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Navian - Reset Award winner

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 20 August 2020, 7:08 AM

From their Facebook page, NAVIAN is a brand new name in the Norwegian rock scene. Their instrumental trio-approach is characterized by swift shifts in groove and mood as they open-mindedly pick fruit from the trees of Prog Rock, Metal, Pop and Jazz. “Reset” contains five tracks.

“Blank Space” leads off the album. Bombastic tones open the song, with big accents and some dexterous guitar work, in the vein of NOVELISTS. From there, a steady cadence develops, with discernable bass notes. I’ve always said a trio must let the bassist play, and play Alex does. The transitions here are very well-timed, and you can hear the talent in the band for sure. The guitar work here is absolutely fantastic. Martin lays down a solo the likes of which would make any guitarist blush. It ends in a crescendo of super-fast drumming by Ola and this was quite an opening track. “Schoolyard” opens with a charming set of melodies, with bass guitar in full support. The melody flows perfectly, and follows a smooth set of underlying structures there to augment the main sound. I love the choice of bass guitar notes as well. This band knows what they are doing.

“Shiba” opens with a pretty little guitar melody and dances along with the bass guitar, coming together as one in a slightly heavier passage. Then, it takes a step back to breathe a little before coming together again, twisting the meter with all the professionalism of a seasoned Prog band. “Matcha Tea” opens with a charming melody line, followed by tight and heavy accents in unison. The melody is very easy to follow and just reminds me of cranking down the windows on a warm spring day and taking in the air and sun. Ola’s drum work here is very well done. He knows when to hit the accents and when to back off. Here, they remind me of HAKEN, especially in the chord progressions.

“Multiplayer” closes the album, slowly coming at you like a snake in hiding. In the first few passages of the song, the band is playing so tightly that you could not squeeze a dime into the arrangement. They shift back and forth, playing several different meters. The song title was aptly chosen. Building to an almost maniacal frenzy, but with control around every sharp turn, and the dropping to almost nothing for several bars, it finishes with a display of Progressive might that I haven’t heard this year yet from any other band. NAVAIN might be newbies to the genre, but they sure don’t display it on “Reset.” Every note was carefully crafted, and placed in the right spot at the exact moment it was supposed to be placed in. Yet, the album flows almost carelessly with subtle melodies are so easily assimilated. For fans of POLYPHIA and HAKEN’s instrumentals, NAVAIN have firmly established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Pick up “Reset,” and have a blast listening to it!

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

1. Blank Space
2. Schoolyard
3. Shiba
4. Matcha Tea
5. Multiplayer
Martin – Guitar
Ola – Drums
Alex – Bass
Record Label: Indie Recordings


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