As a big fan of US Power Metal I feel obliged to inform my spiritual equals about the best US Power Metal out there. Although this isn't a new album I want to tell you more about Dark Arena. The reason is obvious if you would hear some tracks of this everlasting album.


Dark Arena rose out from the ashes of bands like Ritual or should we say Ritual of Torment and Attaxe. What all bands have in common is the unbelievable Juan Ricardo. You can count this man in as one of my favorite singers and he can easily be compared with vocalists like John Cyriis (ex Agent Steel), Ski (ex-Deadly Blessing, Faith Factor), James Rivera (Helstar and many others) or Warrel Dane (Sanctuary era)! These are this kind of vocalists that make US Power Metal so god damn outstanding, mind blowing and addictive!


Although Dark Arena didn't seem to trust the underground webzines, by not sending them promotional material - even when we asked for it - I didn't hesitate a second to buy this release in 2006. To me it was one of the best CD's from that particular year and I can't wait for any news about this band. Musical wise fans of Ritual, releasing a top album ''Trails Of Torment'' in 1993, will be thrilled by ''Alien Factor''. Just check our topic called: Metal From The Past if you want more information about Ritual... The same overwhelming power, varied arrangements, technical riffs and incredible vocals are present. Also the strong production will blow you miles away. Fast fingered solos are main part of this release but also fans of technical drum parts won't be disappointed. At some parts subtle keyboards are added and they enlighten the Progressive touch of the band. Overall Dark Arena sounds creative and sophisticated at the one side but also mean, vicious and overall very dark at the other!


What I adore so much about US Power Metal is that power and melody are mostly in a perfect balance.  All tracks of this release will keep on playing in your mind and I'm sure fans of this style will spin this one for many weeks. Songs like 'Freedom', 'Fear Of The Night', 'Alien World', 'The Sight' and 'Somewhere' are superb and should be heard by every Metal fan! With a bit of support I am convinced the future would look bright for these guys! Unfortunately only a 'chosen few' were fortuned to discover Dark Arena and be sure most of them adore, even worship this band.


Fans of Agent Steel (Unstoppable Force era), Forbidden (first two gems), Deadly Blessing, Sanctuary and bands like Liege Lord, New Eden and Helstar will bow their heads deep for Dark Arena. A mixture of technical Thrash, mid tempo Progressive Metal and traditional eighties Metal is branded on this disc until eternity. Add one of the best but most underrated vocalists and I suppose no more words are needed to tell you how godlike this band is! Juan Ricardo's vocals are astonishing, inconceivable and fit perfectly on this kind of Metal. If you're into strong clean vocals with high pitched screams you will be energized by this one. His role as a front man can't be replaced, unless by the upper gods I've mentioned before.


Not many news to read nowadays about Dark Arena when I surf to http://www.myspace.com/darkarena. That's a pity because I don't want these guys to disband or whatever. I want them to sign a decent label so Juan Ricardo can finally show his talent to the entire Metal movement. Damn, this is such a great band... I noticed anyway that this release is available at Nightmare Records, hopefully it is a first step to a nice career.


My Points: 99 / 100