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Author Topic: The Seventh Degree of Seperation  (Read 49275 times)

Offline cabo

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #100 on: Fri, 2011-11-25, 14:31:15 »
"Can you explain that to me?"

I can try with my poor english :)

I have heard the album four times now so it's still growing on me.... but for instance: "Thief of souls",  suddenly a refrain out of nowhere. kinda forced into the song? The theme at the start is just amazing, Clive classic intro. (It's my ringtone now :) ) and i would love it if the sequence around 2:02 would last longer before the new theme with refrain starts. and let the intro come back at the end of the song. Clive i want a 15 min remix of this song! *horns*

i still would have more attack on the snare  ;D

just my take on things...


Offline dacook

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #101 on: Fri, 2011-11-25, 18:45:51 »
I have to say that after having lived with this album for a week, it is simply awesome and up there with "The Visitor" and "Immortal?" as my favourites. Well done, Arena! :)
---------------

Regards
Derek Cook

Offline Highfire

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #102 on: Sun, 2011-11-27, 22:41:11 »
I love the album, it's Arena 100%. I'm enjoying the old days taken back in some songs as well as the more modern stuff. It's perfectly balanced, and I love also Paul Manzi's voice, more metal but also well integrated into the band.

Congrats, men!! *horns*
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Offline bellanova

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #103 on: Mon, 2011-11-28, 14:20:49 »
The album is totally awesome and i too love Pauls voice. I like all the songs and Clives lyrics just get better and better.

Offline johninblack

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #104 on: Thu, 2011-12-01, 16:31:11 »
I think this could just about be the best album ever made by anybody ever. Certainly in the top five :) Just my opinion of course!

Offline frenchsting

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #105 on: Fri, 2011-12-02, 21:38:59 »
Hi everyone,

it's been a very long time since i came in. Just to tell you how I feel about SDOS.

The first time I listened to it, I noticed 2 facts :
- Paul's voice sounded to me like Paul Wrigson and Rob Sowden. This, is just because he sings with Clive directives. I also found him to have a flavor of Blaze Bayley on some parts. But seeing him live in Strasbourg, and listening to the album again and again, I'm sure he sings like Paul Manzy. ;)
- The first track that jumped in my ear and still stuck into my head is "What If"  8)

After many listenings, the album is awesome. No really weak songs. I love it !!! :)

Offline maddox

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #106 on: Fri, 2011-12-02, 22:03:11 »
Welcome back, Frenchsting!  :D ;)

Thank you for your opinion about SDOS.  *horns*
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Offline PH

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #107 on: Fri, 2011-12-02, 23:36:52 »
Hi Frenchsting! It's great to see some fresh (and old) blood in the Room! :D

What If is indeed a very nice track! 8)

Offline Bupie

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #108 on: Sat, 2011-12-03, 08:28:09 »
Hi Frenchsting! It's great to see some fresh (and old) blood in the Room! :D
You meant French:D
My copy of Seventh degree hasn't reached my French village yet  :P

Offline dacook

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #109 on: Sat, 2011-12-03, 10:13:27 »
Whilst my missus is Christmas shopping (I have a good deal, I buy my present and she buys all the others!) I've got "Seven..." on at full whack. Still loving this one.
---------------

Regards
Derek Cook

Offline Petrucci

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #110 on: Mon, 2011-12-05, 17:58:37 »
No feedback about the last album or the last gigs ?? :(

I have only listened 4 songs from the Seventh Degree and I am a little disapointed: short songs, no risk-taking, lack of inspiration and singer very present...

Waiting for the new album that I have ordered.

Ok I received the SDOS album 2 weeks ago and I have listened it maybe 10 times.

In my opinion, it's not bad but it's not one of the best albums of the band... I guess it's an homogeneous album, without very good songs.

Paul Manzi is too present I think, I hope there will be another album very soon but with more instrumental parts and, of course, more from John Mitchell.

