Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Arena - The Cry CD (album) cover




From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
4 stars A short album, mostly consisting of alternate version of Crying For Help I to VIII from the previous albums. This album is not typical for Arena and only recommended for Arena fans. Nevertheless I like this remake of the Crying for Help cycle, thus I rate it a very good album.
Report this review (#973)
Posted Tuesday, November 11, 2003 | Review Permalink
3 stars The easiest way to describe what kind of mini-album this is, I quote the text on the album's jewel case: "THE CRY is a theme and variations featuring original and new versions of the CRYING FOR HELP series from the album SONGS FROM THE LIONS CAGE and PRIDE, together with new material based on the original concept." On this album these pieces have been put together again together with new material.

- The keyboard player Clive Nolan (PENDRAGON, SHADOWLAND etc.) is magnificent as always. There's not much to say about this release other than that it's very good, and a must have for all ARENA fans out there. Recommended!

Report this review (#975)
Posted Saturday, March 13, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This E.P. shows ARENA at their most lyrical, musically speaking. A theme ("The Cry") is played in many different ways but mostly in ethereal, sometimes sad, nostalgic tones. The gem of the album is a trio of successive tunes showing the richness and depth of ARENA's compositional abilities: the first, "Fallen Idols", is a smooth keyboard instrumental with a most moving melody. Without your noticing it, it slides into "Guidance", an eerie instrumental where you can feel the ashes smouldering under every note, as if something ominous is about to happen. Then a haunting female choir slips in, humming a melody that slowly takes shape and at times bursts into feverish, operatic wails. Finally, the music breaks out into the most exquisite track of the trio, "Only Child" - it is basically a reprise of the wonderful "Crying for Help IV" from their debut album, but arranged in a slightly different way (although I prefer the old version as far as the arrangements are concerned, I find the vocals on "The Cry"'s version more convincing). The CD closes with "The Healer", a solid rocker with an anthemic beat ā la "Jericho".

I can't honestly consider this E.P. a collectors' item only. Not only does it clock in at almost 36 minutes but without it, I think you'd be missing out on some essential ARENA material, if only for the trio mentioned above.

Report this review (#976)
Posted Saturday, April 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars the first two arena albums included a series of mainly instrumental songs called 'crying for help'. these eight tracks are put together on this EP, in addition there is an intro and the final song 'the healer'. if you have the first two albums, you won't have too much benefit of buying this one, since the versions are not that different from the versions included on the first two arena albums. the biggest benefit you'll have is the final song 'the healer', which in my opinion is one of the best arena tracks.
Report this review (#977)
Posted Monday, October 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Help me!

"The cry" is an extended EP running to 35 minutes which features re-workings of the various "Crying for help" (CFH) link tracks recorded by Arena on their "Songs from the lions cage" and "Pride" albums, plus a limited amount of new material. The sleeve notes explain that when originally written, the tracks were intended to form one continuous piece of music. That plan was then put aside, and the tracks used as interlude music on their early albums. While on the "Pride" and "SFTLC" albums the songs were all called "Crying for help", and given sequential numbers to differentiate them, here they are given their original titles. The sleeve-notes however detail which is which, as the tracks which originally bore the CFH name do not appear here in numerical order, reverting to the originally intended order instead. .

After a brief opening "Theme", "The cry" will be familiar to those who have seen Arena live, being CFH7, with the repeating "Help me" call. Many of the songs are instrumental, and when used as interlude pieces stand up well. When heard one after the other as they are here however, their impact tends to be lost, and the album becomes rather ambient and dare I say dull. There are of course plenty of pleasant sections, such as the choral effects on "Guidance" (CFH8), and the soft keyboards on "Fallen idols" (CFH2). "Only child" (CFH4) is track 8, yet is the first since track 2 with any vocals. It has similarities both lyrically and aurally to parts of "Solomon". Steve Rothery of Marillion is called in add some distinctive guitar work, although personally I would have preferred to hear more of John Mitchell.

The "new" tracks tend to fair best, with "Isolation" bearing echoes of Steve Hackett's "Horizons". The final track "The healer" is a much more traditional Arena piece, which sounds as if it has been lifted from their excellent "The visitor" album. Here, while sounding rather out of place, it does tend to make the album a necessary purchase for fans of the band.

