Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

GREEN CARNATION

Experimental/Post Metal • Norway


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Green Carnation picture
Green Carnation biography
Formed in Kristiansand, Norway in 1990 - Hiatus from 1992 to 1998 - Disbanded in 2007 - Regrouped in 2014

GREEN CARNATION was initially founded by Terje Vik SCHEI (aka TCHORT) as a vehicle for playing Progressive Gothic/Doom Metal. Having recruited brothers Christian 'X' BOTTERI (guitars), Christopher 'M' BOTTERI (bass) and Anders KOBRO (drums) to the cause, the band took a year before issuing their demo "Hallucinations of Despair", by which time, TCHORT was offered the position of bassist with leading Doom Metal band EMPEROR. It seemed as though GREEN CARNATION was dead in the water, when the remaining members teamed up with Oddvar 'A.M' MOI to form Avant-Garde/ Post metal band, IN THE WOODS.

Throughout the mid 1990's, in addition to his involvement with EMPEROR, TCHORT also contributed material toward a number of other Doom/ Black Metal bands, including SATYRICON, EINHERIER and CARPATHIAN FOREST, however in 1998, he took the decision to resurrect GREEN CARNATION with the help of the BOTTERI brothers, and Alf Tore RASMUSSEN (drums). With the help of five guest vocalists and LEIF on violins, they recorded their debut, "Journey to the End of the Night" (2000), a 70 minute concept album, inspired by the tragic loss of TCHORT's daughter. The result was an emotionally laden, folk-inspired, Progressive/ Doom opus which took over 6 months of rehearsals before recording began, then a further 2 years before it was finally released, through German label, Prophecy Productions. After recording, the other band members departed, leaving TCHORT to find a completely new line-up for the follow-up.

Happily, Anders KOBRO returned to join up with TCHORT, providing the foundation and arrangements for the whole song which, after 2 years in the making, became "Light of Day, Day of Darkness" (2001). Endre KIRKESOLA (bass) was drafted in during pre-Production to help out, convincing former IN THE WOODS. guitarist Bjorn HARSTAD , Stein Roger SORDAL (bass) and Kjetil NORDHUS (vocals) to join the band in time for the studio recording for the album, a single 60-minute track, this time inspired by the birth of TCHORT's son. Employing thirty musicians as well as a children's choir, there is no denying the audacious scope and ambition of a project, producing arguably the longest single progressive metal track ever recorded.

Strong sales, critical acclaim and a growing reputation within the festival circuit e...
read more

GREEN CARNATION forum topics / tours, shows & news


GREEN CARNATION forum topics Create a topic now
GREEN CARNATION tours, shows & news Post an entries now

GREEN CARNATION Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all GREEN CARNATION videos (1) | Search and add more videos to GREEN CARNATION

Buy GREEN CARNATION Music



More places to buy GREEN CARNATION music online

GREEN CARNATION discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

GREEN CARNATION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.44 | 73 ratings
Journey to the End of the Night
2000
4.14 | 352 ratings
Light of Day, Day of Darkness
2001
3.66 | 122 ratings
A Blessing in Disguise
2003
3.38 | 103 ratings
The Quiet Offspring
2005
3.89 | 152 ratings
The Acoustic Verses
2006
3.93 | 82 ratings
Leaves of Yesteryear
2020

GREEN CARNATION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.25 | 11 ratings
Alive And Well... In Krakow
2009

GREEN CARNATION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.10 | 15 ratings
Alive And Well... Who Am I?/Live in Krakow
2004
4.40 | 36 ratings
A Night Under The Dam
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Last Day of Darkness
2018

GREEN CARNATION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GREEN CARNATION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.07 | 20 ratings
The Burden Is Mine...Alone
2005
4.50 | 2 ratings
Leaves of Yesteryear
2020
0.00 | 0 ratings
The World Without a View
2020

GREEN CARNATION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Leaves of Yesteryear by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.93 | 82 ratings

BUY
Leaves of Yesteryear
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by nick_h_nz

4 stars [Originally published at The Progressive Aspect]

New music from Green Carnation has long been awaited by many. It's been twenty years since their debut, and almost fifteen since their most recent release. Leaves of Yesteryear is an absolutely outstanding return to form, and a major statement of intent ? but is it an album, or an EP? For some reason, this rather pointless argument seems to have dominated the comment section on numerous social media posts. By its length alone, it would be hard to argue it is an EP, but by its content it conforms far more to what one might expect from that shorter form of release. There are only three new original songs, one reworking of a song from their debut, and a Black Sabbath cover. That's not to say they are not good, for they most definitely are ? but, despite the length, this release never feels more than an EP to me. However, unlike some, I don't see that as a bad thing. I have seen many complaints about the release on social media, but as much as I might have been expecting something different, I am more than happy with this release.

