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As cheesy as it gets for power metal - 78%

The_Boss, December 17th, 2007

Hailing from Sweden, home to many famous power metal bands comes another power metal band called Narnia. Narnia probably play some of the most stereotypical power metal out there. It's all there, a high pitched singer with leathered lungs singing about fantasy lyrics, mainly based around the books of The Chronicles of Narnia series combined with the upbeat guitar parts mostly with guitar riffs and leads similar to what you'd find on a Gamma Ray album but with less of a crunch and ballsy feel. The bass plays its part accompanying the guitar making it's presence known sometimes (Misty Morning) and not getting out of order.

The songs on here range from typical power metal anthems with sing along choruses and high speed guitar solos that are played alongside some melodic neoclassical keyboard arrangements that often sound like a classical album (Witch and the Lion). This can be easily compared to a lot of Gamma Ray, just adding a slight neoclassical touch; I wouldn't be surprised if the guitarists' biggest influences are Kai Hansen or Jens Ludwig/Dirk Sauer of Edguy. Some songs on here are mid-tempo with that accent the vocals a lot more than usual, which I think is a decent touch, but not quite as entertaining as the faster songs where every member is equally shown. Unfortunately though the album is overloaded with pseudo-ballads or mid tempo songs, which bring the album down a lot more. If Desert Land was full of up beat and fast songs like Walking the Wire and Inner Sanctum or the instrumental The Light at the End of the Tunnel then this would be an absolute winner, because they are infectiously catchy and some (Walking the Wire) have a kickass guitar solo that with the neoclassical keyboards make for a fun song. For example, Revolution of Mother Earth is a piano driven slow ballad that is really just skip worthy, nothing really redeemable other than a decent guitar solo.

So while Desert Land is entertaining power metal, it surely could have been a better album. It is a solid power metal album, being almost as typical and cheesy as it gets out there but still has some unique neoclassical moments, mostly brought in by the keyboards that make for some more entertaining parts. Narnia has talented musicians and anyone up for decent power metal, cheesiness galore and even fans of neoclassical music would enjoy this. If you can get past the slower boring songs that plague this album and enjoy the Gamma Ray worship, then this is also for you.