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Arena

With nearly as many lineup changes as one of their influences, Yes, Arena was one of the dominant neo-prog groups of the 1990s. A supergroup of sorts, Arena has featured former members of Marillion, Pendragon, IQ, and Shadowland.

Arena was formed in 1994 by Mick Pointer, the former drummer of Marillion, and Clive Nolan, the former keyboardist of Pendragon. The group was rounded out by the addition of Cliff Orsi (bass), John Carson (vocals), and Keith More (guitars). Their first album, Songs From the Lions Cage (1995), was a strong neo-prog debut with aggressive playing that brought comparisons to Fish-era Marillion and contained lengthy tracks with long guitar and moog solos. Carson was even compared by many to Fish. However, a planned tour was scratched after Carson left the group. He was promptly replaced by Paul Wrightson. More lineup changes followed as Orsi left the band and was replaced by the former bassist of IQ, John Jowitt. Both Jowitt and Wrightson appeared on the group's next album, Pride (1996), which built upon the sound the band had begun on their first album and saw them develop away from some of the Marillion influences. The mini-compilation Edits followed later that year and was comprised of the group's singles and a new eight-minute track. Keith More then left the group and was replaced by John Mitchell, who instantly proved himself an able replacement on the 1997 mini-album, The Cry. Arena then embarked on a successful year-long tour that was captured on the live album Welcome to the Stage (1997). A concept album, The Visitor (1998), found the band shortening their songs and told the story of a person who recalls his life while suspended between life and death. Wrightson and Jowitt then left the group and were replaced by Rob Sowden and former Shadowland bassist Ian Salmon, respectively. Immortal? was released in 2000 and was a move in a darker direction for Arena. The live album Breakfast in Biarritz followed in 2001. ~ Geoff Orens, Rovi
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Comments

The Visitor was their best; I never saw it as being in a space between life or death, or alien abduction... A l t h o u g h alien abduction is a lot cooler of the two. Songs From the Lion's Cage was a good runner-up. The bio here's pretty limited, doesn't tell that much about the individual albums. I guess to a certain extent that's what we've come to expect from Pandora when it comes to bands like this.
Great Music, Very good example of what good Prog rock is. Not the best, but very good.....
john_wallick 8
Where's the early stuff?
I sort of agree with Phillip in that this band would be a great addition to a sci-fi movie or tv show soundtrack, and could definitely work well in a Dr Who episode or two. However I really like the theme song Dr Who has, and wouldn't mind hearing a bunch of bands including this one do versions of it, but totally replace it with something different, no.
Killer.
Not sure why we teach music in schools only to ignore the ones with degrees in it. Not sure if these artists have any, but it sure as hell sounds like it to me. I haven't heard anything from Arena that I didn't like yet.
Love 'Immortal?'. . . Can't wait for Pandora to add that album along with The Visitor to their library.
trpt7777
MANY MAY STRUGGLE WITH THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE MAJOR KEY THROUGHOUT AS A WEAKNESS IN THE TUNE
14739578
Pergoerty ROAD should be Dr Who THEme song
RIDING THE TIDE IS KINDA WEAK
"Riding The Tide" reminds of Tony Banks keyboards from Genesis and there is this feeling of Camel and even Styx.... Good strong work. I am impressed... .
this stuff roX
Mwa-ha-ha, CaC777, WE know!!!!
Pepper's Ghost is a superb album crafted with grace and Prog ingenuity! Too bad nobody really knows...
I love these guys! The Visitor was a great album not featured here about Alien Abduction.
Oooohhhhhh!! ! ! Gimme!!!

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