An other thing, hard to explain for me: in the Visitor (my favorite album), I think the songs were full of inspiration with good constructions and it was always dark (and very energic, for example with Running from Damascus). But mainly since Peeper Ghosts, there are a lot of stange songs. For exemple, I think that Trebuchet has a very good intro, powerful, dark, but after this, the singer enters in the game and it's like another song, much less heavy, dark, fast and like a lack of inspiration.
It's a little the same thing with Catching the Bullet, the intro is great, it seems the album take an other dimension, very epic, but once the singer starts, it's different, it's more "pop" and boring.

My favorite song: The ghost walks, a dark song from the begining to the end, a good Paul Manzi, and a very nice solo from John Mitchell.

 

Offline Bupie

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #111 on: Sat, 2011-12-10, 13:48:26 »
Incredible ... I finally received it this morning  8) Mad, what about yours ?  ;)

I will come back to give my opinion after a few spins.

Offline maddox

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #112 on: Sat, 2011-12-10, 20:18:09 »
Incredible ... I finally received it this morning  8) Mad, what about yours ?  ;)

I will come back to give my opinion after a few spins.

Got it as well!

And it's pretty good actually.

And I can say that since I've listened to it at work, two nights on a row, and in the car, and over here in my lovely house...

Me likey!!!!  *horns*
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Offline Karolina

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #113 on: Sun, 2011-12-11, 19:13:47 »
Hello everybody and thank you for accepting me in The Shattered Room!

First of all, just want to say that I flew all the way to Poland to see Arena's gig, as I have not met a single person in England who had heard of Arena. How sad, considering that all of the band's talents were born in UK. I have a quite big Prog rock group of friends back home.

I purchased the Seventh Degree of Separation at the gig and have been listening to it since. I am absolutely in love with the whole album. Clive's lyrics are always so inspirational and Paul suits perfectly to the band. He has a great voice with a wide vocal range. Personally, I think he is much better than Rob. I love every single track on a new album, however if I have to pick one or two (or three ...), it would be: The Great Escape, Rapture, One Last au revoir and of course What if (composition of lovely Mr Mitchell  ;)).

Thank you Arena,
x x x

Offline maddox

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #114 on: Sun, 2011-12-11, 20:16:05 »
Welcome to the Room, Karolina!
Do return and join the conversation.

About the UK, strange really since there are a few members over here that live in the UK.
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Offline Karolina

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #115 on: Sun, 2011-12-11, 20:46:15 »
I can see now, perhaps I was hanging around "wrong" crowd though, lol.

Offline maddox

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #116 on: Sun, 2011-12-11, 22:46:29 »
I can see now, perhaps I was hanging around "wrong" crowd though, lol.

If that crowd were strolling on the rhythms of Lady Gaga then I'd say; definitely yes!!  ;D

Take a different route and you'll meet others.
Us progheads, we're not with many, but we're there!!  *horns*


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Offline Deenfan

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #117 on: Tue, 2012-01-24, 01:44:14 »
Hi, people, and it's been too long. It's got something to do with the long time since last Arena album, and everything to do with my own life.

I'm very happy to log on and tell you that in my ears, Arena have done it again. They are still the only band I know of, who tops anything they've ever done, every time they release an album. Seriously, I've never experienced anything like it. Usually, a bands best album is to be found among the first three. Some really long-lived acts pushes this a bit, but usually, their most magnificent work is around 20 years back in time. And I'm not one of those guys who would say that anyway. Helloween have all their best albums within the confines of the last albums, in my ears, and I've been there with them since the very beginning. Another exception, I guess, though.

Arena, I started to listen to when "Pride" appeared in my mailbox. (I had a radio show once). I was not surprised to find, later on, that I preferred it, by some distance, to the debut. I was more unprepared for how good I'd find the next album (The visitor, but I didn't need to tell you that, did I?). It was very different, and took some time, but in the end, it's just better as an album, although the four best Arena songs were still on Pride. Or, that's not true, not as whole songs, but the best, most magical parts...

Immortal was still a tiny bit better, and I was impressed by that. Contagion just blew my mind. Even better?! Incredible.

