Arena - Double Vision

Arena Double Vision cover
Double Vision
Verglas Music
Three years after the release of the amazing “The Unquiet Sky”, Arena are back with a new album called “Double Vision”, a name that the band “took” from a track with the same title that is featured on “The Visitor”. Coincidentally, this is the 20th anniversary since the release of “The Visitor”. The final track (and the longest one – around 23 minutes) “The Legend of Elijah Shade”, answers some of the many questions regarding “The Visitor” album and raises some new ones, as the songwriter and keyboardist Clive Nolan told me (read the full interview here). What a great and unexpected connection with one of the band best works to date “The Visitor” and probably a fans favorite among others as well.
“Double Vision” blends all those styles and ideas the band has presented over the last 20 years and is also looking forward without trying to play it safe. Sure, this album is not as dark as the two previous ones and Arena seems to be more into their “classic sound”, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t find dark and atmospheric parts here as well as progressive and complex ones. This is what Arena do best… they embellish prog rock music with wonderful melodies, atmospheric parts, and catchy choruses along with their deep lyrics. And believe me you won’t find many prog rock acts out there that can do it as ideally as Arena… they still are on the top of the game and they will remain there for a long time, judging by their latest release.
The prog epic “The Legend of Elijah Shade”, which is somewhat like a sequel to “The Visitor”, will enthuse every progsters out there, with its instrumentation and lyrics like “like it or not, I’m the best chance you’ve got”. Just an excellent sample of how long progressive rock tracks should be made. The other 6 tracks have a more “straightforward” approach, with catchy refrains, atmospheric passages and stimulating melodic parts. They all have their own music character and they are amazing in their own way. The dramatic acoustic “Poisoned” is a track of a unique “dark beauty” that will haunt you for a long time. “Red Eyes” is the epitome of melodic (neo) prog rock; the chorus will stick in your head. “Zhivago Wolf” is the darkest and the heaviest track on the album that will remind you of the two previous works of the band. “The Mirror Lies” combines all those elements that made Arena one of the leading bands of the prog rock genre. Atmospheric, melodic, acoustic & heavy. “Scars” is a mid-tempo atmospheric track that apart from Paul’s great performances it also has a wonderful instrumental part. “Paradise of Thieves” is heavy, atmospheric with all these little progy tricks that make a track simply awesome.
There isn’t a bad track on the album and that’s something that you do not see that often in today’s releases… moreover the band’s songwriting is top notch as always. “Double Vision” is a prog winner, no matter what. It’s surely one of the top prog rock albums for 2018 and a remarkable addition to the Arena’s back catalogue. If you’re into prog rock music, then do not miss “Double Vision” for any reason. Then again, do bear in mind that “Double Vision” does not address only prog freaks, but all those music lovers who fancy atmospheric parts and magnificent melodies…