Saturday, February 6, 2010


Blowing in from the northern hemisphere is veteran Power/Prog Metal Headbangers Narnia. Indeed, now with a new vocalist in tow they really are among the crème of this metal class. Melodic in approach but furious in attack Narnia are the complete package from songs, vocals, musicianship and passion.

Carl Johan Grimmark and crew have taken Narnia to the next level with this release. From the outset the songs are strong with superb melodic sense but heavier than past outings. I think this could actually be the heaviest album they have released to date. After listening to ‘Curse of a Generation,’ ‘Rain,’ or the blistering ‘Armageddon’ I’m sure you’ll agree. Riffs don’t get much heavier or explosive then those.

The progressive element is alive and well throughout the album, never does it over dominate the songs but only enhance the compositions in which they appear. Blistering guitar tones from Grimmark, massive rhythm assistant from Andreas Passmark (bass) and Andreas Johanson (drums) provide the musical tapestry that new vocalist German Pascal is giving in which to provide his vocal.

Pascal has a somewhat different feel than previous vocalist Christian Liljegren. Liljegren also occupied the lower register of the musical scale but he had a more smooth vocal style. Pascal also occupies that same area of scale but his vocal is definitely more on the raw edge of things. It adds a new dimension to the band and it will be interesting to see how that style transforms the older material.

Grimmark still provides tasty lead guitar, where as in previous releases they might have been of a neo classical style at times it seems here he plays to songs strengths. That’s not to say he doesn’t just blow some fabulous solo licks on this release. I’ve seen him on the Rob Rock live DVD and having that opportunity was fantastic. Good melody, good sense of placement and good technique make Grimmark a player to watch.

It just seems to me that Narnia have taken everything they've learned over playing together for over 10 years and put it all in this release. It’s breathtaking.

If you’re already a fan of Narnia this disc will no doubt deliver the goods for you. It has for me; I wish I’d heard this one earlier as it definitely ranks as one of the best releases of 2009. Course of A Generation is a tremendous album and why these guys haven’t cracked the US market in a big way is beyond me and to the loss for those metal heads in the good ole’ U.S. of A… A big thank you must go to Nightmare Records for making this album available.

Narnia, ‘Course of a Generation’ grab your copy and rock hard.

8 Axes

1 comment:

Lee Self said...

Keven, it's great to hear from you brother. I'm glad to see you writing about what you love again. It's funny how music changes over the years. I must confess that I've not been as much into metal in the past few years except some Swedish death metal a friend turned me onto. The rest was "classic" rock. It's funny that you mentioned Bride. I had turned on one of our youth to that band when we lived in Jacksonville, FL.

I liked the song by Narnia. I guess I'll have to broaden my horizons again.

We'll have to chat again soon. 719-472-8606.

God bless bro.