We sat down with George Ochoa for an exclusive interview where he discussed everything from influences to new WORLDVIEW members.

The Christian metal community has been anticipating a follow-up to 2015’s The Chosen Few for quite some time and George has a lot to say about it.

Let’s get started:

The Pure Metal Fan (TPMF): Thanks, George, for joining us today at The Pure Metal Fan.

George Ochoa (GO): You’re welcome.

TPMF: What made you want to become a musician in the first place?

GO: To get chicks.

TPMF: For real? [laughing]

GO: [laughing] Why not?! I was in junior high and I saw all the cool guys that were playing at the auditorium in the band and I thought, “Man! I would love to get in a band because look at all the girls up front”. (this was all B.C. of course.)


TPMF: [laughing] Who are your major influences?

GO: That’s a very broad question because I have many, many influences. I’ve always been told that I am a very versatile guitar player and a versatile musician overall. I can pretty much play most styles. I play rock of course but I have a pretty good feel for Latin music because it’s in my blood, I can play the blues if need be, etc. I’ve played Spanish style guitar on various records that I have recorded in the past. I guess I pride myself in a sense that I can play various styles. I really used to love Carlos Santana’s and Jeff Beck’s guitar playing when I first started learning guitar. I was also a huge progressive rock fan. We’re talking about bands like, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Yes, Kansas, Genesis. So, I would say that my initial metal influences were Judas Priest, Scorpions, Iron Maiden and Queensryche. I was a huge fan of early Queensryche. At one point, I thought those guys could do no wrong.

TPMF: Who writes the songs in Worldview?

GO: Well, I will always be a major writer on most things that I do. If you’re talking WORLDVIEW—The Chosen Few, I wrote most of the stuff. I co-wrote some of it with various people like Ronson Webster, Todd Libby, and Rey Parra. I actually pulled out a song from the past that Allen Aguirre from Scattered Few and I had written back in the day. We wrote a song called ‘Why?’. I decided to put that on The Chosen Few because I always thought it was a great song and I wanted a home for it.

On the upcoming WORLDVIEW record… well, let’s talk about the new record and reveal some exciting news.

TPMF: So, do you have an announcement regarding any line-up changes?


GO: Yes. Get Ready! The second WORLDVIEW record will have Terry Russell on drums. Terry used to play with Holy Soldier. Terry is a phenomenal drummer. I’ve already gotten to play and hang out with him quite a bit. He fits in with WORLDVIEW like a glove. Terry is a good family man, committed Christian, just an all-around good guy. He loves playing double kick and we give him a lot of those opportunities. We also have a new vocalist and his name is—none other than Michael Drive Lee formally of Barren Cross. He will be our front man/lead vocalist. We’ve already written 10 songs together and its really good stuff. As it happens with any band that switches vocalists, the band will evolve a bit. We will still have some more first album kind of flavors in there, but the new record won’t be The Chosen Few part two. It will definitely be an evolved WORLDVIEW with Mike Drive Lee at the helm singing. Mike isn’t one of those operatic type singers like Rey Parra. Mike is more of a gutsy, classic metal singer. It’s like comparing Geoff Tate to Bruce Dickinson. Mike doesn’t like to be compared to Bruce because he has gotten away from that type of singing. Mike has found his own niche in a lot of ways. I really look forward to Mike’s input in WORLDVIEW. We work and write well together. Mike is going to be a huge asset to WORLDVIEW.


TPMF: Cool! Cool!

TPMF: Which songs on the new album do you like the most?

GO: Well, you guys don’t know any song titles yet or anything like that. In fact, we still haven’t decided on the album title. So, I won’t reveal the album title quite yet. Mike, Todd and I have written several songs already. We have an upcoming show with Stryper at the Whiskey in Hollywood, CA on October 10th. We will be debuting three to four new tunes at that show. One is called Genetic Dysfunction, it’s really a head banging song. You play it and automatically your feet start moving and your head starts to bob. Other new songs will include Mystery Babylon and Lying Whispers. Great, great stuff! We haven’t recorded all the final tracks yet, so I can’t quite tell you what my favorite is. We have about 20 songs to choose from and we’ll probably put 10-12 songs on the record. So, to answer your question, it’s pretty tough for me to answer until the tracks are totally done. They’ll be done within the next 2-3 months, I assume.

