Out : March 17, 2023
Playing Time : 47:04
Author: Erich Robbers (Rockcastle Franken)
The days of throwing the Bible into the audience and laughing at so-called White Metal bands are fortunately long gone. Sure, not everyone likes these “religious” lyrics, but you can also just enjoy the music. Narnia have been one of the pioneers of such bands for 27 years and have just released their ninth studio album “Ghost Town”. Narnia’s music is still Melodic Metal, which sometimes takes on progressive forms and lies somewhere between bands like Stratovarius and Axel Rudi Pell.
In principle, Melodic Metal is nothing out of the ordinary, but guitarist CJ Grimmark makes up the salt in the Narnia soup, because he is certainly one of the strongest guitarists in the Melodic Metal field and thrills with crunchy riffs, as well as completely inviting harmony leads and, in the slower appearance, goosebump-producing solos. Singer and main songwriter Christian Liljegren once again intones with a highly melodic voice, but always has a harder time when more power is needed in his voice. Nevertheless, he is still the right singer for Narnia.
The furious start with “Rebel” clearly shows that Narnia can also rock. The sound from the speakers is lively and powerful. Of course, as with other Melodic Metal bands, the choruses are the main attraction of Narnia. And that they can write great choruses they have already shown very often and also on “Ghost Town” there are many great, harmonic choruses to hear. For example, in the quite hard “Glory Daze”, “Hold On” or the sometimes modern trimmed “Alive” and “Modern Day Pharisees”. Every now and then, an Evergrey edge even shimmers through.
“Ghost Town” is something like the smasher of the album, “Descension” the atmospheric number with an occidental flair. Flat keyboards and even piano sometimes underline or interrupt the speedy style, but thereby conjure up the progressive note. The goosebump ballad “Out Of The Silence” is the special icing on the cake of the album. Not only that Eric Clayton (ex-Saviour Machine) with his inimitable baritone voice sings the Lord’s Prayer in spoken words. No, the guitar solo by CJ Grimmark also shows the finest understanding of melody and almost moves to tears.
There are one or two fillers on the album (“Wake Up Call”, for example, is just average Melodic Metal off the shelf), but all in all “Ghost Town” has become a good, typical Narnia album. You can listen to it again and again and musically it is damn (oops !) sophisticated. Narnia don’t let up with age, thank God!
Narnia – Ghost Town – Trailer 1: https://youtu.be/tNtXbIEJUcE
Christian Liljegren – Lead vocals
Carl Johan “CJ” Grimmark – Guitars & backing vocals
Jonatan “Jono” Samuelsson – Bass, lead & backing vocals
Martin Härenstam – Keyboards
Andreas “Habo” Johansson – Drums
- Hold On
- Glory Daze
- Ghost Town
- Modern Day Pharisees
- Out of the Silence
- Wake Up Call