Arena -
The Theory Of Molecular Inheritance

(CD 2022, 62:03, Verglas Music)

The tracks:
  1- Time Capsule(5:30)
  2- The Equation (The Science Of Magic)(6:28)
  3- Twenty-One Grams(6:34)
  4- Confession(2:20)
  5- The Heiligenstadt Legacy(5:42)
  6- Field Of Sinners(6:27)
  7- Pure Of Heart(6:18)
  8- Under The Microscope(6:51)
  9- Integration(4:48)
10- Part Of You(5:54)
11- Life Goes On(5:11)

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The Visitor has always been my all-time favourite Arena album and although The Theory Of Molecular Inheritance is a magnificent album, The Visitor is still their number one album, for me, at least!

Former singer Paul Manzi has been replaced by no one less than Damien Wilson (ex-Threshold) and his voice really shines on Arena's tenth studio album! Furthermore, The Theory Of Molecular Inheritance is a concept album and that works really well indeed for Arena as the tracks fit together excellenly! Opener Time Capsule is a huge, bombastic prog rock song in the true veins of “old” classic Arena material and especially Wilson's performance here is almost immaculate! The Heiligenstadt Legacy (Goethe) is one of the highlights of this album, while Field Of Sinners is probably the weakest track as it is more basic, rock and roll like actually. Under The Microscope is the longest track and also a superb one, featuring howling keys by Clive Nolan and a majestic guitar solo (with Celtic influences?) from John Mitchell. Finally, we are treated to Life Goes On, what a catchy chorus indeed, and surely an Arena masterpiece! The only thing I can actually nag about is the fact that Mitchell's solos could be more present and more plentiful, but that does not mean that this is not a prog rock gem without a shadow of a doubt.

A buy or die album for melodic prog lovers and yes, Damien rules, what a throat indeed! Listening tip: Under The Microscope!

****+ Martien Koolen (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)

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