TPMF: What has been the biggest challenge for Worldview as a band?

GO: The biggest challenge for WORLDVIEW as a band has been finding the right singer. I love WORLDVIEW with Rey Parra. Rey and I get along wonderfully. His departure from WORLDVIEW was nothing negative whatsoever. It’s just he lives in Florida and we live in California. Really, that’s just it. We found it very tough to just get together to record the next album. Then he started jamming with Deny the Fallen and took that very seriously, that kind of put WORLDVIEW in the back seat. Then one day, I’m listening to an interview with the guitar player from Deny the Fallen and he states that Rey Parra is no longer doing WORLDVIEW. That was news to me. As far as I knew, Rey was still doing the second record. Oh well… I find out through the guitar player and not Rey. That kind of bummed me out. Life goes on. At this point, we had to make our choice and move on. Again, there’s no hard feelings. Rey called me the other day and he said, ‘I miss you bro’ and I said, ‘I miss you, too’. We’re still good buddies and that won’t change. Rey’s a great individual and I love him, I consider him one of my best friends. Rey’s an awesome dude and I always told him, maybe this isn’t the end, maybe we’ll end up doing something down the line. We really didn’t want to go out and advertise for a singer. We could have. We could have called Rob Rock and paid him to sing on the record since he loves to sing on people’s records. We considered that at one point. Now, we’ve decided on Michael Drive Lee and he decided to do it. I really feel we have found a home with Mike, so that’s where we are right now.


TPMF: How big of a role has your faith played in your song writing and life in general?

GO: A huge part because almost everything I write is biblically based. Have I written songs that have been relationship based also? Like on the first record, I wrote ‘Back in Time’, that’s a song about my first marriage and how it fell apart. It was a heart-break song that was very near and dear to me. Lots of emotion there. I don’t think there’s any problem with doing that, you know, writing relationship songs. It’s life, It’s real. Even if I tried, I couldn’t get away from writing Christian lyrics. It’s just who I am. The Holy Spirit has given me, God has given me, the gift of music, I’ve got to give it back to Him. That is the essence of who I am, who George Rene Ochoa is as a Christian.

TPMF: Okay, what was the last album or song that you bought?

GO: That’s an extremely difficult question because I don’t pay for music, I steal all my music from the internet …No…I’m just kidding [laughing]! LOL, just kidding! I hate pirating! I hate it! Pirates are thieves and should go to jail. But anyway, I’ve been listening to a lot of different stuff lately. You guys saw me put a FB post of Breaking Benjamin last week. Their new album—Wow! Great stuff, man. I see a lot of people commenting, ‘I can’t stand modern metal stuff’ …you know what? Call it modern, call it classic, music is music. Good music is good music and bad music is bad music. I love certain new bands because they’re just good. I’m a huge Kamelot fan, I listen to their latest record quite a bit. Anything from Kamelot I listen to a lot. I think with WORLDVIEW in the future, we’re going to have some of the classic flavors here and there but we are really going to try to be relevant with today’s scene. I’m not going to crush people and say we’re going to be a modern metal band. I don’t know why that’s a bad term in the first place. I really don’t. We’re just going to write the stuff we want to write and that we feel passionate about. Mike is really big on this. We don’t want to ever sound dated with guitar hammer-ons and dives and screams on vocals. You don’t see any of that stuff these days except with clueless bands that refuse to move forward. Europe still loves some of that stuff. There’s going to be a few people that hate our stuff but most will love it. I know that WORLDVIEW is going to be more relevant.


TPMF: What would be a non-metal artist that you really like or listen to that people may be surprised about?

GO: I’m a huge Beatles fan. Huge. In fact, I want to punch anyone who says they don’t like the Beatles. I don’t get it. I don’t get it when someone says they don’t like the Beatles. They are musical geniuses. I mean, they were ahead of their time and when you listen to their stuff, you just go, ‘how’d they come up with this stuff?’ So, that’s my first instinct, it’s just the Beatles. I like artists like Michael Jackson, believe it or not. Don’t tell anybody, but I even like some Backstreet Boys stuff [laughing]!

TPMF: I’m going to print that!

GO: Go ahead!


TPMF: Do you have any parting words for your fans?

