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Year: 2004
Format: CD
Label: Verglas / InsideOut
Genre: [Neo-Progressive Rock/Melodic Rock]
Overall Rating: 9.0
Music: 9.0
Production: 9.0

Arena's latest live album is simply titled as "Live". There's also a limited edition of it titled as "Live & Life", which contains a bonus DVD. However, the bonus DVD only features a documentary about the band and crew on tour (because the footage of that concert had already been made available with the Caught in the Act DVD released last year).

Live contains a complete Arena concert set from their 2003 Contagion Tour (1 hour and 50 minutes). In addition to the songs from Contagion (1st CD), they've performed some "popular" Arena songs (the 2nd CD is kind of a 'Greatest Hits' collection). I believe it goes without saying, the music is very good (at least for the most part). Their melodic progressive rock is a mix of Marillion and few other melodic progressive rock groups (actually the drummer, Mick Pointer, has played in Marillion). One of Arena's greatest merits is that they seldom relapse into excess gimmickry (they usually think about the song first and foremost).

The first thing that becomes apparent while listening to this album is the quality of production... the sounds are very clean without lacking atmosphere (I can barely hear slight distortion on few parts, but it's non-existent while listening on systems other than quality headphones). For a live album, the production is very good. However, few clips did occur (for example, in the end of Salamander).

Fans of Arena will definitely find this release a "must-buy", but I also recommend it to other progressive rock fans (for example, fans of Enchant, IQ, Everon, Shadow Gallery and Jadis might like Arena). This release is a great way to build up the anticipation regarding their upcoming studio release (which is scheduled for a release in February, 2005).

Visit Artist's Website

- MAGE (23.11.2004)


Sowden, Rob: Vocals & Acoustic Guitar
Mitchell, John: Guitars & Backing Vocals
Nolan, Clive: Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Salmon, Ian: Bass
Pointer, Mick: Drums
Producer: Nolan, Clive & Groom, Karl
Mixing by: Groom, Karl
Mastering by: Albury, Rob
Arena - Live  CD  Cover Image
Disc 1:
01. Witch Hunt
02. An Angel Falls
03. Painted Man
04. This Way Madness Lies
05. Spectre at the Feast
06. Skin Game
07. Salamander
08. Bitter Harvest
09. City of Lanterns
10. Riding the Tide
11. Cutting the Cards
12. Ascension

Disc 2:
01. Serenity
02. Chosen
03. Double Vision
04. Hanging Tree
05. (Don't Forget to) Breathe
06. The Butterfly Man
07. Enemy Without
08. Solomon
09. Jericho
10. Crying for Help VII
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