Then "Pepper's ghost" comes along, with the best collection of songs Arena had served up until then. Some said it was too "straight-forward" and the like, but I think it's just a side effect of the songs being much stronger, and the quality of them not hidden very well. Instead, the best harmonies and hooks were lifted out of obscurity. Prog bands usually shamefacedly hide hooks and choruses in weirdness and instrumental indulgences. I was happy to see Arena rise above that, finally. They did hint in that direction on "Contagion" (ref.the first track...)

So, I was in heaven, right?

Well, I have yet in my little history lesson to give away Arena's standing as compared to the other bands I like. They never came all the way up to Magnum, Helloween, Kingdom Come, Shadow Gallery (by all that is holy) and other bands I got even more emotional about.

Emotion is the key.

I've always felt that Arena had an unrealized potential. And I think it's got to do with singers. Rob Sowden was an improvement. More character. A bit of bite to it, if you know what I mean. Singers are important to me. On par with keyboards. Prog bands tend to not have the most Pavarotti-equivalent singers. They often sound more like the neighbour or uncle with who is a bit better at singing than the other folks at the party. They're like guitarists who can sing. Song writers who can sing. Not singers, who are singers, through and through. Who would be considered if a slot opened up in Journey or Queensr├┐che, or who would ever be recognized for their vocal abilities, like John Farnham or Ronnie James Dio. Maybe this, that I find a lacking quality, has another side to it that makes it good for other people, and a part of the sound they really adore? Probably, but you are all capable of making your own cases. I'll make mine.

And this is where I won't budge, because it's not a question of taste. It is a musical-mathematical fact: The song writer in Arena has on a number of occasions written melody lines that go outside of the singers range. Rob had to resort to a crude jump into a falsetto here and there. So, not with any power or grace, he made the sound, hit the note, and in the studio they could fatten it up in all sorts of ways. Still, it was what it was, and live he was naked. I considered this, pretty thoroughly, and I came to the conclusion that Clive really wanted that line. He could have altered it, to suit the actual singer. But the song would have been worse for it. Yngwie Malmsteen would have sacked the singer immediately, and ordered one that could do it. Though I'm a big fan, the world needs only one Yngwie, in so many ways. Clive and Rob took the third alternative.

It wasn't optimal.

I have pointed this out before. And recognize that I have said nothing bad about Rob or indeed Clive. Every singer has got a range and other features that make him the singer he is. These dictate what fits him. A song writer is much the same. What sort of ideas does he tend to come up with? If he's prone to intensity and dramatics, he writes for a singer with a wide range, that encompasses some really high notes, and with a variety of "voices" that enables him to slip into and out of different roles and emotions. Clive is a bit like that, and Rob is not. Clive is getting more and more like that, it seems to me, and I thought (and wrote) that he should not be limited by the musicians around him. If nothing else, for the sake of the songs. If they were ever a match, they were not a perfect one anymore. So it's just a good old-fashioned question of musical differencies.

LISTEN to the new album!!! First of all, it is the coolest way in the world of presenting the new member. I remember Iron Maiden started off "Piece of mind" with a drum intro that told the fans not to worry about the new drummer. Having the new singer sing alone, stark naked, for such an extended moment, is brave. It is also, like in the Maiden case, all I needed to know. No previous Arena singer could have sung that intro! And I was stunned upon hearing it. Happy, enthusiastic, impressed, surprised... but also downright.... (I'm sorry, but it's the word to use) flabbergasted. And at the age of 39, that is not happening a lot. In music, I think I've pretty much heard it all, and done some of it myself. Since YouTube, I've stopped being impressed by musical athletics. What ever you hear on an album, a kid on YouTube can play it twice as fast, with triplets, in a much stranger time signature. While balancing an orange on the tip of the nose.

There is nothing of true value, other than the art itself. The song, most importantly, and thereby how it is made the best it can be by capable and musical musicians. Which is why you have to have a certain amount of technique and dexterity and whatnot. Speed. Range. Timing.

For me to be moved, shaken and punched in the face by a piece of music, at this point in my life, and after all those albums having set the bar pretty high, is nothing short of a miracle. It beats a burning bush any day. And I'll be forever in debt to Arena for this. I didn't see that coming, but I recognized it immediately: This is a chance for the band to realize their potential. For the song writers to see their vision become reality, the way it sounded in their heads, or even better than that.

