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Arena - Contagious CD (album) cover





2.89 | 50 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Very tasty leftovers!

Contagious is one of out two EPs (the other one is called Contagium) that Arena released in the wake of their full length masterpiece album Contagion. Stemming from the same sessions and originally intended to be included on the actual album, the extra songs presented on these two EPs are - not surprisingly - very much in the same fashion as those that ended up on Contagion. While hardly as strong as the Contagion material itself, these "leftovers" are very tasty indeed!

Apparently, the two EPs come with instructions on how to insert these extra tracks (not including the remixes, of course!) into the running order of the original Contagion album. Since I don't own any of the EPs in physical form, I had to look up this information elsewhere. And while listening to the album with these extra songs from the Contagious and Contagium EPs inserted according to the instructions of the band is a worthwhile experience, I think that this long version (apparently known as 'Contagion Max') does not flow as well as the original, short version. I therefore fully agree with the band's decision to keep these songs off the actual album. (A future release of Contagion Max on double CD has been discussed though!).

(The original) Contagion runs for just under an hour and that is just the right running time, in my opinion. With all the extra tracks added (from both EPs), we get a further 36 minutes of music to digest! Another 36 minutes of Arena is indeed very good news for us who already love the band and the Contagion album in its original form, but for those yet to discover this masterpiece I strongly recommend to start with the short version. However, anyone who has fully digested the original Contagion and rated it highly should definitely get these extra tracks too! And while they don't offer any musical surprises for those who known the band and the Contagion album in particular, they add pieces of the intricate story that the album is based on.

Contagious contains four of these extra Contagion tracks. Vanishing Act and Contagious are instrumentals similar in style to those great instrumentals that made the original running order. I Spy is an acoustic song that does not have an obvious counterpart on the album, but fits into the overall sound of it. The Hour Glass shares some lyrics with a couple of songs from the album. Musically it is a slow and dark song with a great vocal.

Good, but only essential for fans of Arena and the Contagion album in particular.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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