In truth, "The cry" fails to live up to the extraordinarily high standards set by their principle releases, against which it inevitably must be judged. Given that the "Crying for help" interludes worked best when used as just that (interludes between the main tracks), they do not benefit from being bundled together to form a single piece, even if that was the original intention.

Report this review (#979)
Posted Saturday, January 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars I like very much this band, but this album....... I don't know is a very different style. It seems to be other band.

Maybe you would like if you didn't sleep well the last night. I bought this album and found it very boring. I was expecting something else. The music is just too slow and soft.

Report this review (#980)
Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Crying for Help songs from the former two studio albums (Songs from the lions cage, Pride) are combined, rearranged, and given a proper name for this EP. Some songs where rerecorded, and two songs where newly added (Theme and The Healer). Theme is the intro for an alternative version of the Cry, on Pride this was an accapella piece, this version is vocals accompagnied by accoustic guitar, I'm still not sure which version I prefer, there both very strong and compelling. Overall it's quite a laid-back sort of album, mainly carried and driven by Clive Nolan's keyboard wizardship, strong mellow tunes and an occassional guitarpart. The Healer is the last song on this EP, it's a nice hard-rock anthemic song, just loosely affiliated with the overall theme. a good song on itself, but slightly misplaced given the nature of the other songs. this is a good album to enjoy, but not one you should start with, listen to Pride, The visitor and Songs from the lions cage first. would be a more proper introduction to the style of the band. I give it four stars, but I'm a big Fan :-)
Report this review (#983)
Posted Monday, January 31, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars Frankly speaking, I still cannot understand why the band has decided to release this strange and unnecessary short (36 minutes) compilation with the two only new tracks, one of which is just the 55 second introduction to the rest of material. I think this EP had no sense except to improve the budgets of the record company and of Arena by themselves. Well, well, there's a really excellent closing track The Healer, one of the best compositions in the band's history. It's powerful, groovy, melodic, cleverly arranged - the outstanding example of top-notch production by the band. But the rest of the stuff... Hmmm... All the tracks from the 2nd to the 9th are the remixes of 8 "Crying For Help" parts, which are so pretty close to their original versions. Nothing to listen except The Healer, really.

I guess this record would be a quiet good surprise for the die-hard fans of Arena only...

Report this review (#982)
Posted Thursday, February 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars Good grief!!! Why release something like this one?I am a huge fan of this amazing band, but i have no patience for this one.Why do not release THE HEALER (the only thing I can listen here) in other album ? This 'Cry for Help' crap almost ruined their first 2 albums.Thank goodness they have abandoned this theme...
Report this review (#981)
Posted Sunday, February 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Unlike typical EP that usually precedes a full-fledge album, The Cry was released as follow-up of two previous albums of ARENA namely "Song From The Lions Cage" and "Pride". If you have already enjoyed both of them, enjoying this EP (with cheaper suggested price than the regular CD) is a rewarding experience. If you haven't, it's still a very enjoyable and accessible mini album to enjoy - especially on the use of acoustic guitar by the band's new guitarist John Mitchell, who contributed in the "Welcome to the Stage" live album and whom later would become the band's key member. One might say that this EP was a test case for John Mitchell doing studio work.

The opening track "Theme" (0:55) is an ambient music that welcomes the acoustic based "The Cry" (3:10). The original version of this appeared under "Crying For Help VII" song in Arena's second album "Pride" which has only vocal acapella without accompanying musical instrument. John Mitchell's guitar work enriches the original song textures. "The Offering" (2:33) is a light classical music exploring Clive Nolan's keyboard. It's a relaxing music and very accessible and an alternative version of "Crying for Help V" (Pride). While "Problem Line (4:02) is an alternative version of "Crying for Help III" of debut album. "Isolation" (1:59) is an acoustic guitar outfit newly created by the band. Excellent guitar work.

"Fallen Idols" (4:12) is for those who love a touchy classical outfit "Crying For Help II", featured originally in Song From Lions Cage album, because this alternative version is very entertaining as the keyboard work by Nolan gives a floating nuance. The most interesting track featured in this EP is track number 8 "Only Child" (5:03) which has a guest guitarist, Steve Rothery of Marillion. It's really a melodic track that represents the best track, in my opinion, of the whole EP.

