ARTIST:

ARENA

(UNITED KINGDOM)
TITLE:

THE UNQUIET SKY

(2015)
LABEL:

AUTRE LABEL

GENRE:

PROGRESSIVE ROCK

TAGS:
Concept-album, Easy-Listening, Neo
"With "The Unquiet Sky", Arena happily finds the way back to a progressive style that is accessible to as many people as possible."
TONYB (11.05.2015)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (1) comment(s)

Life was not a long quiet river for the various protagonists of Arena, and in particular its main inspirer - Clive Nolan - who was also very busy with his other projects and more particularly his musicals, so it took another four years to welcome a successor to the controversial "The Seventh Degree of Separation", whose simplistic and metallic orientation had confused many a listener. For this eighth publication, the Nolan/Pointer management office has seen the whimsical John Jowitt leave the ship a second time, and has welcomed Kylan Amos, a bassist who has already worked alongside the keyboardist on the Caamora project.

Let's quickly move on to the concept behind the 55 minutes of music to simply say that "The Unquiet Sky" is based on a fantastic short story by a certain M.R. James whose story is set in 1911.  The symphonic introduction that launches 'The Demon Strikes' will succeed in putting all listeners in the mood, including those who will prove to be hermetic to lyrics due to a lack of sufficient English language skills. After a big guitar riff supported by Mick Pointer's lead drums, the rest of the opening track reveals a band back to its basics, evolving between the melodic inspiration of "Contagion" and the power of "Immortal?", a touch of Shadowland in addition. And this first part of the album will confirm Arena's return to her roots, leaving room once again for instrumental passages with luminous guitar soli. About Paul Manzi, we feel more confidence, more security in the voice, being well served by melodies much more inspired than on "The Seventh Degree".

After a rather homogeneous first half of the album, "The Unquiet Sky" take an even more interesting turn with its title track, a superb symphonic and powerful ballad introduced by an atypical piece ('Markings on a Parchment', semi-recitative with Gregorian choral), and precursor of a series of tracks each more exciting than the next, both melodically and in terms of instrumental passages. Among these, we will remember the dynamic "What Happened Before", but also "Returning the Curse" and its heady keyboard solo, in which there is a break reminiscent of one of the themes of their very first album. The whole thing reach its peak on the last track ,'Traveller Beware', where Paul Manzi shows a high-pitched power that stuck shivers.

With "The Unquiet Sky", Arena happily finds the way back to a progressive style that is accessible to as many people as possible, demonstrating with class that it is possible to produce titles of short duration without falling into monotony. Certainly, we find Arena in its known neo-progressive rock, but auditory happiness can also be satisfied with melodies and harmonies that catch the ear at first listening.


More informations on http://www.arenaband.co.uk/





TRACK LISTING:
01. The Demon Strikes
02. How Did it Come to This?
03. The Bishop of Lufford
04. Oblivious to the Night
05. No Chance Encounter
06. Markings on a Parchment
07. The Unquiet Sky
08. What Happened Before
09. Time Runs Out
10. Returning the Curse
11. Unexpected Dawn
12. Traveller Beware

LINEUP:
Clive Nolan: Chant / Claviers
John Mitchell: Chant / Guitares
Kylan Amos: Basse
Mick Pointer: Batterie
Paul Manzi: Chant
   
(0) OPINION(S) FROM OUR READERS    
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(1) COMMENT(S)    
 
 
REALMEAN
30/04/2015
  0
Le prog teinté métal, c'est pas trop ma tasse de thé, mais j'ai écouté en diagonal et j'ai bien accroché avec le dernier morceau, 'Traveller Beware'. Et pourtant, c'est pas le plus discret !!... Beaucoup d'énergie dans cet album.
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