[Review] Arena – The Theory Of Molecular Inheritance

Arena is one of the leading modern Progressive Rock bands, formed in the mid-1990s and with a stellar line-up. The tenth studio album “The Theory Of Molecular Inheritance” was released on October 21, 2022 via Verglas Music and contains 11 tracks. Keyboards and a solid rhythm section harp “Time Capsule” to which granitic guitar riffs and vocals are added. A constantly evolving track, enriched by tempo changes, deep, load-bearing bass lines and a dynamic vocal. A very intense, modern sound with a fine alternation of vocal and instrumental parts, immediately immersing us in the band’s Progressive atmospheres. Sweet piano notes and a very intense vocal characterise the intro of “The Equation (The Science of Magic).” With the entry of all the instruments, it is a continuous musical crescendo, alternating between more energetic parts and symphonic openings with the keyboards at the centre of the melodies. Sung and instrumental parts intertwine, with very refined soloist inserts, elaborate textures and tempo changes, taking the sound in the second part into more heavy territory, to return to the central theme and close with a crescendo. “Twenty-One Grams” presents softer sounds, with a melodic vocal full of pathos and dreamy, elaborate harmonic work. In the middle part the intensity increases, the guitar and keyboard interlacing becomes harder, making the song enjoyable from start to finish thanks to the succession of stanzas and instrumental sections of absolute value. The album’s shortest track “Confession” is characterised by arpeggios and keyboards on which the lyrics are sung very intensely. A long introductory part with symphonic traits and “The Heiligenstadt Legacy” begins, a song that alternates energetic parts with softer openings. The keyboard work and guitar inserts are excellent, while the vocals take centre stage with an outstanding performance. In a continuous evolution in the second part, the band offers more heavy sounds, ending softly with the last sung verse. Dark atmospheres intertwine with soft vocals in “Field of Sinners,” a powerful track that shows another facet of the band’s sound. Guitar and keyboards duet to perfection, the rhythm section is solid and elaborate with a killer bassline, and the vocals leave more room for instrumental parts. In the finale the band accelerates in the drumming, a different and very addictive track. Guitar arpeggios and keyboards open “Pure of Heart,” a track that evolves with a gritty sound and hard guitar riffs. The vocals, as on the rest of the album, are an added bonus, and the band shows off their heavier vein. Very elaborate guitar and keyboard textures, a solid rhythm section enriched by tempo changes, for a track that remains very intense and original from start to finish. “Under the Microscope” is a softer and more melodic track in the first part, with a warm and expressive vocal. in the middle part it increases in intensity and develops with acceleration and fine instrumental sections with guitar and keyboard solo inserts in pure Prog style. In the second part, the vocal and instrumental parts intertwine, accompanying us as we listen to this pleasant song until the finale. A long introductory part with piano and vocals characterises “Integration,” creating a delicate, dreamy atmosphere. In the middle of the song with an exceptional change it turns into an engaging Prog song enriched by keyboard textures and tempo changes. Until the finale, the band develops an intense instrumental section that enhances and exalts both the compositional and performing technique of the artists. Orchestral sounds and vocals open “Part of You” a track that is developed with a musical crescendo that takes the sound into heavier territory. Massive guitar riffs, an energetic vocal and keyboards weave into the melodies. The rhythm section is gritty and elaborate, another example of the band’s ability to offer a wide range of stylistic solutions. The album ends with “Life Goes On,” which combines prog and melodic traits, interweaving elaborate and softer parts with quality. in the middle part, a prolonged guitar solo takes centre stage, concluding in the second part with an intense interpretation of the lyrics. A band that over the years has been able to renew itself and adapt to the times, without losing its personal imprint. A very intense listen from start to finish, with more melodic passages and others more heavy, showing a wide range of original and modern stylistic solutions. Albums like this are absolutely recommended to all lovers of Prog sounds, a mixture of classic and modern traits, thanks to the band’s excellent technique.

Tracklist

01. Time Capsule (5:30)
02. The Equation (The Science of Magic) (6:28)
03. Twenty-One Grams (6:34)
04. Confession (2:20)
05. The Heiligenstadt Legacy (5:42)
06. Field of Sinners (6:27)
07. Pure of Heart (6:18)
08. Under the Microscope (6:51)
09. Integration (4:48)
10. Part of You (5:54)
11. Life Goes On (5:11)

Lineup

Damian Wilson / Vocals
John Mitchell / Guitars, Backing Vocals
Clive Nolan / Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Kylan Amos / Bass
Mick Pointer / Drums

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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