So for me, Leaves of Yesteryear works like an EP released ahead of a magnificent album, and based on the material from this release, the forthcoming album (and I'm sure there will be one) will be magnificent. The band, though, calls it an album, so that is what it is. But who really cares? The title track is one of the most enjoyable Green Carnation songs yet. It brings together both the Green Carnation sound I love (their first two albums), and the Green Carnation sound I like, but which am not so fond of (their next two albums). I think a lot of people were wondering just what new Green Carnation might sound like. I've made a point of not reading any reviews (as I never like to read others' reviews before writing my own), but from what I've seen on social media, most people (myself included) have been very happy with the blend of the dark, gloomy and doomy with the more alternative and melodic that the band have created.

Sentinels is another great new song, but it has quite a different sound from the title track. More direct, and with driving heaviness and intensity, it reminds me a little of Queen's Innuendo put in a blender with Amorphis. I didn't find it as immediately engaging as Leaves of Yesteryear, as it wasn't really what I was expecting, at all. It is so different from anything else on the release, that it (for me) only heightens the sense of this being more of an EP than an album. As much as I enjoy Sentinels now, it still feels out of place, particularly when the preceding track is such an amazing reference to their past sound, with a distinctly modern and novel twist, and the following is a reworking of one of their most beloved songs.

And that reworking? Well, I was initially highly sceptical when the track listing was announced and My Dark Reflections was there. The longest track of the newest release is a song from twenty years ago. But, wow! On hearing it, I am taken aback. Familiarity initially meant this was my favourite track here, and it still is right up there (even if I would probably now give the title track that honour), but this track works only because Leaves of Yesteryear feels like an EP. It would stick out like a sore thumb on an album. It's a tremendous reworking (which I think I may even prefer over the original ? and that is not something I expected at all!), but it's too rooted in the band's past to be part of their future. Then again, one line from the song strikes hard: "Light of Day, Day of Darkness". That is one part of the band's past, that many fans long to be part of their future. A long-awaited sequel to their one song epic album has never been forthcoming. Could the choice of song to rework for this release be a sign that maybe?? No, best not to dwell on that.

Onto Hounds instead ? the final new original song. It's quite impressive, and has more chances within its length than anything else on the release but My Dark Reflections. It's a particularly strong song, which I suspect will be a favourite for many listeners. It is definitely the only song that could have followed My Dark Reflections, and still held it's own. What Hounds does particularly well is to take the directness of Sentinels and better fit it to the sound and strengths of Green Carnation. It would be too simplistic to suggest that Hounds is the confluence of the other two new songs, but it would not be entirely inaccurate either.

We are left with the Black Sabbath cover to end the album, and wow (again!). This is an incredibly beautiful cover of Solitude, which Green Carnation have made entirely their own. It's a beautifully subdued and subtle cover and it is one more string in the bow of Kjetil Nordhus, whose exceptional vocals are the greatest addition to the Green Carnation sound of all the many changes the band has seen over the years. Nordhus conveys a great range of emotions with his performances, and while musically Green Carnation are still led by the writing and guitar of Tchort (without whom, of course, there would be no Green Carnation), Nordhus is proving to be indispensable to the sound and approach of the band.

So, after many years, Green Carnation has returned, and with quite possibly the best prog metal release I've heard so far this year. This release seems to be in many people's opinion, despite its album length, an EP. There are only three original songs on it, taking up 24 of the 44 minutes running time. The others are a re-recording of an old song and a cover. But that's no reason for complaint, and I'm not sure why I have seen so much negativity. It is a surprise, but not a let-down. The only way this release could become a let-down is if nothing else follows it, because Leaves of Yesteryear leaves me hungry for more, and with an expectation I never thought could eventuate ? that the next Green Carnation album might be their greatest yet. And for any suggesting that as an album, this is not a great one ? then as an EP, foreshadowing greatness to come, this is unbeaten. There is not a minute wasted, and not a dud track. As an EP, dare I say it, this is perfect. Thus, while I highly recommend Leaves of Yesteryear, it is with that one proviso. Come at it as an album, and it seems you may be be disappointed. Approach it as an EP, and you should be fine. Or just don't worry about what to call it, and enjoy the music!

