The Event: Adore Music & Keldan
It’s not often that good bands come to the Faroe Islands to play.
We’re a country of only 45.000 people, which makes it hard for people to profit from concerts, but nonetheless we’ve
seen a few good bands visiting the islands lately and I can mention the likes
of Bomfunk MC’s, Kashmir, Lisa Ekdahl and now also Narnia.
The concert was put together by concert-promoters Adore Music and held
at a Church with room for a little over a thousand people, but before you go all “yeah right, a rock concert at a church”,
I can tell you that the crowd here rocked harder and made more noise than a lot of crowds I’ve seen different clubs
in Copenhagen. Not to mention the sound which easily blows away most underground shows I’ve heard in Copenhagen clubs...
And just to give an idea I can say that soundwise it was easily superior to the concert with the world-famous rock-stars in
Evanescence held in KB Hallen in Copenhagen last year.
This church, Keldan, has just been built recently and the building has
been made in a way that gives the room the best possible sound, which, of course, wouldn’t be possible without their
large investment in sound (and visual) equipment. I’ve been to this church a few times and I must say that there have
been some difficulties some nights getting the sound just right, but this night everything just fell into place, resulting
in one of the best sounding concerts I’ve heard in The Faroe Islands ever...
I AM is one of the most popular rock-bands in the Faroe Islands. The
band was formed in 1996 and from the start they had a way of getting the peoples attention. It wasn’t until a little
later, however, that the band marked themselves as one of the best rock-bands in The Faroe Islands. So far they’ve released
two albums. The first one, “Cast”, in 1999 and the second one, “Xthree.one.four”, in December 2003.
From these two recordings I AM have had several number one hits on the
official Faroese chart. The new album has gained great reviews from all over and there has even been shown interest in the
band from abroad, which has lead I AM to playing all over Scandinavia in countries like Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway.
Earlier this year they played at the Faroese G-Festival alongside artists like Russ Taff, Lisa Ekdahl and Kashmir.
So when it became clear that Narnia were coming to the Faroe Islands
to play, it was only natural that I AM was the band to be opening for them, although they’re not really two bands that
are easily comparable as far as musical-style goes. It was natural, not only because I Am is one of the best playing rock
bands in The Faroe Islands, but also because the singer in Narnia, Christian Rivel, when hearing “Xthree.one.four”, liked I AM enough to contact them asking for a chance at promoting them outside of
The Faroe Islands.
...And I AM kicked off the show with a rock-version of the traditional
church-song “It’s Well With My Soul”, before kicking into some of the most popular tracks from the “Xthree.one.four”
release and a few new tracks. With a perfect sound and a band clearly in great form, the sky was the limit for the band this
night... And the crowd loved them, which stood perfectly clear after the cheering after the band started playing one of their
biggest hits “Believe”.
One thing that makes I AM’s show more intense and gives it something
extra – something that a lot of bands don’t have - is the visual side of their show. They have bits and pieces
from movies, and God knows where they get these things, which gives the songs a deeper meaning and makes people think about
what’s really going on. For instance in the song “How Will I Know” where you could see Jesus dying on the
cross while the show started to take an end. Amazing...
...But it wasn’t over. After I AM had left the stage the cheering
wouldn’t take an end so, as so often before, I AM had to enter the stage again for another live-favorite and number
one hit, this time from their first album “Cast” called “Alla Leið” which was the perfect ending for
I am going to encourage everyone into catchy, melodic modern rock to
go to I AM’s webpage: www.iam.fo where you can check out some of their material. You’ll love them in a heartbeat, I promise...
Hans Ove Johansen – drums
Birgir I. Sigurdsson – vocals
Heðin A. Olsen – keyboard
Arni Zachariassen – guitar
Eyðbjørn Jacobsen – bass
Cast – 1999
Xthree.one.four - 2003
While it was easy for the audience that was made up by everything from
children to 50-60-year-olds to like I AM, I think it was probably a little harder for some of them to get into Narnia. You
see, Narnia is not so modern-sounding. They’re more straight-up hard and heavy. But it was amazing how well they were
accepted by the crowd. At one point it even sounded like the people knew every word of a song when charismatic lead-singer
Christian Rivel tried to get the crowd to sing with him.
Personally I’ve been checking out the music of Narnia from the
very beginning. Actually, I even knew of Christian Rivel before he started Narnia. Then he was called Christian Liljegren
and played in a band called Modest Attraction. They released one of my favorite heavy rock albums in 1994 called “Truth
In Your Face” heavily influenced by Deep Purple and Black Sabbath and later “Divine Luxury” came out. Narnia-guitarist
Carl Johan Grimmark also became a member of this band shortly before they quit.
Anyway, I remember buying Narnia’s debut “Awakening”
after reading a glowing review in HM Magazine and loving every minute of it, although I can’t say I was as thrilled
about their second one “Long Live The King” (I must listen to it again some day!). Since then I really haven’t
checked them out much, although I interviewed Christian Rivel over the phone when he released the debut-album with his other
band Wisdom Call. From now on, however, I definitely will be looking into whatever this band will be doing.
Narnia were one of the first melodic metal bands in the 90’s to
sign a deal with one of the biggest metal labels in the world, Nuclear Blast Records – a label that also has big-selling
acts like Nightwish and Hammerfall on their rooster.
...But let’s get back to the concert, shall we? When Narnia were
welcomed to the stage everything went dark and quiet for a while... But not for
long, because before you knew it Narnia had kicked into a blasting fury of fast power metal, sounding like something coming
straight from the pits of Hell, but it wasn’t. Christian Rivel shared with the audience that there was a battle going
on between good and evil and that they were on a mission spreading the good news.
The audience really seemed to love what Narnia had on offer, and although
middle-aged men (some of them at least), they rocked out like a bunch of teenagers playing the school-stage.
Christial Rivel is the most lively and charismatic front-man I’ve
seen live on stage since hearing POD in Vega, Copenhagen, a couple of years back. He was dressed in tight jeans, a leather-jacked
and his hair was shaved off. Looked kinda like a nazi to tell you the truth, which was funny because there were times when
he got the audience shouting “hail, hail, hail” in a way that was reminiscent of those nazi-shouts, but there
was no doubt about that these “hails” were for the only true master and king, Jesus Christ, as Christian himself
But Christian wasn’t the only cool character on stage. Carl Johan
Crimmark is just an amazing guitarist. His solos were all over the place, making you think how it would be if this guy got
to play alongside Yngwie Malmsteen and all the other melodic metal guitar-heroes. Not to mention the drummer, Andreas Johansson,
who played like crazy, almost as if his pants were on fire and three times in the same song he managed to get some of his
equipment to fall down on the stage. The bass-player, Andreas Olsson (also a member of Stromwind and Wisdom Call), had a hard
time keeping up with putting it into its right place.
All in all, I think Narnia lived up to all my expectations and more.
They’re one of the best melodic metal bands I’ve heard live and I definitely hope I’ll have a chance at
seeing them again.
They’ll be playing in Mexico City in the near future and if everything
goes by the plan it’ll be alongside Stryper, Saviour Machine and Mortificaiton. So if you happen to be in that area
don’t miss out on the event.
Check out Narnia’s webpage at: www.narniaworld.com
Christian Rivel - vocals
Carljohan Grimmark - guitar, vocals
Andreas Olsson - bass
Johansson - drums
Linus Kåse - keyboards
Awakening – 1998
Long Live The King – 1999
Desert Land – 2001
The Great Fall – 2003
Live DVD – 2004