tasteless In the Blink of an Eye. The ending of the disc retrieves a little of strength, with the dark Don't forget to Breathe, the marvellous Tears in The Rain, the 80's reminiscent Enemy Without and the poggy Scaping from Damascus... The Visitor is not a bad ending, but not too impressive.

But with its flaws, the final impression that this album leaves is good... Really good. But in my opinion, this album is far in quality from the masterpiece "Contagion", the best album Arena's made by far. Even their debut, "Songs from the Lions Cage" is better, with its splendid epics. But "The Visitor" is still a strongly recommended album for neo-prog lovers...

Best songs: A Crack in the Ice (I just love the middle section, with the acoustic guitar...), Pins and Needles (just makes me happy every time I hear it...), Double Vison (really catchy track...), The Hanging Tree (the epic of the album...), Don't Forget to Breathe (the "Contagion" sound is here yet!) and Scaping from Damascus (the best Nolan's playing of the album...).

Conclusion: not as dark as their upcoming "Immortal?", not so epic as "Songs from the Lions Cage", and not so impressive and well builded as "Contagion"... "The Visitor" is a diverse, funny and sometimes brilliant album. If you like Arena, you must hear it... If you are not in the music of this people, I recommend you to start with "Contagion"... Is just better and easier to listen to. And of course, Rob Sowden is by far a better singer than Paul Wrightson, who is very similar in style as the previous Arena's singer, John Carson... A little too "Fishy".

The Crow | 4/5 |


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