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Green Carnation - The Quiet Offspring CD (album) cover

THE QUIET OFFSPRING

Green Carnation

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.41 | 77 ratings

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Vanwarp
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Quiet Offspring is Green Carnation's fourth studio album, and just as it was with previous offerings, the band aptly demonstrates again the far-reaching facet of their talent. You'll find them treading all over the musical map, sometimes classic rock, sometimes 80's heavy metal, sometimes American acoustic folk rock and sometimes the keyboards and vocals will simply remind you of 70's rock. And lets not forget about the "progressive" musical influences that at times suddenly emerge out of nowhere and appear somewhat awkward until you get used to it...many spins later. I'm afraid mainstream enthusiasts will not find it commercial enough and those who prefer their metal hard, heavy and melodic will also be disappointed and consider this album too "experimental."

What makes this album so interesting to me is the manner in which the band manages to mix a plethora of influences into one melting pot and continue to maintain a certain modern atmospheric metal inkling to their sound. To achieve this and to do it successfully is an amazing accomplishment in itself. How many albums do you know that one minute remind you of one metal band or another - in this particular case Katatonia or Beseech come to mind - and the next moment Deep Purple or some other classic rock act from yesteryear strangely pops up in your mind. I mean, nobody in the metal realm even comes close to Green Carnation when it comes to mixing a wide range of influences spanning not only in different rock and metal sub-genres but through decades of musical influences as well. This band has effectively released four very different albums, all with their own unique and distinct musical influences and appeal.

On The Quiet Offspring, the band hits hardest when they are at their most experimental, that is when they are mixing opposite musical styles together, to superb effect I might add. For instance, the slow building "When I Was You" instills a false hope of tranquillity before exploding in a delirious mix of crushing guitars. Also, the boys rock out in true rock 'n roll fashion on two back to back performances: "Between the Gentle Small & the Standing Tall" and on "Just When You Think it's Safe." These tracks manage to put a big smile on my face.

About the only thing I can complain about here is the lack of hard hitting guitar riffs on the album as a whole. These guys don't tread into melodic metal territory very often preferring to rely on good sound rhythm guitar patterns and the occasional very sweet solo or chaotic guitar moment.

Did I forget to mention this band also relies heavily at atmospheric undertones, piano, hammond keyboard, acoustic guitars, clever song-writing and song structures, good melodies and arrangements, what more can one ask for? Just listen to the bands first single, the engaging "A Place For Me" and then try to imagine where the band is heading musically? Whatever you're thinking, you're so wrong. First, a piano intro, then Kjetil comes in acapella, then with what appears to be a cello, very melancholic atmosphere here, then they hit you with crashing guitars and just as you think they're rocking out again they slow it all down with acoustic guitars, very soothing, very unexpected. And the song's not over yet, progressive elements are added to the mix. Great stuff I tell you. Just when you think you have them all figured out they'll throw a ballad at you or something with a 70's vibe and then a heavy modern metal vibe a la Beseech, in the end, it's all so irresistible to me. I can't get enough of it.

This is far from being an experimental album, it borrows heavily from a wide variety of musical influences, pulling them all in together, resulting in a most original album. I like these guys, I fell in love with them when I first heard Light of Day, Day of Darkness and, my appreciation for the band continued to grow with A Blessing in Disguise and now this - The Quiet Offspring - an album that grabbed me, lured me in, got my complete attention and now won't let me go.

Vanwarp | 4/5 |

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