GO: Well, I’ve been playing music for years now and I’ve been in different bands and different projects and just to let everyone know, I am most proud of all my musical accolades of WORLDVIEW. It is by far the best thing that I have worked on musically. The new record will be the best music that I have ever put out, period! I’ve poured my heart and soul into the first record. I’m going to pour my heart and soul into the second record. I am really excited to be doing this with Todd Libby, Terry Russell, Alessandro Bertoni and Michael Drive Lee. This is truly a powerhouse line-up. What is funny is that Mike and I worked together in the 80s at one point, and we wrote some pretty cool songs; but it never went anywhere. He went off to do the Barren Cross thing and I went off to do Recon and Deliverance but after that, after I was out of all those bands, I remember calling him saying, ‘Hey, let’s get together and write again’, he would say, “I don’t have time”. He kind of blew me off a few times to be honest with you. And he doesn’t even live that far from me, he really doesn’t. Finally, I called him again or something happened, I don’t remember the exact circumstances. He came up and listened to some of my ideas and some of the stuff I had written and I guess he was impressed enough to go, ‘ok, let’s do something!’, So, you know what? I look at it like it just wasn’t the right time before, and this is the right time now. So, that’s how Mike and I got back in touch and working together, after all these years. And now, we’re going to put out this record. The parting words I have are that I am proud of the first WORLDVIEW/The Chosen Few, but the next WORLDVIEW record is going to be epic. Just get ready because this is going to have a lot of good stuff on the record. People are going to be pleasantly surprised. We have a fresh sound, new drummer that has high energy, we have Todd Libby, a phenomenal bass player/keyboardist, we have a keyboardist, named Alessandro Bertoni, he’s going to end up playing live shows and record on the new album. He’s a great keyboardist. He put out a solo album that was produced by Derek Sherinian of Dream Theater, Sons of Apollo. So, Alessandro is really connected, and he loves our band. As you know, WORLDVIEW will always have keyboards in the music. We’re looking to have Bill Metoyer mix this record like he did the first record.

TPMF: When can we expect the new album?

GO: The new album will be out by the end of the year. Cross your fingers.

TPMF: Thanks so much!


AVAILABLE NOW on all digital platforms!

BREAKING: NARNIA Releases Eighth Studio Album, ‘From Darkness to Light’

Press release: ”From Darkness to Light”—The 8th studio-album from Narnia is released today

Uppsala, Sweden. August 2nd, 2019

Today, Swedish metal band Narnia releases their 8th studio-album, From Darkness to Light. The album is released worldwide today, just over a month before touring begins in South America, along with American bands Stryper and Tourniquet.

Narnia’s new album, From Darkness to Light, is the band’s 8th studio album, and a natural sequel to the previous, self-titled album, from the band’s return and 20th anniversary in 2016. 


The spark that Narnia lit on last year’s live album, We Still Believe: Made in Brazil, has followed the band into the studio, where this energy has been channeled and structured into a long parade of nine songs.

With musical roots remaining deep in melodic metal, the band has both expanded into modern metal territory, where the guitars still dominate, while allowing for 70/80’s analog synthesizers to exist in the soundscape. The lyrics are extremely important to the band, and in true Narnia spirit, this heritage has been well managed and further refined.


From Darkness to Light has received positive response from reviewers all around the world, and recently received 1st position in Sweden Rock Magazine’s “The Jury” (4 reviewers on 9 international releases), along with a review (8 of 10) and a full page interview with the band’s singer, Christian Liljegren. A great start for this new major venture for Narnia, which involves a tour that begins in South America along with American bands Stryper and Tourniquet.

Today, From Darkness to Light is available on all digital platforms, CD, and vinyl (in different colors), in collaboration with record label Sound Pollution (Europe, USA, Australia). The album is also being distributed by King Records (Asia), and by Voice Music/MusiK Records, Icarus Music and The Dove’s Voice Records (Latin America).


The album was produced by Narnia’s guitarist CJ Grimmark, mixed by the band’s sound engineer Viktor Stenquist, and mastered by Jens Bogren, Fascination Street Studios (Sepultura, Symphony X, James LaBrie [Dream Theater], and more).

