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Arena - The Visitor CD (album) cover





4.04 | 674 ratings

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5 stars What a great, great album. Powerful, dark and melodic altogether - a non-stop, continuous show of flashes of genius one after another. In my book, a milestone.

The Visitor was a shift of sound for Arena, whose two previous albums were purely neo-prog. Those were actually excellent, but starting from The Visitor, this band has pulled off the way to perfectly blend metal prog with neo-prog, and the overall musical result is quite a few steps above most of what is being done in the prog world.

The Visitor's 'visiting card' - the cover artwork - sets the stage right from the start with a worrying and intriguing picture which tells you just enough about what you are going to witness. Dark, mysterious compositions, showcasing the best melodical songwriting that one can ask for. Then, as it goes, The Visitor explores a number of creative themes, which all come full circle by the end during the fantastic Running from Damassens, a short but jaw- dropping track managing to tie up several of the album's themes in an amazingly coherent sequence, before it ends with a powerful musical moment of pure magic.

This album flows seemlessly with no low moment. Its cutting-edge and innovative sound, compositions and overall atmosphere set the bar higher for everyting after its release, and it happens to still be very hard to match its standard even for the best bands around. There is no surprise in that I happen to revisit The Visitor quite often. A masterpiece and essential by all means.

SentimentalMercenary | 5/5 |


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