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Narnia: Course of a Generation

Christian based rockers Narnia, have gone through a major change since their last release. Gone is long time lead singer Christian Rivel and in his place is the very talented German Pascual. For their 6th studio album the band along with its new lead singer, seems to be rejuvenated and the results are a power metal feast for the ears.

Without knowing the history of the band and what makes them tick, you would never guess that Narnia is a Christian group from this offering. While the lyrics do have a sense of spirituality, they are really open for interpretation and other than being a positive outlook for a change, there is nothing to keep the non-believers away from this great offering. I shouldn't have to defend the background and beliefs of the band, those that are narrow minded enough to reject an album just because it might have a religious undercurrent will probably not be reading this review anyway.

This is one of the surprise albums of this year. Narnia has tightened their focus on the music and results have created a disc which yearns to be cranked to full volume. With a majesty that has to do a lot with the new lead singer, shades of Ronnie James Dio meet Iron Maiden come to mind as I listen to the ten strong cuts that the band has seen fit to bestow upon us. Fans of bands such as Masterstroke, Mind's Eye and the afore mentioned groups have another to add to their collection now. These guys have come up with a phenomenal effort and the new sound is one that I look forward to hearing time and time again.

I will not be able to give enough credit for this resurgence to German Pascual. His vocals are truly amazing and you are going to wonder where this guy comes from. He has a voice that is perfect for this type of music and I expect some great stuff in the future. One a song such as "When The Stars Are Falling" he manages to pull off what might be called a Ronnie James Coverdale. If you could graft the two together, Pascual would be the outcome. He has that much talent.

Musically this disc is a melodic power metal treat. Guitarist Carl Johan Grimmark delivers throughout the disc and even mixes in the occasional terrific solo. Heavy, fast, loud and proud, this is metal the way it is meant to be. Without a doubt, this is going to be one of my picks for best of the year. It is that dynamic and just a great slice of the power metal pie.

Track listing:

1. Sail Around The World
2. When The Stars Are Falling
3. Curse Of A Generation
4. Scared
5. Kings Will Come
6. Rain
7. Armageddon
8. One War To Freedom
9. Miles Away
10. Behind The Curtain

Added: March 9th 2010
Reviewer: Scott Ward
Score:
Related Link: Band's Myspace Page
Hits: 2454
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Narnia: Course of a Generation
Posted by Butch Jones, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-03-09 17:01:42
My Score:

*******This is a review of the 2010 Nightmare Records reissue of Course of a Generation*******

Here we go again! I have long wanted to go to Sweden to check out their music scene, as there MUST be something in their water. I don't know if there has been a release yet that has come out of Sweden that I haven't been completely enthralled with. Enter another band that I had no prior knowledge on, Narnia! It really is pretty cool to find out about a band that you instantly love and then find out that the disc that you love is the bands 6th release. SIXTH??!! Where was I? Well unfortunately I've been here in wonderful New York, USA and apparently under a rock. But damn, do these guys rule!

"Course of a Generation" is that 6th record that I was speaking of and it was originally released in July of '09 and re-released by Nightmare Records to a wider audience. Kudos to the people at Nightmare for unleashing such a beast of a Modern Melodic Power Metal record. This also marks the debut of new singer Germán Pascual who takes the over the helm from departed singer, Christian Liljegren. "Course of a Generation" is a masterful meld of familiar elements of bands like Symphony X, Seventh Key, Soilwork and even a bit of older Iron Maiden, but not in that rip off way, but more in that influential, "I kind of hear that in them" type of way. Soaring and soulfully passionate vocals, stellar fretboard work and a heavy and tight rhythm section, Narnia have indeed released a killer, killer record.

CD Opener, "Sail Around The World" has that Swedish riffiness that clobbers you over the head and pulls you in, immediately! The chorus quickly comes in and you are hooked. Progressive enough, Metal enough, Melodic enough, this is the shit. "When The Stars Are Falling" is next up and again Narnia's use of catchy, melodic chorus' are just soaring. Whether it's a fast Metal rocker, ala Symphony X, like "Curse of a Generation", that has that very cool Michael Romeo-ish pulsing guitar riff or probably the catchiest song on C.O.A.G., "Rain", with its huge, get stuck in your head chorus; "When the Rain is falling down, When the angels come to free this town, When the Rain is falling down, Washing all the dust away", Narnia does it all and well! Check out the again very Swedish Melodic Metal like "Armageddon", the staggered drum beat driven "Miles Away" or the epic bonus track, "Master of Lies". Superbly produced by amazing guitarist/keyboard player and co-founder C.J. Grimmark, C.O.A.G. sounds as good sonically as it does musically. It is simply a great sounding record.

The one thing that fly's a bit under the radar with Narnia is that they are Christian based band but do not preach at all. And to be honest their lyrics speak of faith, but they could also be interpreted as many things along the side of being positive. I for one, enjoy that they DON'T necessarily come across as Christian's with a message but let any message be felt by those looking for it, otherwise letting their music do their talking. "Course Of A Generation" is an 11 track opus that you will have a hard time removing from your CD player or stop playing on your iPod. The immaculate choral harmonies throughout this record are nothing short of spectacular and the aggressive Power Metal riffs will supply plenty of air guitar shredding. New vocalist Pascual seems to have set alight the power of Narnia and I for one have caught the fire of this Swede quartet. If you are a fan of catchy Power Metal with killer riffs, then this will be one of the easiest CD purchases that you have ever made. CD is perfect! Damn the Swedes and their Metal, I love it, love it, love it!!



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