NARNIA Drops Single, Video for ‘You Are the Air that I Breathe’


Uppsala, Sweden. July 5th, 2019:

Today, Swedish metal band Narnia releases You Are The Air That I Breathe — the second single from the band’s upcoming studio album, From Darkness to Light.

The album is scheduled for release August 2nd, just over a month before touring begins in South America along with American bands Stryper and Tourniquet.

received_327221284579791At the end of May, Swedish metal band Narnia, released A Crack in the Sky — the first single from the upcoming studio album From Darkness To Light. Both the single, and the music video, received immediate attention and positive response from all around the world.

Today, Narnia follows up with the second single, You Are The Air That I Breathe, along with the music video, produced by Mats Vassfjord (220 Volt, Impera).

Musically, the band takes another step forward with this crowd-pleaser, which is also expected to attract new listeners. In collaboration with record label Sound Pollution, the single is now available on all digital platforms. The music video has been uploaded to the band’s YouTube channel, including subtitles in Portuguese and Spanish for the Latin American audience.

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The single releases have begun the countdown for a new major venture for Narnia, which involves the album release in early August and then a follow-up tour that begins in South America along with American bands Stryper and Tourniquet.

The album was produced by Narnia’s guitarist CJ Grimmark, mixed by the band’s sound engineer Viktor Stenquist, and mastered by Jens Bogren, Fascination Street Studios (Sepultura, Symphony X, James LaBrie [Dream Theater]).


From Darkness To Light will be released on CD, vinyl (in different colors), and digitally on August 2nd , and distributed by Sound Pollution (Europe, USA, Australia), King Records (Asia) and Voice Music, Icarus Music and The Dove’s Voice Records (Latin America).

ALBUM REVIEW: NARNIA — From Darkness to Light

By Martin Simson, Editor 

When I first heard that Narnia was reforming and recording a new studio album in 2014, I was downright elated. I’ve been a fan since 1998 and the idea of a new album was absolutely thrilling. The end result was 2016’s much acclaimed self-titled effort.

Fast forward to January 2017. What started as just the beginnings of one song written in a small room in California, has become the masterpiece we now know as From Darkness to Light.

This album takes the growth that began on the previous album and brings it to fruition. The band chose to take some risks, and boy did they ever pay off! From an overall heavier guitar sound, to progressive time changes, to classic double-bass power metal, to atmospheric hard rock — this disc has it ALL.


Let’s dive into a track-by-track breakdown.

The opener, A Crack in the Sky (available now on all digital platforms), hits like a freight train flying down the track. The main riff has a heavier edge than you’d expect from a Narnia song, with an interesting time signature. The chorus is powerful and the solo is blistering, as would be expected from shred-master CJ Grimmark. A great choice for the opener.

You Are the Air that I Breathe is up next. With a riff reminiscent of AC/DC, the band brings things back to a straight-ahead approach. This is my pick for “radio song” for this record. Another catchy chorus that’s sure to get stuck in your head. Easily digestible for the masses.

In the third spot we find Has the River Run Dry?, a mid-tempo rocker with a big chorus and a slow, tasty guitar solo — possibly my favorite on the album. Not every great solo has to be fast, you know :). A solid tune that should stand up well over time.


Track number four, The Armor of God, starts with some creative synth work then blasts into double-kick power metal glory. Fans of the band’s neoclassical roots will be delighted with this tune. With one of the best choruses on the album and TWO blazing solos, this should be a favorite with most fans. Another fantastic track reminiscent of I Still Believe.

If you’re not willing to have your face melted off, skip MNFST. A cool synth intro gives way to one of the most massive metal riffs ever created. Probably the heaviest song on the record, Grimmark’s four rhythm guitar tracks really cut through. Bold lyrics resonate throughout, especially on the chorus. A little over halfway through, the real fun begins. While the first half of the song is a killer 80s style rocker, the second act takes us into prog-metal territory that would make John Petrucci grin. All that, coupled with a searing guitar solo, makes this my favorite song on the album. CRANK this one for maximum enjoyment!


The War that Tore the Land starts out slow with an atmospheric intro (including elements that remind me of U2), similar to Thank You from the previous album — yet distinct, giving way to a modern sounding guitar driven chorus, including, for the first time, female vocals. A definite highlight with it’s airy vocals and emotional solo. Hallelujah, amen.