 Leaves of Yesteryear by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.93 | 82 ratings

BUY
Leaves of Yesteryear
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars After a 15 year absence, these Norwegian veterans are back with an amazing album of strong songs--so well constructed and composed as to have both spaciousness and density, great melody and harmony, uniquity and cleverness, as well as an outstanding vocalist in Kjetil Nordhus and great sound production.

1. "Leaves of Yesteryear" (8:03) opens with the metal sounds and ANATHEMA-like keyboard atmospherics we expect before shifting into a more ULVER-esque ominous spaciousness. The dominant metal riffing sounds like a cross between URIAH HEEP and OPETH. Weak chorus. Nice FLOYDian interlude in the middle. Turns full-on Death Metal at the six minute mark, but then returns to a more symphonic heavy prog style for the finish. (13/15)

2. "Sentinels" (5:42) BLACK SABBATH-like simplicity to the heavy opening, turns a speed corner at 1:10 into more modern metal style for the chorus section. Cool guitar play with syncopated chords and space in the middle before falling back into a machine gun chorus section. Clever codas here and there to transition from Sabbath section to bullet-pace and back and forth. (8.5/10)

3. "My Dark Reflections of Life and Death" (15:35) nice slow, spacious, ominous intro before everybody comes crashing in at 2:12 with an alien spacecraft synth in the lead. This switches to electric guitar in the fourth minute as the hard-driving music continues to establish itself. At 3:30, then, there's a pretty little interlude barely containing a lot of potential energy. Then Kjetil begins singing as the band comes back to full throttle. Some cool textural shifts going on beneath his singing. Everything comes to a standstill at 5:30 for some spacey synth notes before Kjetil burst into the fray with a deep tenor and the slower-paced metal chord progression accompanies him. Another standstill at 7:10 which gets filled by a distant-sounding rolling bass and then treated electric piano. Kjetil's John Wetton voice returns with some tom-tom play and piano arpeggi with the bass and synths before a nylon string guitar's up-sliding arpeggi take over. By the end of the tenth minute, the four-chord organ-led heavy metal progression and Kjetil's projecting voice return but then there is another shift into more symphonic palette for a RIVERSIDE-like guitar solo and singing section. This pattern continues, building in intensity, with both singing and instrumental sections, until 13:15 when an almost disco beat establishes to enter a full-on multi-instrumental metal onslaught in which Kjetil does not return until the final 45 seconds. Certainly a labyrinthine song. (27/30)

4. "Hounds" (10:09) great simplicity for a metal song with great melodies and other hooks (including Kjetil's strikingly-similar GREG LAKE voice). My favorite song on the album. (18/20)

5. "Solitude" (5:05) piano, acoustic guitar and gentle background keys and bass are not what you expect from one of the innovators of the metal world early 21st Century. Nice song but never really goes anywhere special. (8.5/10)

Total Time 44:34

My first impression is that Kjetil Nordhus must have been taking GREG LAKE/JOHN WETTON elocution/singing lessons over the past 15 years: the similarities at times are uncanny.

B+/4.5 stars; a near-masterpiece of progressive rock music--and a great comeback from these long-absent veterans.

 Leaves of Yesteryear by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.93 | 82 ratings

BUY
Leaves of Yesteryear
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by lukretio

4 stars Discovering Green Carnation is one of the few good things that came out of my lockdown. Of course, I already knew of Green Carnation, a frontrunner of the Norwegian post-black metal scene that, together with bands like In the Woods, Ulver and Arcturus, in the late 1990s / early 2000s started to push the boundaries of black metal and incorporate disparate influences into their music, from progressive rock to psychedelia and darkwave. But somehow I never got around to listening to their music. And then the lockdown happened. One day, bored out of my mind, I read somewhere on the internet that Green Carnation were celebrating their new album Leaves of Yesteryear, their first studio release in 14 years, with a "lockdown release party", with the band playing live and the audience ... well ... sitting at home in front of their laptops. I decided to check them out and bought a ticket to the virtual show. And it blew my mind!

Leaves of Yesteryear is a fantastic comeback for the six Norwegians. It sounds fresh and authentic, showcasing a band that has retained its own distinctive voice and has still very much to say, today like 20 years ago. The unique blend of 1970s hard prog, doom metal and gothic rock puts Green Carnation in a category of its own. It's progressive metal that had no equals in the early 2000s and that today falls perhaps in a similar territory where Opeth found inspiration for their last couple of albums, albeit heavier on the doom elements and lighter on the progressive rock weirdness.

