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I've owned this cd for a long, long time. I think I ordered it from Amazon back around when it first came out. Ever since then, I've been listening to each of the songs off and on, and have come to enjoy them more and more. I initially didn't enjoy it as much as "Awakening" or "Desert Land."
The production sounds a bit worse than their previous two releases - the guitars are a little muddy sounding. It could just be the tuning of the guitar, though. Don't expect the songwriting to be another technical progressive metal masterpiece, because the style of these songs has become more simple and raw. It's a bit closer to hard rock and heavy metal than to power metal and full-on progressive metal this time around.
After reading and analyzing the lyrics, "The Great Fall" has far less to do with Christianity than the band's previous albums, and instead opts to tell a story. It's very much a concept of a soldier's journey and his thoughts during a war (presumably a war in the middle east). The Christian elements are abstractly concealed but not totally hidden, as in the song "Judgement Day." You won't hear the words "Jesus" or "God" very often at all.
Standout tracks: 3, 5, 7, 8, 9
3. Back From Hell - The song starts out with what sounds like an explosion and then moves into an awesome riff that stays through most of the song. This song is different than most Narnia songs due to the thickness of the guitar riff, and the structural dependancy on it. Trust me, you will notice the difference if you've heard most of their previous songs. During some sections of the song it winds down and Christian Rivel softly sings (and beautifully). Almost exactly halfway into the song erupts a blazing solo with some serious shredding near the end. The song closes the soldier's voice once again, with war sirens to add ambience. (4 out of 5)
5. Innocent Blood - A nice song with a catchy beat and interesting changes in time signatures. It is the second longest song on the CD, clocking at over 7 minutes and 30 seconds. A middle eastern-sounding instrument later in the song gives it flavor, and the solo at the end is standard Narnia (which is usually very good).
(4 out of 5)
7. Judgement Day - This is one of my favorite songs on the CD and probably one of my favorite Narnia songs period. It starts out with nothing but a keyboard playing some wicked tune, and then the song really kicks into high gear. Definitely the fastest song on the disc, even faster than The Countdown has Begun. The double bass drums are amazing; I heard that they had a guest drummer for this song. The symbols are very rhythmic and add a nice touch. The keyboard tune from the intro comes back after a minute or so, along with the guitars and drums. It's amazing. Later the song slows down to a chugging guitar rhythm and then explodes into a terrific solo. Awesome song. (5 out of 5)
8. Desert Land - The second instrumental, and the shortest song on the track. It's nothing but a very ambient guitar and some soft keys, but is very effective. The song easily makes me visualize an arid desert somewhere in the middle of nowhere - I can almost see the heat distorting my vision of the horizon. Depressing and lonely, but very beautiful. (4 out of 5)
9. The Great Fall of Man - By far the longest song - over 14 minutes in length. There is so much going on within these 14 minutes that makes this song one of the best on the CD. The harpsichord instrument is used effectively throughout the song. Guest singer from Christian opera metal act Saviour Machine gives a great and sorrowful performance. Heck, there's even a choir to add to the mood. Overall, a very epic and wonderful piece. (5 out of 5)