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Arena - The Unquiet Sky CD (album) cover

THE UNQUIET SKY

Arena

 

Neo-Prog

3.68 | 276 ratings

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The Crow
Prog Reviewer
3 stars After the boring, uninspired and dry The Seventh Degree of Separation, Arena came back four years later with The Unquiet Sky!!!

And despite the scheme of the album is similar, having a long list of short songs unlike the band's classic albums, this time Arena tried to retrieve a bit their classic sound but without achieving this task completely. The album is heavy, dark and more guitar oriented in comparison to previous works, much in the vein of The Seventh Degree of Separation, but this time the songwriting is better and there is also more place to pure neo-prog elements in songs like Returning the Curse.

Sadly, Paul Manzi is still not the adequate singer for this band in my opinion. He uses a tone which is not so high pitched this time, but his style is too heavy metal oriented, and he lacks the dramatism and great interpretation of the lyrics that the other Arena singers like Paul Wrightson or the very missed Rob Sowden had.

Nevertheless, we must see the bright side of life, so let's say that The Unquiet Sky was still an improvement!

Best Tracks: The Bishop of Lufford (dramatic and powerful), Time Runs Out (simple, but effective), Returning the Curse (the most neo-prog song and where Clive Nolan shines the most) and Unexpected Dawn (and unexpectedly good acoustic track)

Conclusion: The Unquiet Sky was not the comeback album that the Arena fans were waiting for. It's too repetitive, with too many insipid guitar riffs and it lacks the dramatism and great keyboards of older albums. And Paul Manzi is not the adequate singer for this music, despite having a very good voice.

But like I said, the album was at least better than The Seventh Degree of Separation being an enjoyable experience in general terms, giving us a glimpse of hope for the future of this once great neo-prog band.

My rating: ***

The Crow | 3/5 |

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