Having followed Arena’s superb progressive hard rock since their “Immortal” release in 2000, I’ve become a serious fan of their awe-inspiring progressive music. Their talents speak volumes of eighties and nineties influenced progressive hard rock with a twist and a solid cutting edge to their emotional tracks. Keyboardist and synthesizer virtuoso Clive Nolan is simply brilliant and outdoing his talents on every track found here. Drummer Mick Pointer keeps a solid beat with enough diversity to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout this almost 2-hour concert.
Musically and vocally, there is not a dull point to be found here, as the guitar rhythms, riffing and leads are nothing short of spectacular. And lead singer Paul Manzi sings like he is trapped in the wildest of dreams, and leaving (you) the listener helpless. Yes, it sounds pretty intense and out of control, but “Rapture” is just that, an emotional roller coaster of unique musical and vocal arrangements.
The 21 songs on offer here, ranging from the synthesizer driven epic grandeur of “Ghost In The Firewall” to the blissful moments of “City Of Lanterns”, and the emotional guitar rhythms of “Rapture”.
Mind you, Arena’s music is not for everyone, but with an open mind, it is something all fans of heavy metal, hard rock and rock should check out, as these guys will blow your mind with their thunderous, exotic fueled prog anthems. This quintet possess too much substance within their songs, their bound to pull you right into their songs and make you a part of them.
Guitarist John Mitchell and bassist John Jowitt play with so much conviction that the listener can experience all the heartfelt pain experienced by the band. I love the feeling that these two invoke within Arena’s songs as all of this blended together with the stellar synths, percussive and vocals makes for one hell of a listening experience.
However, I did not like the shitty interview put together with one of Polish journalist as he made the interview painful listening to with Clive and Mick. I think it was the interviewer’s monotone style, which made me turn it off just a quarter way through, ha, ha. There is also a photo gallery here as well, which is comprised of their show in Katowice, Poland.
Despite this interview screw-up, the multiple camera angle shots during the band’s performance were tastefully constructed and well thought as this also gave the DVD much needed depth and scope into Arena’s live gig.
Metal Mind Productions Sarjoo Devani