Overall it's a very good record and if you are an Arena fan, this is a must. Observe the differences between the studio versions with this alternative arrangement. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#45723)
Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Well, this is not an album in the strict sense. Maybe we should say itīs an EP (in fact, it is) but the important thing is here are the complete "Crying for Help" with all parts with different arrangements but preserving the original project. To close the album appears a heavy song ("The Healer") that is closer to Iron Maiden than Marillion. The album is interesting for collectors and all those who like to hear different versions but is not a great step in the history of progressive rock. However, is nice and easy for ears, with no the complexity of previous works. Just an island in the career of Arena, different to each other album of the band.
Report this review (#51054)
Posted Monday, October 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Cry is all eight parts of crying for help from their first two albums put together and reworked as a single concept. Add to that a couple of new songs including the rocky song The Healer, and you have a very decent short album (35.47 running time) which would be normal length when I was a child listening to vinyl! Oh yes and don't forget tha amazing John Mitchell is now on guitar.
Report this review (#100245)
Posted Friday, November 24, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars In my reviews for their respective two first albums, I expressed a moderate interest for the "Crying For Help" songs. I called them interludes, and I wouln't have been sad if they would have remained so (even if they were intended originally to make part of a separate work).

Some of the "Cryings" were good, though. Especially some of the ones from " Songs From the Lions Cage ". "Only Child" featuring a great guitar solo from Rothery was one of them (slightly different here). It is my fave from this "Cry" compilation. What was known as "Cry VII" was an a cappella dull song. In this version, called ... "The Cry" it profits from a subtle acoustic guitar background. I prefer to hear this version. The short "Theme" was meant to be featured on their first album but was not.

"The Offering" is a beautiful and melodic track. All in lightness and peacefullness. "Problem Line" (or "Cry III") is another tranquil moment : 100% like Land's End. Same ocean-like - oriented music. Only perturbated at the end by a telephone ring, then a joke : "This is the problem line, we're not in right now, so please leave a message". Hence this title...(I already made this comment when reviewing the original work).

"Isolation" is a variation of "Cry I" (not featured here as such). Almost a carbon copy. The atmosphere is also 100% Howe ("Mood For A Day") or or Hackett ("Horizons"). "Fallen Angels" sounds more "atmospheric" as its original "Help II" which was rather medieval. Again, I prefer this version.

We'll even have a true Arena song with "The Healer". It was written between their two studio album but was left aside for "Pride". It is an average Arena track. On their heavy range. Not bad, but not a masterpiece of course.

This regroupment of the "Help" songs (even if some are nicely revisited) is not really a must own. I would say that only die-hard fans could be interested. As such, it is a collector item. But nothing more. Most of the versions here were the original ones.Two stars.

Report this review (#120668)
Posted Thursday, May 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars A special compilation

It is!

This is an hard to discribe effort by neo progressive master Arena. It could have been a soundtrack of a great movie. It opens with the best version of the Cry i know. The acoustic guitars and the gentle synts make it a nice songs. The offering and Problem line are almost electronic compositions with almost nothing but keyboards and sound effects. Not very progressive, but emotinally very strong! If you wouldn't know it, you wouldn't recognize Arena in it though.

Then came Isolation. This is one the most beatifull guitar pieces I ever listened to! I directly wanted to play this guitar part myself. A short masterpiece of guitarmusic. Fallen Idols only misses Enya starting to sing. This sounds very New age like, but it's an o.k. song for a special compilation. Guidance is a great moviesoundtrack like track with opera vocals and a lots of synts. Atsmospheric!

Only Child is a song! This we realy started to miss, for we were listening for instrumentals for over 20 minutes now. For the Script for a Jester's Tear fanatics this a great theatheric song. I like it very much. Somehow by excluding it for so far, the guitar solo at the end gives an extra warm feeling. I've missed it, and yet - there it is! Stolen Promisses is an mideavel instrumental track, not very special but it fits in. .

The Healer is the masterpiece of this EP. One of the better Arena progressive rock tracks. It's heavy, rythmicly strange and very Arena-like. Some Genesis can be found on this one. A great ending for a stange records.

Strange as it is... I realy got attached to this one! Why I don't know... the good moments are just so satisfying! And the instrumental songs are just so moving. If you want a peacefull record in you collection I would recommend this one! It ook me some time to understand this cd, but I wouldnīt want to miss it for it makes me kind of happy every time I listen to it. An X-factor? I don't know.

Three Stars. But a great offering! It just works perfectly for me.

Report this review (#189229)
Posted Friday, November 14, 2008 | Review Permalink

ARENA The Cry ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of ARENA The Cry

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives