ARENA — The Seventh Degree of Separation

MetalMusicArchives.com — the ultimate metal music online community, from the creators of progarchives.com

ARENA - The Seventh Degree of Separation cover
4.13 | 9 ratings | 2 reviews
Buy this album from MMA partners

Album · 2011

Filed under Metal Related
By ARENA

Tracklist


1. The Great Escape (4:38)
2. Rapture (4:23)
3. One Last Au Revoir (4:35)
4. The Ghost Walks (3:19)
5. Thief Of Souls (3:52)
6. Close Your Eyes (3:26)
7. Echoes Of The Fall (2:27)
8. Bed Of Nails (4:39)
9. What If? (4;36)
10. Trebuchet (3:40)
11. Burning Down (4:29)
12. Catching The Bullet (7:43)
13. The Tinder Box (4:17)

Total Time: 55:51

Line-up/Musicians

- Clive Nolan / keyboards
- Mick Pointer / drums
- Paul Manzi / vocals
- John Mitchell / guitars
- John Jowitt / bass

About this release

Release date: November 28, 2011
Label: Verglas Records

Thanks to Unitron for the addition and adg211288 for the updates

Buy ARENA - THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF SEPARATION music

Amazon (logo)
Seventh Degree of SeparationSeventh Degree of Separation
Ais 2012
$12.13
$15.68 (used)
Showing 1 items | Cache expiring in 70h | Keyword-based search | Best seller rank | More results on Amazon.com
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Showing all 4 items | *Auction price may increase, data is cached, expiring in 3h | Keyword-based search | Ordered by ending time | See results on eBay.com

More places to buy metal & ARENA music

ARENA THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF SEPARATION reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

siLLy puPPy
With the loss of vocalist Rob Sowden, it’s no wonder ARENA had to step back for a while and decide if the band should continue or not. After all, Sowden’s distinct vocal flare is what made ARENA, well ARENA, right? Well not so fast there. After a presumably restful break with some soul searching for the next move that the band should embark upon if any at all, ARENA returned six long years after 2005’s “Pepper’s Ghost” with not only a new vocalist in the form of Paul Manzi who came out of nowhere but also found the unexpected return of bassist John Jowitt who had left the band after 1998’s “The Visitor.”

While the band never officially broke up and continued to tour, the new lineup was the perfect reset button and ARENA did the wise thing and didn’t try to find a vocalist who would merely mimic the previous while pretending everything was just the way it was before. Au contraire. ARENA reinvented themselves for the seventh album aptly titled THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF SEPARATION which continued the ARENA tried and true tradition of cranking out an album’s worth of nebulous concepts concerning life, death and the ethers that bridge the two all set up in emotive musical drama with instantly addictive hooks laced with progressive touches.

In fact, the changes had already begun on “Pepper’s Ghost” as the band ramped up the heavier elements with harder guitar delivers, increased tempos with a more heavy rock edge than any of the album’s that preceded. THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF SEPARATION simply picked up where that album left off stylistically speaking as if six years were just an illusory chunk of time. However, despite the attempt to just pick up where things left off, the notable differences in vocalists dictated that things were not the same and it sounds like every attempt was made to allow the music to adapt to Manzi’s vocal abilities rather than the other way around.

Continuing the heavier aspects, ARENA opted to tamp down the more complex aspects of the progressive side of things which didn’t sit well with many a fans and for many this was a clear decline and disappointment for one of the premiere neo-prog bands of the 90s. The tracks are more clear and concise with not a single one extending beyond the eight minute mark and most hovering around four. In a nutshell, THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF SEPARATION is much more a hard rock album than a progressive neo-prog album but that doesn’t diminish the effectiveness of its rich tapestry of melodic weaving and excellent mastery of vocals, guitar oriented riffing and Clive Nolan’s unworldly talent for casting the perfect atmospheric projections on his keys.

Conceptually, THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF SEPARATION tackles the subject of death by exploring Frigyes Karinthy’s theory from which the album title gets its name only ARENA changed the original six to the number 7. Karinthy was a Hungarian author and postulated that all people are only six or fewer social connections away from each other. I guess he wasn’t taking hermits into account but i digress. As with all ARENA albums, the thematic presence is loosely defined, nebulous to the core and is meant to fire up the imagination rather than cast an iron clad tale into literal form. Once again the music perfectly matches the imagery and despite the more accessible musical compositions works quite well in tandem.

While the obligatory bloated progressive elements are removed and replaced by a series of catchy pop hooks, the tracks whiz by fairly smoothly, all connecting for a nice album ride to the near hour completion. In some ways, Manzi reminds me of Geoff Tate of Queensryche in his vocal style only without the multi-octave range but his vocal phrasings and voice signature in general makes this connection. Likewise, the progressive metal of early Queensryche also seems to have at least made a marginal impact as some of the tracks have similar chord progression and atmospheres however these are subtle references and THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF SEPARATION stands up on its own two feet.

