Narnia is one of the most well known christian metal bands from Sweden and their ability of making great melodies with catchy refrains has kept them alive. Last album, the comeback album “Narnia” was great and by reading Christians Liljegrens (the singer) statement on his Facebook that they have made their biggest effort ever with this album got me curious.
The first single “A Crack in the Sky” has been available over a month on Youtube. It’s a melodic “hit” with a great chorus and progressive touch performed by great musicians and it’s also the opening track on this album. I believe that this is a great way to start an album.
The next song “You Are the Air That I breath” is more straightforward with a bluesy classic rock-riff and yet again another catchy chorus. This is a cool song and a little bit different from what you normally get from Narnia.
“Has the River Run Dry” on the other hand sounds like a leftover from “Long Live the King” (1999), it’s a mid-tempo song in the same style as “What You Give is What You Get” from that album. It’s good but not a favourite.
The fourth track “The Armor of God” is a speedier power metal song with a neoclassic touch. This one should please their fans out there. The melody actually sounds quite simular to an old swedish folksong by Björn Afzelius (En Kungens Man).
With “MNFST” it’s getting heavier. This track really stands out! It’s not fast but it contains the best chorus on the album so far and in the middle you get some proggy parts with some awesome work from the guitarplayer Carl Johan Grimmark. That is hard to resist for a progmetal fan like myself!
“The War That Tore the Land” starts with a beautiful intro that reminds me of “Thank You” from the “Narnia”-album. This one also contains some female vocals singing “Hallelujah”. Even if there is some amazing guitarwork by Grimmark here nothing really exciting happens and the chorus only includes that one word “Hallelujah”.
After the decent song called “Sail On” one of the best songs on the album “I Will Follow” appears. It’s actually a mid-tempo song but it contains some really wicked keyboards and guitar stuff and I love that! The chorus is also very striking, it gets you immediately.
If there was one thing missing on the previous album it was that there wasn’t any longer epic track on it.
This time there is and “surprise surprise”, it’s the titletrack. 🙂 It’s a very dark and atmospheric song where Christian sings with great emotion. I love the chorus that starts with “Hanging by a Thread” (if it’s suppose to be seen as a chorus) that’s why I think the songs ends way too soon. Why not return to the chorus at the end of the song? As it is now the song only has a long outro. Anyway, it’s still great but I think they missed a great opportunity here of having a big finish of the album.
This is without any doubt a great album from Narnia and all the fans should be pleased. It’s also variated which is very positive. The message is very clear, well maybe too clear sometimes. I am not saying that they should keep it hidden because these guys never would :). But the constant barrage of Christian tropes: God, Jesus, Christ and so on makes the meaning of the words a little less weighty where as lyrics from for instance a band in the same genre “Theocracy” are more poetic and beautiful in their christian symbolism.
Musically this is a very powerful album and some of the songs are topnotch and Christian sounds great like he always does. I think he’s voice sounds more darker and powerful than it did in his early days which is not a bad thing!. But The Man behind the music himself, Grimmark rules, he is still one the of the better guitarplayers and songwriters out there, that’s for sure! I have to add that the album is mastered by Jens Bogren and that is a qualitymark!
Great work guys, this is one of the hightligts of this year so far!
Now I won’t listen to this album anymore until I get my physical copy!
Title: From Darkness to Light
Label: Narnia Songs
Date of release: 2/8 -2019
Length: 46 minutes
Stand out tracks: “MNFST” and “I Will Follow”