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Album Review : Nubian Rose – Amen

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Review by Lydia Evans for MPM

Nubian Rose finally returns with their latest album, Amen, released 26th January 2024. Nubian Rose began in 2012 in Sweden with their first album, Mountain, a self-financed debut.

After breaking through with smashing reviews in publications such as Classic Rock Magazine and Burrn!!, Nubian Rose became a fan favourite for 2010s metal enjoyers. They have not released since their sophomore album in 2014 – until this year, with Amen.

Vocalist Sofia Lilja said of the new album, “Amen sounds very different, but hopefully in a good way… as people we are constantly growing, so why wouldn’t our music grow? And what would be the point of making another ‘Mountain’, or ‘Mental Revolution?’” Guitarist and songwriter Christer Åkerlund said, “We wanted to let the music flow through us, not forcing the music out of us… we wanted to make a dynamic album and let all our sources of inspiration have a seat at the table.

The album begins with Memorial, a track that shows off Sofia Lilja’s vocals and the emotional, introspective side of the music. Dramatic Day is filled with piercing guitars and steady drums. Break Down The Walls begins with radio static and speaking voices from what sounds like a news outlet. It’s a powerful track with a serenading chorus and a melodic, old school metal sounding guitar solo.

This album has the melodic vibe the band is known for, but still incorporates new elements. Fourth track Running is a stand-out for me, with the beginning drums reminding me of Blondie’s Heart of Glass. The chorus boasts powerful lyrics of “I’d climb any mountain and I’d die for you”.

Lost in the Mist is another stand-out; the track stands at almost ten minutes. With a song of that length, we are able to go through a journey. Lost in the Mist takes us through futuristic synths, commanding vocals, passionate instrumentals, and even a cinematic spoken-word section. The track has a progressive sound and this reflects the album to me: futuristic, yet vintage. Red Sky is a beautiful song; piano, melodic instrumentals, and duet vocals. It blooms and grows over its duration into a dynamic rock song.

Amen is a versatile album where you can tell the band wanted to incorporate their different influences. Where Red Sky has an enchantment to it, Desert Night has a catchiness. It’s a fun rock song and has that juxtaposition of progressive synths and a heavy guitar riff. Holy Roar is another song that utilizes the piano, contrasting with the booming rhythm section.

Bright Lights begins with Christer’s vocals, adding something different as he and Sofia’s differing voices mesh together, take turns, and harmonize. It’s an upbeat rock song with a killer guitar solo. The album finishes out with Gonna Get Close to You, one that shows off Sofia’s vocals with booming drums keeping her voice accompanied. It has a haunting feel as she sings “I’m gonna get close to you, so close.

Amen is a diverse, interesting listen. For fans of Nubian Rose, it’s exciting to see the band back with new material. And for those who’ve yet to discover the band, Amen is worth listening to.

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