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Navian – Cosmos Award winner

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 20 November 2021, 8:25 AM

Instrumental Progressive Metal band NAVIAN’s members met while studying for a bachelor’s degree in contemporary music and they were all working as session musicians on the side. With their shared interest in music theory and history, and devotion to production, instruments and gear the friendship quickly resulted in a band rehearsal, and NAVIAN was born. “Cosmos” is the band’s debut full-length, and contains eight tracks.

“Luna” leads off the album. It opens with a beautiful key sequence followed by melodic guitars and bass, behind a dreamy landscape of colors so bright, you have to squint to take them all in. Those melodies are expertly crafted. “Ghost Stories” begins with clean guitars and a distorted riff that jumps here and there. Listen for those bass notes, they are wonderful. The sugary melodies wash over you like a cathartic cleanse. “Apricity” punches you with a wide-open chorus of charming melodies and meticulous songwriting that is both tight and breathable at the same time. Though these guys are obviously talented, they let the music flow with synergy rather than focusing on their individual prowess.

“Silver Lining” opens with a calmer and smoother sound. Four songs in and this album is just gorgeous. Forget late fall, this album feels like spring…life is renewed as birds stop by to sing you a sonnet while the colors of nature are re-born. Towards the end, a heavier dose of melodies reminds you of all that is good in your life. “Temple” is a slightly darker song, with thick and meaty bass guitar under some leads that work in layers. Like a good Satriani song, you can sing along to the area where the chorus would be (if they had a vocalist), because that’s how well they have structured the song.

“Breeze” is another positive song with strong melodies and a heavy bottom line. As the bass chugs away with the drums, lead guitars carry the arrangement with purpose and a heightened sense of complex design that translates down to something that is absolutely enjoyable to listen to. “Duchess” features Mats Haugen from CIRCUS MAXIMUS on guitar. Subdued melodies tickle your senses, flirting with you as they pass by. Lead notes stretch out on top of one another, creating these layers of sound that seem to come from all around you. “Cosmos” closes the album; an eight-minute journey through outer space. Beginning with delicate melodies, those soulful leads cascade over your head and shoulders, covering you in all the exquisite things that are best in life.

Step aside, POLYPHIA, ANIMALS AS LEADERS, and PLINI, because NAVIAN just dropped the instrumental bomb of the year. This is the feel-good album I have been waiting for, chocked full of so many memorable and energetic moments, it will beg you to get up off your ass and alter your perspective on the negative side of humanity. It will sharpen your lenses and show you the beauty that was always there, as your eyes have grown weary from years of going through the motions in life…captivating, invigorating, and reawakening the spiritual side of you in every way possible.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Luna
2. Ghost Stories
3. Apricity
4. Silver Lining
5. Temple
6. Breeze
7. Duchess
8. Cosmos
Martin Stenstad Selen – Guitar
Ola Dønnem – Drums
Christian Alexander Espeseth – Bass
Record Label: Indie Recordings


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