Narnia - 'Course Of a Generation' Hot

Added by James Gaden     March 17, 2010    
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New record from the revamped Christian Symphonic Metal act


Narnia, the Swedish Christian (I bet that word stopped a few of you reading this review!) symphonic metallers are back with a new album, new singer and, it would seem, new found passion for making rock music. I say this because as much as I love (and still do by the way!) the old Narnia, the bombastic Narnia, the symphonic Narnia, the fresh path the band have chosen to take with their songwriting and sound on ‘Course For A Generation’, makes this, for me anyway, the best album the band have recorded, but it’s also their most different. Narnia really do mean business with this new CD, though whether it will go down well with the older Narnia fans will have to be seen.

Carl Johan Grimmark has always been the focal point of the band, his blistering guitar work and melodic sensibilities have always been the driving force behind the Narnia vision. On this album though he has changed his guitar sound a little bit, giving it a (sorry about this) modern edge, which I found to be just what the doctor ordered because it fits the new songs so well, but will, I’m sure, leave some older fans of the band scratching their heads wondering what Narnia have gone and done. That said, Narnia haven’t forgotten what brought them to the dance, they have just given things a tweak here and there and recorded some cracking melodic metal songs.

‘Sail Around The World’ kicks things off and is classic Narnia from start to finish, but it’s when ‘When The Stars Are Falling’ begins to play that we see this new side to Narnia emerge. A modern guitar riff blends seamlessly with the classy power metal the band are famous for, and the combination is wonderful to hear. ‘Curse For A Generation’ has an almost thrash-like guitar riff running through it, and for some reason reminds me of the mighty Symphony X (always a good thing), and great songs just keep on coming. ‘Sacred’ is a hard edged mid-paced rocker with a superb vocal from new boy German Pascual (bit of a find this gentleman!), that powers along building to a great finish. ‘Kings Will Come’ is another song with a clever riff and big hook, as are all the other songs that you will find on this wonderful album.

Narnia have taken a bold step in updating their sound (quite a few bands seem to be doing this at the moment) but in doing so they have lost none of the fire or flair they had before. In fact this new album builds on the old foundations laid down by the other incarnations of the band, and takes what they did before into a brand new Narnia era. A very welcome return.

Ian Johnson


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