:: The Shattered Room ::

Official Arena Forum => General Discussion => Topic started by: Teunis on Tue, 2020-07-14, 18:20:19

Title: New line up: Damian Wilson announced as new singer
Post by: Teunis on Tue, 2020-07-14, 18:20:19
ARENA STATEMENT – NEW LINE UP:
We have great pleasure in welcoming Damian Wilson to the new Arena line up. Most people will already know him as a fantastic singer, and there is no doubt he will bring something special and original to the band.

We have known Damian for about 25 years, and the idea of him singing for Arena has, in fact, been a possibility in the past, but circumstances did not allow that to happen at the time. However, since Paul has now decided to move on, it would seem that we have come full circle, and the time is now right!

A few days ago we took the chance to take some new photos. Although we were ‘socially distanced’, a little photoshop can do wonders. 😉

Recording will start soon for the new album ‘The Theory of Molecular Inheritance‘ with Damian on vocals, but the release has been delayed due to the restrictions of the Corona Virus.

You can be sure that we will release our new album just as soon as we can.


Yesterday I was sad, today I'm happy :). Damian is one of my favourite singers, if not THE favourite. Cool 8) *horns*.
Title: Re: New line up: Damian Wilson announced as new singer
Post by: Cagemember 321 on Wed, 2020-07-15, 02:32:38
One of the unique features of Arena was that every singer had a rather dark voice. That is changing now.
Apart from the fact that Wilson is a great singer - unfortunately it will make Arena a little "any" ...
I fear a bit to hear Wilson singing "old" Arena material...

In fact - speaking just for myself. I liked John Carson; I loved Paul Wrightson. Arena was built in the tradition of the old Marillion - Wrightson war nearly perfect. Sowden was theatralic, yes, but the voice was too thin, flat. Without volume. Manzi was a classic Hardrock-Shouter, but had Volume and Charme.
But thinking back how I become a fan of Arena - It's still Wrightson who transport the feeling of being the new/old Marillion. And now this break...
Frankly: does Marillion Fans ever complaint about composing and musical attitude? No. They complaint about the voice of H instead of Fish.
The same here. I love all the stuff from "Songs..." and "Pride". I felt young at heart again - music of my life. Sowden was OK to transport that feeling and the evaluation of the band.
To have an now totally different type of singer will change everything!!! Can you Imagine Wilson is singing e.g. "Valley of the Kings"?
Title: Re: New line up: Damian Wilson announced as new singer
Post by: Peter on Thu, 2020-07-16, 19:57:48
Now, see how tastes differ :)

I'm totally into the Sowden ARENA albums, all others don't overly click with me. And I'm totally thrilled about Damian's joining. This will be great!
Title: Re: New line up: Damian Wilson announced as new singer
Post by: maddox on Fri, 2020-07-17, 18:26:01
To be honest....

I don't know.
He has been in a few bands in the past, that didn't last obviously, he's definitely a great singer and a real gentlemen but the music of Arena has always been written for a Fish-like singer (except partially for Manzi, who has a real rock-undertone).
I'm not sure how the old Arena songs will sound like with Demian on vocals.
Title: Re: New line up: Damian Wilson announced as new singer
Post by: Teunis on Fri, 2020-07-17, 19:50:56
I'm really looking forward to it. Can't wait to hear him sing e.g. 'The Hanging Tree'. I'm sure he will do a great job, he's an extraordinary singer 8).
Title: Re: New line up: Damian Wilson announced as new singer
Post by: PH on Sun, 2020-07-19, 17:10:25
Very funny to see so many different opinions and feelings towards this news!

Thank you Cagemember 321, for your interesting take on the matter. I can totally see where you're coming from. And I agree a lot with what you've just said, but I think I have a different conclusion.

The first singer, John Carson's voice sounded a lot like Fish indeed. Great singer! Arena was only a project back then and it was never the intention to make it a band. I think Carson didn't want to commit himself. John's voice was very melodic and kind of theatrical, but not so much. The music was very Neo-Prog in an early Marillion/Pendragon sense. I think "Songs From The Lion's Cage" is a wonderful album, but I'm glad that Arena took a risk and in the end evolved into something darker and original.

Paul Wrightson's voice sounded kinda like John's, but when you compare it to Fish, they don't sound much alike to be honest. Only on a superficial level if you'd ask me. Especially on "The Visitor" Paul's voice was very much his own. I think his voice was perfect for Arena. Very theatrical, very emotional. Paul W is the perfect balance between Rob Sowden and Paul M (who both have their own unique abilities in the extreme), while still hinting back to the John Carson days.

Rob Sowden, again, has some hints of previous Arena vocalists, but only in the way he's singing, not the 'colour' of his voice, if you get what I mean. Rob doesn't sound like Fish at all! Again, his voice suits the music perfectly. There's so much drama in his voice. The feeling of despair. I like that very much! On "Contagion" (probably the best Arena album? At least top 3!) he does such a wonderful job! Although objectively he's maybe the lesser of the singers, he's on two of my favourite Arena albums and I rate those albums really really high!

Paul Manzi doesn't sound like any previous Arena singers and with him, truly, a new era started. The funny thing is, Paul Manzi is the best singer Arena have had and he can do anything with his voice. The guys gave him a starring role in the band and rightly so. His voice is very versatile. He can do high, he can do low and everything in between. With him, they got an A+ singer. For the first time in my life, people around me didn't complain about the music I was listening to. But with him, Arena had to give in a little bit on one thing: the emotion, the feeling of despair and fear. That was a trait that was so perfectly done by Paul W and especially Rob.

It's interesting to see where Damian Wilson will fit in all of this. I'm sure Clive Nolan and the others will know what to do and write music that is (again) perfectly suited for the singer. Damian is no minor in the field. I really like his voice. I agree with Cagemember 321 that this will probably make Arena less dark. Damian will not be able to sing as low as Manzi. But other than that, they are pretty much alike: great singers who will not be caught singing a false note, (objectively the best, so to speak).
In a way, with Damian, we're going back to John Carson days.

In the end, I can't imagine the Arena albums being sung by a different singer as it is. Again, every singer is perfect for the respective albums.
Title: Re: New line up: Damian Wilson announced as new singer
Post by: Bupie on Thu, 2020-09-24, 03:12:45
I am very late to the conversation but I really like Threshold where Damian used to sing and I saw them on stage with him six years ago. I can tell you the guy is very down to earth and full of energy and his singing was spot on. A great memory of that particular concert, getting lost in an industrial zone to find a remote hangar where the concert was happening, entering the "venue" and almost stumbling upon Damian having a beer and chat at the bar only a few minutes before going on stage...  I honestly lost interest in Arena with Manzi (even if it has probably more to do with the music) so I am welcoming the change.
Title: Re: New line up: Damian Wilson announced as new singer
Post by: Teunis on Thu, 2020-09-24, 19:05:24
Bupie, you should really try the last album with Paul Manzi 'Double Vision'. That's back to 'The Visitor'. But I'm really curious (too) what the new album with Damian will sound like. Saw him a few times live and he certainly rocks *horns*. Unfortunately his 'stagediving' is not allowed for the time being ;).