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Live In Concert

Narnia & I AM - Rocking For The Rock

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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

 

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 Lei” which was the perfect ending for the show.

 

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...

 

Facts:

 

Band-members

 

Hans Ove Johansen – drums

Birgir I. Sigurdsson – vocals

Hein A. Olsen – keyboard

Arni Zachariassen – guitar

Eybjrn Jacobsen – bass

 

Releases:

 

Cast – 1999

Xthree.one.four - 2003

 

Narnia

 

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 put it.

 

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

 

Band-members

 

Christian Rivel - vocals
Carljohan Grimmark - guitar, vocals
Andreas Olsson - bass
Andreas Johansson - drums
Linus Kse - keyboards

 

Releases:

 

Awakening – 1998

Long Live The King – 1999

Desert Land – 2001

The Great Fall – 2003

Live DVD – 2004

 

 

 

 

Hans Jakup Eidisgard, PO BOX 38, FO-470 Eidi, Faroe Islands, Via Denmark

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