For finicky prog purists, this one will surely disappoint. It seems to purposely eschew any meandering sections that point to the perfect prog escapism but rather nurtures the melodic constructs into shorter and to the point rockers. But despite the decomplexifying touches, this is still prog rock through and through and there are healthy doses of time signature deviations, stellar atmospheric overcasts that glaze the Genesis inspired soaring guitar licks and emotive rock opera styled melodramatic effects. Just don’t expect an album like “Contagion.”

What’s clearly missing is any sort of standout performances by Nolan as the keyboards have taken a back seat to the more ramped up guitar, bass and drum parts. Despite the new direction, i find THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF SEPARATION to be quite the addictive album based on the strong melodic hooks alone and the fact that they are augmented by a heavy rock bombast makes it all the stronger. I can totally understand why some fans jumped ship at this point but i find this new phase to be just as appealing as what came before but then again i crave change rather than relish complacency any day.
Unitron
Arena-The Seventh Degree of Separation

'The Seventh Degree of Separation' is the seventh studio album by progressive rock/hard rock band Arena.

After Arena's well received 2005 rock opera 'Pepper's Ghost', it wasn't until six years later when Arena would release their next album. Upon it's release, many people were disappointed with the outcome of this album. Many complained that it was too bland and comparable to commercial hard rock, yet I find this not to be the case.

The vocalist has changed on this album, featuring vocalist Paul Manzi instead of Rob Sowden. They have very similar voices, so it doesn't change the feel of the music very much. I just felt like I had to point out this line-up change, even though it doesn't effect the music much.

This album is definitely hard rock-based, instead of the more progressive metal-leaning previous album, but that doesn't make this a weak album. Like usual, Arena gives us a powerful opener with 'The Great Escape' which shows Manzi's powerful vocals very strongly right at the start. The heavy booming guitar comes in at the perfect moment after the words 'Can Anybody Hear Me?'. 'The Ghost Walks' is another standout track, with a marching beat and a menacing atmosphere. 'Echoes of the Fall' may be only two-and-a-half minutes, but what a two-and-a-half minutes they are. This song is the heaviest song on the album, and is a metal song. The powerful fast riffing and catchy lyrics make this an instant classic for me. 'Burning Down' has a Dream Theater-like sound, so this will be of interest to fans of that band. The closing song 'The Tinder Box' is probably my favorite along with 'Echoes of the Fall'. 'The Tinder Box' is everything a closing song should be, a slow melodic beginning with great piano, a powerful steady build-up, and an epic finale.

The concept of the album is about the birth and death of the world, so it does have an overall darker tone; however, a lot of the songs and lyrics feel very empowering. Songs like 'Close Your Eyes' and 'The Tinder Box' are both songs that I feel are very empowering.

Overall, it is certainly no flawless album, there are a few forgettable tracks here and there. The very powerful songs make up for that though, and it remains my favorite Arena album. I recommend it to any fan of hard rock with some progressive qualities.

Hope you found this review helpful.

Feel free to comment!

Members reviews

No ARENA THE SEVENTH DEGREE OF SEPARATION reviews posted by members yet.

Ratings only

  • cefr45
  • Nightfly
  • Beyonder
  • stefanbedna
  • aglasshouse
  • Colt
  • adg211288

Write/edit review

You must be logged in to write or edit review

The Seventh Degree of Separation Contents

Member Zone

Username:
Password:
Stay signed in

Metal Subgenres

Artists Alpha-index

MMA TOP 5 Metal ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
Master of Puppets Thrash Metal
METALLICA
Buy this album from our partners
Powerslave NWoBHM
IRON MAIDEN
Buy this album from our partners
Rust in Peace Thrash Metal
MEGADETH
Buy this album from our partners
Moving Pictures Hard Rock
RUSH
Buy this album from our partners
Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II Power Metal
HELLOWEEN
Buy this album from our partners

New Metal Artists

New Metal Releases

Saint Vitus (2nd eponymous album) Traditional Doom Metal
SAINT VITUS
Buy this album from MMA partners
No More Hollywood Endings Heavy Metal
BATTLE BEAST
Buy this album from MMA partners
Crypts, Coffins, Corpses Brutal Death Metal
MEATHOOK
Buy this album from MMA partners
Illimitable Dolor / Promethean Misery Death-Doom Metal
ILLIMITABLE DOLOR
Buy this album from MMA partners
Leaden Light Death-Doom Metal
ILLIMITABLE DOLOR
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Metal Online Videos

Darkestrah - Sary Oy
DARKESTRAH
Tupan· 22 hours ago
More videos

New MMA Metal Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Metal News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us

Buy Metal Music Online