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Narnia - 'Narnia' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ed/a2/de/narnia-narnia-33-1487018014.jpg Hot

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If you have a penchant for grandiose Melodic Metal this album will be like manna from heaven. Hallelujah!

Swedish Christian, Neo-Classical, Progressive, Power Metal (take your pick!) outfit Narnia return after a four-year hiatus with their seventh studio album and their first since 2009's 'Course Of A Generation'. This release also sees the reunion of original founding members CJ Grimmark (guitars, keyboards & backing vocals) and Christian Liljegren (vocals), the latter making his first appearance since 2001's 'Desert Land'.

The album kicks off with 'Reaching For The Top', which is straight-ahead Metal, albeit with a heavy melodic side similar to Dio's classic 'We Rock'. 'I Still Believe' has a Celtic vibe and is powered along by Andreas "Habo" Johansson's double-kick drum. The lyrics throughout are unashamedly Christian in their content, none more so than in the fantastic anthem 'On The Highest Mountain'. I know the Christian subject can by somewhat off-putting to a few fans, yet I for one observe these to inspire and they never appear to be sermonizing.

The pace slows with the Progressive style of 'Thank You' that features a fine guitar outro-solo courtesy of Grimmark; he also handles production duties. The album was mixed and mastered by Thomas "Plec" Johansson (Scar Symmetry). The overall sound is superb and allows the listener to turn up the volume without it ever becoming a painful experience.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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The Neo-Classical 'One Way To The Promised Land' includes some furious interplay between guitars and keyboards, the latter courtesy of Martin Härenstam, whilst 'Messengers' has a Royal Hunt vibe; the latter is unsurprising as Narnia features RH bassist Andreas Passmark. The lyrics within 'Who Do You Follow' that include the line "Awaiting the Lion's return" are influenced, like several songs from previous albums, by novelist C.S. Lewis.

The pounding 'Moving On' is a real highlight, not that the album ever really dips in quality, leaving just the brilliant 'Set The World On Fire' to finish.
Narnia are a band right on top of their game and if you have a penchant for grandiose Melodic Metal this album will be like manna from heaven. Hallelujah!

Mark Donnelly

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