Arena - Pride

Year of Release: 1996
Label: Verglas
Catalog Number: VGCD004
Format: CD
Total Time: 55:24:00

Pride is the second release by the English prog band, Arena.

The first thing that can be noted is the line-up change: Paul Wrightson takes the place of John Carson on vocals and it's a good thing. He fits in perfectly with the group, but he is also a Fish clone. I surely prefer Rob Sowden, the present singer. John Jowitt, the great IQ bass player, performs for the first time with his colleagues, but this substitution isn't very evident: his bass doesn't appear on Pride a lot.

Another consideration , maybe the most important one, is Pride has the same structure as the previous record, Songs From The Lion's Cage. There are the other four "Crying For Help" tracks (which I spoke about in my The Cry review), and the songs are in the middle of them, leaving the longest piece, "Sirens," as the last one, as it happened for "Solomon" on Songs.

"Sirens" has at the same time a long instrumental central part like "Solomon" as well as a final section sung by Wrightson.

The highlights of this album, in my opinion, are just the instrumental sections, where Nolan and More are in perfect synchrony, and the second highlight, Keith More, who often unleashes his guitar for many remarkable solos.

And what about the vocal parts? I have to admit that they aren't my favorite ones: there aren't enough catchy refrains and melodies.

To conclude, this disc can be defined as the bridge between Songs and The Visitor.

Welcome To The Cage (4:14) / Crying For Help V (233) / Empire Of A Thousand Days (9:34) / Crying For Help VI (2:53) / Medusa (4:28) / Crying For Help VII (3:04) / Fool:s Gold (9:37) / Crying For Help VIII (5:12) / Sirens (13:42)

Paul Wrightson ? vocals
Keith More - guitars
Clive Nolan - keyboards, backing vocals
John Jowitt - bass
Mick Pointer ? drums

Songs From The Lion's Cage (1995)
Pride (1996)
The Edits (1996, OOP)
Welcome To The Stage (1997)
The Cry (EP, 1997)
The Visitor (1998)
The Visitor - Revisited (1999) (Dutch fan club only release, OOP)
Immortal? (2000)
Unlocking The Cage - 1995-2000 (2001) (Dutch fan club only release, OOP)
Breakfast In Biarritz (2001)
Contagion (2003)
Radiance (2003) (fan club only release)
Live & Life (2004) (box set)
Pepper's Ghost (2005)
Ten Years On (2006)
The Seventh Degree Of Separation (2011)
Live 2011/12 Tour (2012)
Arena XX (2016)
Contagion Max (reissue of Contagion) (2014)
The Unquiet Sky (2015)
The Visitor - 20th Anniversary Remastered Edition (2018)
Double Vision (2018)

Caught In The Act (DVD) (2003)
Smoke And Mirrors (DVD) (2006)
Rapture (DVD) (2013)
Arena XX (DVD) (2016)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin UK

Added: May 18th 2003
Reviewer: Davide Guidone

Artist website:
Hits: 972
Language: english


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