So, I actually had to stop playback, and breathe. Skip back to the beginning and start again. It is magnificent every time. It's like seeing a Lamborghini Murcielago. You never take it in stride. So, what about the rest of the album, then?

Well, I've been through it a few times now, and the verdict is clear as it has never been: This is obviously, and by far, the best Arena album of all time. Yes, we tend to fondly remember, and the mood of the times passed is usually stronger than the mood of today, so many will only come around when this album is reminding them of the old days. But here and now, I'm already certain. The reason is, everything tangible is better this time around. The production is stellar, and the singer can do anything asked of him, with power and grace and quite a bit of conviction. The intangible is harder to put words to, but there is such a strong mood throughout this album, and it never lets go. Quite an achievement, with so many different songs on offer.

Songs, yes. In the twilight between tangible and intangible, there are the songs. I can not remember having ever thought as highly of any Arena song as I do of at least half of those on this album. Three of them would be massive hits and declared best tunes of the millennium if performed by some big stayer, with mass appeal. Celine Dion or Bruce Springsteen or anyone, really. "What if" is as good as the most unique and brilliant moments of U2, Eurythmics, Michael Jackson or anyone. It's, however, heading for a life of relative obscurity, so we, the chosen, should embrace it with all our hearts. There are others, too, and no moment on this album, as far as I can tell at present, is short of very very very good.

I didn't think the new album would be even better than Pepper's Ghost. And I did NOT for a moment imagine that it would beat it on its home turf: Sheer song quality. Lyrics and melody-centered, acoustic guitar by the fire, hummability.

Hats off. Arena, reinvented again. Even better, again. And now, at last, up there with the ones that have moved me the most.

I now truly love this band. I need a t-shirt.

Offline Nicky007

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #118 on: Tue, 2012-01-24, 13:07:45 »
Usually, a bands best album is to be found among the first three.

Altho I disagree entirely with you on that, iac re my pantheon groups, it's great to have ya back again, Deenie  8)

Nicky.
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Offline Deenfan

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #119 on: Tue, 2012-01-24, 14:08:14 »
You are an exception, Nicky! ;D

Cheers

Offline Nicky007

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #120 on: Wed, 2012-01-25, 16:38:32 »
There are a bit many exceptions to your great rule, Deenie  ;)

I'm enjoying reading your long post here (returning to it)  8)

Btw Deenie, check up my post in the Lions Cage thread, where I spinned the Wilderness lyrics  ;)

Nicky.
« Last Edit: Thu, 2012-01-26, 11:55:02 by Nicky007 »
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Offline payter

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #121 on: Thu, 2012-01-26, 17:13:18 »
My copy of the Making Of DVD that came with the CD has an issue. When I play it, the black and white portions seem to flicker a lot. Or is that deliberate?

It also doesn't play all the way through, I assume because of this: there aren't any scratches, but the clear layer of plastic on the playing side isn't evenly distributed across the surface. There's an oval ring in the middle of it where it's either thicker or thinner, I can't tell, and there's also some little droplets of it elsewhere on the playing surface. I've already contacted Verglas, but they won't do anything, other than tell me to contact the vendor I bought it from, who hasn't answered me yet. And the vendor's stock is backordered at the moment, so I have little hope of this getting resolved any time soon.

I would appreciate someone on here letting me know about the black and white flickering though.

Thanks.

Offline Deenfan

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #122 on: Thu, 2012-01-26, 21:17:00 »
That is a very unnecessary thing to deliberately add to such a video. Or any video. Must have felt really arty-smarty to come up with it, but it is dreadful. My did play all the way through, though, so that's probably an error.

Offline bellanova

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #123 on: Fri, 2012-01-27, 02:23:20 »
Mine is ok too. I actually enjoyed it alot. Probably the best thing I watched on Christmas Day!

Offline payter

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Re: The Seventh Degree of Seperation
« Reply #124 on: Fri, 2012-01-27, 18:01:03 »
Thank you both for answering, but I'm still not certain if you also see flickering in the black and white sections, or not?