Now we arrive at Sail On. Starting with one of the best riffs on the record (reminds me a bit of Grimmark’s solo album), this one is definitely worthy of gas-station-cranker status (right after you’ve played MNFST). Shocker alert: another fantastic chorus. This one gets a little proggy as well, with some elements reminding me of Rush (though, probably not intentional). Rounding things out is another incredible guitar solo. I’m told this was the first song written (in that tiny room in California). One of the strongest songs on the album.


Next up, I Will Follow. Keys and guitar open things up like a clap of thunder, leading to a surprisingly mellow verse — very dynamic. A solid chorus, and a solo segment that reminds me a little of YES, are standout elements. Another highlight for sure.

Rounding out the album is the two-part title track, From Darkness to Light. The beginning of this tune reminds me of something off The Great Fall (in a good way). It then progresses into acoustic guitars and piano and then some Pink Floyd-ish goodness. Another great guitar solo followed by a lap-steel solo. This song succeeds where much of TGF fell short. Atmospheric, deep, delightful!


The main thing that stands out about this album is the lyrical boldness. Narnia has always been outspoken about their faith but they made sure there are no doubts with this record. Excluding the classic first three albums, this is their best offering to date.

Highlights include MNFST, The Armor of God, Sail On, You Are the Air That I Breathe, A Crack in the Sky, The War That Tore the Land and I Will Follow. There’s something here for fans of all of Narnia’s various iterations throughout the years. This outing is as diverse as the self-titled album was homogeneous — and it WORKS. Narnia continues to grow and this album proves that’s a good thing.

Score: 10/10


  • Christian Liljegren: Vocals
  • CJ Grimmark: Guitar & Backing Vocals
  • Andreas “Habo” Johansson: Drums
  • Martin Härenstam: Keyboards
  • Jonatan Samuelsson: Bass & Backing Vocals



NARNIA Releases “A CRACK IN THE SKY”, First Single and Music Video from the Forthcoming Album “FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT”

Uppsala, Sweden. May 31st, 2019

Swedish metal band Narnia released the single A Crack in the Sky today, which is the first track off the forthcoming studio album, From Darkness to Light.


To follow up the release, touring begins in September, where the band looks forward to meeting old and new fans alike.

While awaiting the band’s eighth studio-album (which will be released on August 2nd) the first single, A Crack in the Sky, has been released on all major digital platforms in cooperation with record label Sound Pollution.


On the band’s YouTube channel, you can find the music-video, produced by Mats Vassfjord (220 Volt and Impera). The song is the first track off the forthcoming album From Darkness To Light, and a mix of modern and melodic metal, a style associated with the band for over 20 years.

This single release begins the countdown of a new major venture with Narnia, which means additional single releases, album release in August, and then the forthcoming tour that begins in South America along with American bands Stryper and Tourniquet.


The album is produced by Narnia’s guitarist CJ Grimmark, mixed by the band’s sound engineer Viktor Stenquist, and mastered by Jens Bogren, Fascination Street Studios (Sepultura, Symphony X, James LaBrie of Dream Theater).

From Darkness To Light will be released on CD, vinyl in different colors, and digitally on August 2nd , and will be distributed by Sound Pollution (Europe, USA, Australia), King Records (Asia) and Voice Music, Icarus Music and The Dove’s Voice Records (Latin America). 


Purchase your copy today on all major digital platforms and be sure to like and share the music video!

NARNIA to Release 8th Studio Album, ‘FROM DARKNESS TO LIGHT’, on August 2nd (EXCLUSIVE)


Uppsala, Sweden. May 2nd, 2019

Swedish metal band, Narnia, announces the release-date for its eighth studio-album; From Darkness to Light. First single – A Crack In The Sky – will be available on all digital platforms, May 31st. The single will also be released along with a music video, produced by Mats Vassfjord (Grand Design and 220 Volt).

Narnia’s new album; From Darkness To Light is the band’s eight studio album, and a natural sequel to the previous, self-titled album, from the band’s return and 20th anniversary in 2016. The spark that Narnia lit on last year’s live album We Still Believe – Made in Brazil, has followed the band into the studio, where this energy has been channeled and structured into a long parade of nine songs.