Although Leaves of Yesteryear is marketed as Green Carnation's sixth full-length release, in truth it feels more like a long EP than a full-fledged album. It is a mix of new and revisited material. There are 3 brand new tracks, for a total of nearly 24 minutes of new music. The other 2 songs are a re-arranged and re-recorded version of "My Dark Reflections of Life and Death", originally included in Green Carnation's debut album Journey to the End of the Night, and a cover of Black Sabbath's "Solitude" (which, coincidentally, has already been covered by another post-metal band, Ulver).

Regardless of its status as EP or LP, there is a lot to like on this album. Although it is not a concept album, there is a cohesiveness in the atmosphere of its 5 songs that ties them together in a concept-like manner. The mood is dark and melancholic, but at the same time strangely comforting and serene. The opening track, the eponymous new song "Leaves of Yesteryear", is a great example of this dark tranquillity that pervades the whole album. Its powerful, gloomy riffs are contrasted by tasty bright guitar leads and gorgeously melodic vocal lines (the chorus is stunning), creating a superb juxtaposition between dark and light. The keyboards are used to great effect to add texture and atmosphere. Compositionally, the song displays all the emotional twists and turns that are trademark of prog metal, albeit the different parts flow seamlessly into one another and there is no indulgence in complex, overstretched structures just for the sake of it. It's a perfectly assembled prog metal gem. Next track "Sentinels", also a new song, follows in the same spirit, though there's more power and muscles on display (listen to the headbanging break in the middle of the song). Singer Kjetil Nordhus puts in a great performance, here as on the rest of the album, showcasing his considerable vocal range, from dark crooning to high-pitched wailing. The other new song, "Hounds", starts slowly with a gentle acoustic part to then develop into bouncy, bass-driven affair that is perhaps a tad too lengthy for its own sake (the chorus is repeated a few times too many), but is nevertheless enjoyable.

The centrepiece of the album is the re-recorded version of the 17-minute tour-de-force "My Dark Reflections of Life and Death". This is a fantastically poignant song, complex yet highly accessible and with plenty of outstanding guitar riffs and memorable vocal lines. The new arrangement is a tangible improvement over the original. The long, slightly meandering intro that on the original song lasted about 3 minutes has been rightly shortened by a good minute. A few vocal lines have been cut out, most notably the female vocal parts and some whispered vocals that were anyway hardly audible on the original track. Most importantly, the transitions between the different parts of the song, that on the original were often too abrupt, have been smoothened using new guitar leads or keyboard intermezzos, so that the various sections flow much better into one another. The coda of the song has also been streamlined, which is a huge improvement since the original track was ending in a rather chaotic way. The new version perhaps lacks a bit of the rawness and feral urgency of the original, but it has gained immensely in smoothness and slickness and is overall far superior to the version from 20 years ago (also thanks to the fantastic production - I love the fat guitar sound on this album!).

The album ends with a deconstructed version of Black Sabbath's track "Solitude" from their 1971 album Master of Reality. Of the 5 tracks of the album, this is the song that impresses me the least. While its mellow, sedated tone may make for a natural conclusion of the album, the sparse, minimalist arrangements - with almost no guitars or drums - make the song feel somewhat empty, especially after the incessant riff frenzy of the previous 4 tracks.

Despite this minor complaint, Leaves of Yesteryear is a very impressive return for Green Carnation. The album contains three stellar tracks ("Leaves of Yesteryear", "Sentinels", and "My Dark Reflections of Life and Death"), plus another two that, albeit not perfect, are nevertheless very good. Whether you are already a fan of Green Carnation or new to the band but with a taste for dark, brooding progressive metal, this is a must-have album, and probably one that will end up in my top 10 of albums from 2020.

(Originally written for The Metal Observer)

 A Blessing in Disguise by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.66 | 122 ratings

BUY
A Blessing in Disguise
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "A Blessing in Disguise" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Norwegian progressive metal act Green Carnation. The album was released through Season of Mist in June 2003. Green Carnation was formed in 1990 as a death metal act, but was initially a short lived project which ended in 1991. Guitarist Tchort then joined black metal act Emperor and played bass on their now legendary debut album "In the Nightside Eclipse (1994)". Tchort shortly after left Emperor and layed low for a couple of years before reuniting with some of the original Green Carnation members, who in the intermediate years had kept themselves busy in In the Woods.... The band´s debut full-length studio album "Journey to the End of the Night" was released in 2000.

