NUBIAN ROSE – Amen (2024) *HQ*

NUBIAN ROSE - Amen (2024) *HQ* - full

NUBIAN ROSE, the Swedish melodic rock sensation of the early 10’s, is back after a long hiatus. On “Amen“, Nubian Rose show a more progressive side of the band but with their trademark foundation of strong melodies, great hooks, big guitars, and the powerful voice of Sofia Lilja. While writing “Amen”, Christer Åkerlund (guitar, bass, keyboards) and Sofia wanted to challenge themselves to take Nubian Rose to new frontiers.
“‘Amen’ sounds very different, but hopefully in a good way,” says Sofia. “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’?”
“Amen” is packed with analogue, vintage synths. Some of the songs don’t even have a traditional chorus and for the first time Nubian Rose has written a song that is almost 10 minutes long. But the more classic melodic rock songs are also in the mix.
The result is a robust, rocking, strong fresh album, without a doubt Nubian Rose’s most complete album to date.

The album opens with ‘Memorial’ which serves as a short piano-based intro. According to the press release, the song is a “short, emotional piece, where Sofia is experiencing own death and funeral in the lyrics”.
Next we find another ‘new’ side of Nubian Rose. ‘Dramatic Day’ is the first of several songs that does not have a true chorus, which was by design according to the band. It is both bombastic and moody with a hypnotic elegance, different.

However, some songs displayed the old Nubian Rose finesse & style ‘Break Down the Walls’, ‘Desert Night’, ‘Holy Roar’ and ‘Bright Lights’ are all songs that sound like a natural progression from their second album.
‘Running’, on the other hand, is a straight up early ’80s disco influenced track and sounds like an amalgamation of KISS’s ‘I Was Made for Loving You’ and Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’. It’s catchy and infectious in all the ways disco was as a musical movement. Admittedly, it took me a bit to appreciate the song as it caught me off guard, but I have since warmed to it. It’s the most out of left field turn on the album.

‘Lost in the Mist’ is a nearly ten-minute-long composition, at places melodic, at others intriguing. Just when you think you’re getting to the crescendo, it regresses and falls back to quieter parts – pretty progressive. It comes alive towards the end with busy instrumentation.

Another misstep is how some of the songs promote guitarist Christer Akerlund into the lead singer spotlight. He is nowhere near as good as Sofia. He co-sings the previously mentioned ‘Bright Lights’ and adds nothing vocally dynamic. The ballad ‘Red Sky’ features Akerlund co-singing with Sofia. Another new thing from Nubian Rose.
The band concludes the album with a cover of Dalbello’s ‘Gonna Get Close to You’. To make this performance stand out from the original and the Queensryche version, the band utilizes electronic instrumentation – the almost industrial programming perfectly gels with the creepiness of the lyrics. Similar to ‘Running’, this is a song that I did not care for at first, but the more I listened, the more I dug it and returned to it for repeat listens.

Those expecting something similar to Nubian Rose first two albums are in for a surprise. It’s such a departure for the band original sound. It’s not as immediate as what they produced before but give it a few spins and you may like “Amen” a lot.
Certainly Nubian Rose aren’t repeating themselves here.
Highly Recommended


01 – Memorial
02 – Dramatic Day
03 – Break Down The Walls
04 – Running
05 – Lost In The Mist
06 – Red Sky
07 – Desert Night
08 – Holy Roar
09 – Bright Lights
10 – Gonna Get Close To You

Sofia Lilja (vocals)
Christer Åkerlund (guitar, bass, keyboards)
Micael Karlsson (drums)



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