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Bit of a painful one this. Having never heard of Narnia previously despite this being album no. 6 and the fact they are labelled 'power metal' I wasn't optimistic. Turns out I was right to be a bit wary. "Course Of A Generation" is not for my 'generation' - those older than about 19 years old, or at least those who know how to look for some genuine metal spirit in their bands, and for whom modern, slick metal with a massively annoying keyboard sound present throughout do not register as 'great'.
The Christian Swedish band, coincidently fronted by one Christian Rivel, bound along calling up a variety of sounds. You have your In Flames and Soilwork moments; you will find any number of identikit (mostly German) power metal bands; and unfortunately far too much single-string chugging that always signals a band out as unable to write decent riffs. Mr Rivel has a voice that is technically proficient and frankly can't be faulted if you've ever heard mine, but at times he strays too close to Dio, others Tim Aymar (again - how many times recently?), all the while too sterile to grab you by the balls and show the world who's boss around here.
"Armageddon" represents the brightest, and heaviest moment to be found here, but with the likes of "Behind The Curtain" closing the album amid annoyingly happy choruses and the most timid piano/keyboard sound known to man, the bright sparks are sadly doused by far too much fluff for any serious metalhead to appreciate with any great gratitude. Not to mention the metal fraternity's allergic reaction to most bands touching Jesus, this is not the release that will garner Narnia much attention in a scene with countless other similarly average bands.
Originally written for Rockfreaks.net