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Released: 2016, Indie
I was delighted to learn of the return of Narnia. I was even more delighted to learn that they have returned to their original sound, albeit slightly updated. Back in 2009 the band released their sixth album, which featured a change in sound and a new singer. Perhaps it didn’t work as well as they wanted because the band went on hiatus for 7 years…however they have risen!
The first and most noticeable change is the return of original vocalist Christian Rivel, who sang for the band on the first five albums. The band have added a couple of guys as well expanded out to a quintet and the result is the strongest album in a while. The rejuvenated band chose the eponymous album title of NARNIA as a strong statement of intent and a great return to form. Perhaps, the only very slight taint to what amounts to a flawless come-back, is the lack of their classic lion (Aslan) mascot on the album cover.
NARNIA rips through nine songs in a mere 39 minutes leaving no filler. It is so good to hear Rivel again fronting the band, where he belongs. His vocals soar with passion and power. The album is a return to their sound with perhaps not quite as ‘sweet’ as the early albums, but still superb nonetheless. ‘I Still Believe’ is so catchy it will rank as one of my songs of the year easily. The bands strong and proud Christian lyrical thrust is very evident on any number of songs, including the nice mid-tempo number ‘On The Highest Mountain’. The album goes from strength to strength with the only downfall being the slightly off ballad called, ‘Thank You’, which starts with some sort of weird and unwelcome techno-industrial thing for the first three minutes but thankfully turns into a lush instrumental with some excellent soloing at the back end of the tune. Overall the album is quite fast and punchy, lots of great melodies, harmonies, laced into a wonderful mix of melodic Power metal.
Narnia is back and full of fire and feeding the flames of redemption and salvation. It is a triumphant return. Long live the long-standing heralds of White Metal. Let's adjust that....with the recent announcement of Stryper going on hiatus, could Narnia be the #1 one white band on the planet? I think so.
1. Reaching for the Top
2. I Still Believe
3. On the Highest Mountain
4. Thank You
5. One Way to the Promised Land
7. Who Do You Follow?
8. Moving On
9. Set the World on Fire
Christian Rivel-Liljegren Vocals
Carl-Johan Grimmark Guitar, Bass, Keyboards
Andreas Olsson Bass
Martin Härenstam Keyboards
Andreas Johansson Drums
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