Narnia – “From Darkness To Light” (Sound Pollution)
Battle Helm Rating
Oh wow, the spark that Narnia lit on last year’s live album “We Still Believe – Made in Brazil” has undoubtedly followed the band into the studio from whence is amazing album has emerged! Fantastic songs performed through stellar musicianship and most of all, incredible passion that leaves you with the same upbeat feeling as if you’d just witnessed the band is the best way I can describe my overloaded emotions after listening to the 10 hugely catchy numbers here. Taking in the full spectrum of melodic, power, prog, christian and neoclassical metal but always excelling in superb delivery, this 8th release doesn’t hold back whatsoever. From the dexterous axe of C J Grimmark that blinds through its neoclassical virtuosity yet also captures the heart so remarkably, Martin Härenstam’s pumping analogue synthesizers add the bountiful 80s harmonies and 70s prog mystique while leaving room for Christian Liljegren’s vocals who you will find it hard not to be touched by. Not forgetting the driving rhythm of Andreas ‘Habo’ Johansson’s energetic drumming and Taurus bass pedalist Jonatan Samuelsson, Narnia – who formed in the mid 90s – is one helluva package! Just check out the prog majesty on ‘I Will Follow’ before that ultra catchy riff and slick fret board work send you straight to heaven thanks to Liljegren’s soothing soul while ‘MNFST’ is stadium rock remembered thanks to that incredible chorus with the guitars and keyboards dancing in perfect harmony in both melodic and heavier moments, brought home by just the right percussive beats from Johansson – awesome. But ‘The Armor Of God’ is unto itself, a stirring power metal piece with its swashbuckling guitar and delicate keys adding the jewel touch as Liljegren sings as if he were on the right hand of you know who, while Samuelsson’s suave bass lines and the double bass drumming and cymbals of Johansson ensure this epic number will never be forgotten. What more can I say except – the lion roars once again!