The sophomore album "Light of Day, Day of Darkness" followed in 2001. Both of those relases feature a dark, progressive and doom/gothic metal style and both are concept releases (the latter solely features one hour long track). With "A Blessing in Disguise" the band have opted for a different songwriting approach and sound. The material on the 9 track, 56:19 minutes long album are still rooted in heavy metal, but the overall sound is predominantly a heavy progressive rock style, featuring "regular" rock instrumentation of guitars, bass, drums, and vocals, but also keyboards (predominantly vintage sounding). The tracks are melodic, relatively catchy, and while not overtly complex, they are still nicely intriguing and adventurous. The atmosphere is melancholic and dark, but not a pitch black type of darkness. Dark melancholy is a more fitting description. If I have to compare the sound on "A Blessing in Disguise" with another artist, I would pick the Dan Swanö led Nightingale as a reference. Although the two artists don´t sound alike, there are many similarities in the overall approach to playing heavy progressive rock.

The musicianship is strong on the album, with greatly skilled and organic instrumental performances, and a strong vocal performance by Kjetil Nordhus too. "A Blessing in Disguise" also features a powerful and organic sounding production, which suits the material well, so upon conclusion it´s a strong third album release by Green Carnation. Some fans of the first two releases may not be completely satisfied with the change of sound, but fans of heavy progressive rock featuring a melancholic atmosphere, should find this a greatly enjoyable release. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 The Acoustic Verses by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.89 | 152 ratings

BUY
The Acoustic Verses
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars On this last studio album by the lads, Green Carnation showcase yet another of their talents: moody acoustic tracks not far different from "Damnation" by Opeth. This album was successfully played live in its entirety with a couple of orchestra players,

The tracks are obviously much less agressive than on the last two albums, featuring more emotional and quiet vocals, acoustic or quiet electric guitars. The typical Scandinavian melancholy feeling is omnipresent and the album is recommended for rainy days.

"Maybe" is the first more epic track with extended uncomplex instrumental part, while "Alone" has a nice violin enrichment motive. The longest track brings with it several reflective moments and different moments with/without vocals.

"Child's play, part III" is a fantastic moody piano track, name me one doom/gothic metal band that can craft something like this. If you want more of this, go listen to the previous album with a similar piano mood but richer sound.

"High tide waves" has a vocal similar to Bono from U2 and some pleasant acoustic guitar.

A decent good-bye by the band and it's a pity that the creative force evaporated after that one.

 Alive And Well... In Krakow by GREEN CARNATION album cover Live, 2009
3.25 | 11 ratings

BUY
Alive And Well... In Krakow
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars An average live albumw with some good moments, heavier sounding than the studio album and the focus is on the less challenging pieces, so the last album, nothing from the first album.

Guys are no big showmen, they speak only a bit and focus more on music. You will mainly remember heavy guitar riffs, some catchy melodies and metal drums.

The good thing is that the album does not go on for too long (the material was limited anyways).

It would have been better to have a live album after all their albums of their era that would make contrast between acoustic, doom metal and heavy metal tracks.

 A Blessing in Disguise by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.66 | 122 ratings

BUY
A Blessing in Disguise
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Somewhat less ambitious than the previous records and much more streamline towards mainstream metal. Some songs are very accessible with average melodies and simple rhythms with usual guitar riffs. The strength of the album lies within compositional and sonic variety; next to harder tracks stand mellow acoustic or piano led songs with gentler voice. The weakness of the vocals is the lack of emotion and monotonous slight touch of depression, just like for Katatonia. There are no female vocals this time.

Instrumentation has been simplified with mainly guitars, bass, drums and Hammond playing, sometimes piano, violin. The first song "Crush to dust" can be considered a rock anthem by the band. "Lullaby in winter" is more ambitious with instrumental intermezzo and nice Hammond sound. "Writing on the wall" is a quite monotonous track. "Into deep" fares better with metal hooks and slight doomy mood. "The boy in the attic" has orchestral twist and various shifts. "Two seconds in life" can be considered a ballad with a catchy melody.

"Rain" is with its sound and ambition a bit related to the previous long album.

This is a good album for a metal fan but can be overlooked by a prog head without any concern.

 Light of Day, Day of Darkness by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.14 | 352 ratings

BUY
Light of Day, Day of Darkness
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars The masterpiece by Green Carnation and one of the peaks of experimental Norwegian metal. This is a conceptual album, at least sonically, spanning 1 song of 60 minutes. The suite is very ambitious for a metal band and you can hear several influences from doom metal/black metal to progressive rock (Pink Floyd), progressive metal touches and even some world music with Arabic shades.

