Exposé Online banner

Arena — Rapture
(Metal Mind MMP DVD 0203, 2013, DVD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2014-06-27

Rapture Cover artThis Metal Mind DVD (yes, it was recorded at the same theater in Katowice, Poland, where they all are) gives British neo-proggers Arena a chance to reconnect with their fans after a six-year hiatus. Lineup changes include new singer Paul Manzi and the return of John Jowitt (ex-IQ) on bass. The rest of the band — drummer Mick Pointer, keyboard player Clive Nolan, and guitar player John Mitchell — are all back, though looking a little older. This show was in support of their 2011 album with Manzi, The Seven Degrees of Separation, which has proven to be somewhat controversial in that most fans don’t consider it on par with their earlier work. Not to be denied, the set list of the two-hour show includes about half of the new album with the rest taken from the back catalog. Manzi acquits himself well throughout, with a voice that is part Ian Gillian and part Tom Jones and a stage presence that is friendly, though not as theatrical or charismatic as his predecessor, Rob Sowden. Overall the technical aspects of this package are solid, though — like many of the performances — unremarkable. Plus, I’ve seen footage of Arena in years past and perhaps it was due to the many cameras around them but this crew (Manzi excepted) barely moved or made any significant connection with their audience. As Nolan and Pointer admit in the bonus interview, live DVDs are an important selling tool for bands these days. I’m afraid this one is a missed opportunity.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Arena, Clive Nolan

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Steve Tibbetts - The Fall of Us All – Steve is back with his first solo offering since 1990's Big Map Idea. For the uninitiated, this Minnesota guitarist's music is truly in a league of its own, anything from a swirling maelstrom of...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues