In the second album since their hiatus, NARNIA are back with “From Darkness to Light”. Compared to pretty much all of their previous albums, “From Darkness to Light” dials the neoclassicalism (is that a word? Fuck it. It is now!) to a point where it’s nearly non-existent. Additionally, NARNIA have traded a good portion of their power metal energy for heavier riffs, a bit more variety, and a more prominent prog influence. They still have some killer synth tones, like “80s Fanfare Cheese” and “Black Dude Jazz Fusion”, so I’m not complaining.
“From Darkness to Light” begins with such fucking fire that I was immediately expecting the world from this album. That cheesy, epic 6/8 synth fanfare intro of ‘A Crack in the Sky’ stole my attention right away, and the rest of the track carried that excitement all the way through. However, all of this momentum is halted by the mediocrity of ‘You Are the Air That I Breathe’, which sounds like one of those poppy worship songs you got beat over the head with when you were dragged to church as a kid (well, if you were a kid any time since the late 90s, anyway).
Speaking of church, if you didn’t figure it out by the band name, NARNIA is a Christian band. Now, while I do nearly burn from the inside out when I hear Christian music, the lyrical content has pretty much nothing to do with how I critique music. After all, this is coming from somebody who listens to songs about dragons and space battles. I just figured it was my duty to mention that before, you know, you find yourself victim to a surprise exorcism or something.
Anyway, don’t lose hope in this album just yet, because, despite a few duds (like the aforementioned ‘You Are the Air That I Breathe’ and ‘Has the River run Dry’) there are some awesome tracks on this record. Aside from the beginning track, ‘MNFST’ and ‘I Will Follow’ have some beastly riffage and fantastic facemelters. Then there’s ‘The Armor of God’, which is a more typical power metal tune, and ‘From Darkness to Light (Part 1)’, which has a massive, cinematic intro before backing off into light, acoustic reflection, which is really well done. Evidently, aside from a bunch of cool tracks, there’s a great amount of variety, too.
Even though it’s in a very different realm that its predecessors, “From Darkness to Light” stands as a great album; it carries a solid, driving vigour in most of its tracks. NARNIA have proven their talent once again and, while it may not be their best, this album still kicks all sorts of ass. If you don’t usually partake in Christian metal, I urge you to delve into this one; you won’t be disappointed.
Originally written by Kane for powerthorn.com.