With the musical roots remaining deep in melodic metal, the band has both stretched on to a modern sound where the guitars still dominate, but also allows analogue 70/80’s analogue synthesizers to take place in the soundscape.

The lyrics are noticeably important to the band and in true Narnia spirit this heritage has been well managed and further refined. The album is produced by Narnia’s guitarist CJ Grimmark, mixed by the band’s sound engineer Viktor Stenquist, and mastered by Jens Bogren, Fascination Street Studios.


From Darkness To Light will be released on CD, vinyls in different colors and digitally August 2nd , and distributed by Sound Pollution (Europe, USA, Australia), King Records (Asia) and Voice Music (South America).

The album-release will be followed up with a tour in 2019-2020, starting in South America, together with Stryper and Tourniquet. First single, A Crack in the Sky, will be released on all major digital platforms May 31st, along with a music video produced by Mats Vassfjord (Grand Design and 220 Volt).

Stay tuned to for more exclusive content!

LANCE KING Releases First Lyric Video for New Solo Album


Lance King dropped the lyric video for the song Limitless today.

Lance collaborated with several high profile musicians for his latest solo effort, including Markus Sigfridsson, most notably of the Christian progressive metal band Harmony.


The album is set to release in mid February, 2019.

Check out the video here:


EXCLUSIVE: George Ochoa Discusses Upcoming Worldview Album, New Lead Vocalist

By: Martin Simson, Editor

The Pure Metal Fan had the privilege of visiting with George Ochoa in his southern California studio this past Friday and we learned some exciting things about the new Worldview album.

We had the opportunity to hear two of the new tracks, and the experience left us very excited. If these two songs are any indication, this record may top the first.



“The new Worldview album is going to have the same high-caliber as the first one, if not higher…”, says Ochoa.

The new lead vocalist (announcement coming soon) sounds amazing. Deep lows and soaring highs, filling both tracks with resonating verses and catchy choruses. Distinctively different vocal approach than the first album (featuring Rey Parra), but not entirely unfamiliar.


George Ochoa in his southern California recording studio

George continues, “We’ll be releasing a music video in the next month-and-a-half; probably a lyric video.”

Based on just these two songs, this record should easily top The Chosen Few — definitely a power/progressive metal album worthy of getting excited about!



George is projecting a November 2018 release date.

#worldviewmetal #georgereneochoa #heavymetal #metal #hardrock #christianmetal #christianhardrock



Album Review: Narnia — We Still Believe (Made in Brazil)

By: Martin Simson, Editor

This is Narnia’s second live album, and let me tell you, it’s a good one.

I won’t be doing a track by track break-down in this review only because it’s a live album with previously released material.

My overall impression is that this record sounds HUGE. Especially if you turn it up until just before it’s painful. Some of the songs sound even better than the original studio recordings, particularly the earlier material. CJ Grimmark has changed his guitar attack on several songs, making them sound even better, if that’s even possible.

Christian’s vocals sound strong and clear, and the overall production is excellent. Each musician is easily heard in the mix. The obligatory drum solo (which Andreas NAILS) and guitar solo do not disappoint. CJ’s solo is saturated with feeling, emotion and just enough speed to satisfy any shred fan.

The stand-out tracks are Shelter Through the Pain, Messengers, No More Shadows from the Past, The Awakening and Living Water.

The mix and production couldn’t be better. This is a live disc that will satisfy even the harshest critics of live albums. This is definitely a must-have for power metal fans of all breeds.

Score: 4.5/5

Track listing:

  • 01 – Inner Sanctum
  • 02 – The Mission
  • 03 – Reaching For The Top
  • 04 – Shelter Through The Pain
  • 05 – No More Shadows From The Past
  • 06 – I Still Believe
  • 07 – Messengers
  • 08 – Drum Solo
  • 09 – Guitar Solo
  • 10 – The Awakening
  • 11 – Long Live The King
  • 12 – Into This Game
  • 13 – Living Water

Line up:

  • Christian Liljegren – Vocals
  • CJ Grimmark – Guitar, vocals
  • Andreas Johansson – Drums
  • Martin Härenstam – Keyboards
  • Jonatan Samuelsson – Bass, vocals

You can pre-order your copy here: http://narniatheband.com/campaign-we-still-believe-made-in-brazil/