Perpetual Dreams - Arena 3/5

Reviewed: 6-30-06





Tracklist:

1. Arena
2. Push
3. Falling down
4. Braveheart
5. No more lies
6. Escape in em
7. My revenge
8. Alive
9. Conspiracy
10. Forever lost in time
11. Terrorslaves


Perpetual Dreams is a band from Brazil that introduced a very cool sound with their debut 'Eyes of infinite' a few years back, one that combines neo-classical power metal (think of bands like Iron Mask, Book of Reflections, Seven Seraphim and Evil Masquerade) with Italian power metal in the same vein as Sigma, Seven Gates, Perpetual Fire, Oracle Sun, Odyssea, and so on. When I first grabbed 'Eyes of infinite' I was listening to it quite a bit, as the style combination really worked for me (having always been a fan of both neo-classical power metal and the Italian bands). Also, the CD has a few spectacular songs that I always make sure and hit "repeat" with when I listen to the CD these days.

'Arena' continues down the same path that 'Eyes of infinite' started, but it hasn't grabbed me like the debut had. For starters, while there are a number of fast-paced songs with flashy guitar work (track 2 "Push", track 7 "My revenge" and track 9 "Conspiracy" for example), my favorite songs still exist on the debut. There isn't a handful of songs (or even just one) that stand out as highlights. In addition, while the production was nothing amazing on 'Eyes of infinite', 'Arena' takes a small step backwards in that department and the CD would have surely been stronger with a better sound quality. The band nicely mixes things up though with the long track 4 "Braveheart" (which slows down in the middle for some calming moments), the acoustic instrumental track 6 "Escape in em" and the extremely slow but pleasant track 10 "Forever lost in time". Plus, plenty of neo-classical guitar work is present and fans of that style will most likely be satisfied.

To simplify the decision making process, I would rank the overall quality of 'Arena' as a slight step down from Odyssea's debut 'Tears in floods', Seven Gates debut 'Unreality', Perpetual Fire's debut 'Endless world' and Oracle Sun's debut 'Deep inside', but is maybe a step up from Seven Seraphim's debut 'Believe in angels'. It should be mentioned that vocalist Eduardo D' Avila is comparable to the vocalists from these bands (is fairly high-pitched). So if you have and enjoy bands in either of the styles I've discussed, 'Arena' may very well be a worthwhile purchase.



CLINT




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