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Arena - Welcome Back! To The Stage CD (album) cover

WELCOME BACK! TO THE STAGE

Arena

 

Neo-Prog

3.51 | 15 ratings

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Emperor
4 stars Has anyone the video for this live record? I sincerely have an interest to because it's impossible not to admit that all the band's instrumentalists (and sound-engineering personal too) must be very skillful musicians as they hasn't made any mistake or false making music by their equipment. The quality of the entire record and the virtuosity (except vocal, maybe - I'd be very glad if they will invite "band-free" Fish or even Ronnie James Dio to the microphones :-)) are the stronger sides of the band, exactly.

Well, practically all the concert-numbers are pretty similar to the original album- versions, though not without some fresh little features - the live-album is really pleasantly-listenable.

The record unexpectedly starts with the orchestral introduction by Mozart's William Tell Overture. (Why they have decided to open their show by just this one?! Why not to use more serious and closer to Arena's style some parts of Beethoven's sonatas, for example?).

The thing which has really made me glad was the 2nd track of the album (and the 1st one Arena has performed here); I'm talking about my favorite band's composition - the breathtaking Valley Of The Kings. Amazing and the highest point of all the CD! This version is even more powerful than the original, drums are perfect, keyboards and guitars are brilliant.

I need to say the whole tracklisting choice for this CD is almost ideal for my taste, except, maybe, the noodling Midas Vision, which is far not among my faves in Arena's catalog. I'd be totally delighted it'd be replaced by Empire Of Thousand Days, for example...

I think WELCOME TO THE STAGE is that kind of live-albums which could be a very good start points for new listeners of a band. This one is the collection of highlights - you can find a lot of them: epic anthems like Valley Of The Kings, Sirens or Solomon, nice and gentle numbers (Jericho) and killer-rockers (Welcome To The Cage, Out Of The Wilderness and Medusa).

I think this live-album is the most successful release by Arena ever. Highly Recommended not only for Neo-Progressive fans.

Emperor | 4/5 |

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