Arena - Pride

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

Very powerful songwriting on this, the second album by Arena. Recalling the first encounter of Welcome To The Cage you can hear how then-new vocalist Paul Wrightson fit in perfectly with the rest of the boys. He was less Fish-like than his predecessor and leaned more towards the NWoBHM-school, a connection we also seem to find in "Empire Of A Thousand Days." All of the songs are written by Nolan and Pointer but it has to be said it's the interventions from Keith More which are the finest.

On this new album the "Crying For Help" idea continues which means that you now get versions V, VI, VII and VIII. Initially they toyed around with the same theme but I guess they have opted for a different approach this time around. So in fact it's only the title which remains.

"Crying For Help V" is a nice, romantic theme that comes from the Jack Daniels-brain of Clive Nolan. [?? -ed.] Once again it's Keith More that sparkles in both "Medusa" and "Fool's Gold" creating the recognizable factor in these tunes. His Gilmour-like guitar playing in "Sirens" also proves what a talented guitar player this guy really is! "Sirens" also is meat for the master John Jowitt (IQ) whose bass playing isn't very prominently mixed on the rest of the album.

Pride is without any doubt a very mature follow-up to Songs From The Lion's Cage and whilst Marillion had told me [at the time of this albums release] that they'd continue on the path they have been treading for the last couple of years, I'm sure there will be many Script-period fans whose love for this kind of music will directly lead them to Arena. But Pride is above all an album of which Keith More can be "proud" of as it is his contribution which really makes Pride!

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: March 15th 2001
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 2005
Language: english


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