Music is well balanced and never dull. Interesting moments include growling during the chorus, something that Green Carnation hadn't done for a while, Arabic mellow part, acoustic guitar and keyboard section. There are also strings and brass instruments.

Compositionally, it is the biggest departure, together with "Acoustic verses" from a metal sound although there are several quite hard moments.

Listen to this multiple times to begin appreciate the meisterwerk.

 Journey to the End of the Night by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.44 | 73 ratings

BUY
Journey to the End of the Night
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Green Carnation have enriched the progressive extreme metal almost to the equal level as "In the woods..." but were less influential and original at their time.

Their first album is the only one that bears some resemblance to their format period as "In the woods" with doomy and remote black metal echoes. All vocals are clean and the male ones do not display much range and emotions however, the female ones are shining while also being mournful.

Compositions are quite epic with unusual development, some acoustic parts thrown in and heaviness peaking with guitar/bass and fast drumming but still far away from being raw. This is a sophisticated avantgarde doom metal with some progressive traces and well worth exploring as the initial output of the band.

Fantastic gloomy atmosphere will not discourage you from enjoying the open mind by the band.

 Light of Day, Day of Darkness by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.14 | 352 ratings

BUY
Light of Day, Day of Darkness
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Insin

4 stars Writing an hour-long song is difficult.

First, the whole band has to be on board with a project of this level. Then they have to write enough material. Then they have to link it all together. They have to keep it tight for recording, even if it is segmented into movements. And there is the possibility playing it live. Not to mention that a lot of bands that write hour-long songs play progressive music, which tends to be more technical and complex than many other styles.

Writing a good hour-long song is even harder. Keeping one continuous piece of music of such a length interesting, captivating, and fresh can be quite a challenge. There should be some sort of buildup or payoff at the end, making its structure especially important. It's very easy for disjointedness, or too little variation and too much repetition to become an issue. And of course the actual sound of the music is always a factor.

Taking all of this into account, Green Carnation doesn't at all do a bad job with their sophomore album, Light of Day, Day of Darkness, which comes in at almost exactly sixty minutes. For a lot of people, with extended song length comes higher expectations, and although LODDOD, in the end, is a success, it is still flawed and misses some opportunities.

Green Carnation's core sound (not an entirely unexpected observation I make here) is the most prevalent and primary style played throughout the song, a doomy prog metal fueled by fairly standard, often chugged riffs. Nevertheless, those heavier moments are satisfying and energizing although the riffs aren't particularly memorable. The keyboard tone is retro, sticking to the background, and vocals are mostly clean. Nordhus is a competent singer, though nothing special, but the main drawback in this category is the very unnecessary children's choir at the beginning.

No matter what happens in the song, LODDOD always reverts to its main doom metal style and in fact rarely deviates from this general sound, save the acoustic passages placed here and there. This constancy lends it some more atmosphere and keeps it from screaming "PROG" at you, but overall I would say that this is a bad thing. After a while, a monotonous, trudging feeling seeps in and things can get a bit dull, an issue that often plagues songs of this nature. While the floaty beginning (not very different from Moonsorrow's Jddstd Syntynnyt) raises the bar for the rest of the album, the next 57 or so minutes do not really live up to the expectations that Green Carnation attempts to create.

Thirty-three minutes in, we arrive at the strangest, longest, and most distinct variation from the rest of the song's doomy riffing. Everything dies down and we are treated to a woman yodeling (?), backed by a melancholic saxophone. It's a despairing and empty section, and the woman sounds as though she is about to explode or at least shatter glass at one point. Not pleasant to listen to on its own, this part still seems as though it has an important function ? it might signal the rest of the song to start building up momentum towards a grand finale once the other instruments come back in. And there is in fact a glorious potential ending here, if the time between the woman singing and ending was more fluid and perhaps longer. The guitarist unleashes an epic solo as the song rebuilds? and the band promptly continues to play for seventeen more minutes after he is done.

At this point transitions become clunkier and the actual grand finale is falls short. The payoff is not quite there, but at least the ending doesn't painfully trail off in an epitome of anticlimactic-ness.

Green Carnation has some good ideas but LODDOD is lacking the factors that would have pushed it from a merely competent hour- long song to an excellent one. With too much emphasis on just one sound and some structural issues, it does not find itself in the upper tier of prog/doom/we-love-to-write-long-songs metal. In fact, it almost certainly would have been improved had it been cut down.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to E&O Team for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.