Sjak : The nucleus of the Swedish heavy metal band Narnia always existed out of guitar player CJ Grimmark and singer Christian Rivel-Liljegren and when the last mentioned decided to leave the band in 2008 after fifteen years of loyal duty because of personal reasons the end of this outfit seemed near. With the new singer German Pascual they still released the album ‘Course Of A Generation’ in 2009, but the magic of the old Narnia seemed to have disappeared on this release and therefore it came as no real surprise that in the beginning of 2010 band leader CJ Grimmark decided to put the band at rest for an indefinite period.
To be honest I didn’t expect that Narnia would ever re-awaken again from this hibernation period, but blood seems to be thicker than water and at the end of 2013 both gentlemen Grimmark and Rivel-Liljegren started to discuss a possible reunion which was actually announced on January 31st of 2014. Narnia started to perform again and they also started to write new material for a possible next album. On their own Narnia Songs label this eponymously entitled, meanwhile seventh, full-length album is brought to market now and it has to be said that the new material of the band sounds quite fresh and energetic. The first single ‘Reaching For The Top’ is a lovely smooth rock tune with a great chorus and opens the album quite impressively. Despite of the fact that this song for me is the absolute highlight of the entire record, there are quite a few other very catchy songs to be found on the record in the shape of ‘Moving On’, ‘I Still Believe’ and ‘One Way To The Promised Land’ to name just a few. Guitar player CJ Grimmark has written quite some nice guitar riffs and also singer Christian Rivel-Liljegren sounds like he’s never been away. With its playing time of just over thirty-eight minutes, divided over nine songs, the record is a bit short but as quality is more important than quantity this is no showstopper whatsoever. The song material is on average very worthwhile listening to and this ‘Narnia’ is, compared with its predecessor ‘Course Of A Generation’, quite a big step in the right direction again.