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)

3.41 | 78 ratings
Journey to the End of the Night
2000
4.15 | 372 ratings
Light of Day, Day of Darkness
2001
3.67 | 127 ratings
A Blessing in Disguise
2003
3.38 | 106 ratings
The Quiet Offspring
2005
3.89 | 158 ratings
The Acoustic Verses
2006
3.93 | 109 ratings
Leaves of Yesteryear
2020

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

3.33 | 12 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
4.41 | 37 ratings
A Night Under The Dam
2007
4.00 | 1 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)

4.08 | 21 ratings
The Burden Is Mine...Alone
2005
4.60 | 5 ratings
Leaves of Yesteryear
2020
3.60 | 6 ratings
The World Without a View
2020

GREEN CARNATION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Light of Day, Day of Darkness by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.15 | 372 ratings

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

Review by Argentinfonico

4 stars If I had to define this album in a few words, I would do it with the phrase "An extensive and histrionic trip surfing the despondency of a dreamer".

"Light of Day, Day of Darkness" is a one hour song that runs through multiple crises of a sad man who misses the past and would do anything to live it again even a little longer, but, as he logically can't, he 'takes refuge' in his internal battles and lives a comfort zone in his existential crises.

This hour full of music begins atmospherically with the sound of wind and overwhelming keyboards (many tints of space rock) that gradually immerse us in the essence of the song. After 10 minutes, I assure you that you will already find yourself trapped in this sea of heavy riffs and addictive vocals. Maybe some parts can get too heavy due to the slow repetitions of the slow riffs, but this doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. There are albums that you listen to at a faster pace, and there are others that you listen to at a slower pace. If you are patient enough to listen to it, you can enjoy a very pleasant and vigorous piece of rock. In fact, it seems to be an album that, the more times you listen to it, the more enjoyable it becomes due to its particular rhythm and structure.

The biggest flaw I see in this album is that it has moments that are stretched out just to get to the hour song. It is very noticeable in some parts. If you ask me, I would subtract 10 minutes from these 60, but maybe I'm wrong and it wouldn't be the same. Despite that, as it is, it's a more than enjoyable piece of work. There is no doubt that it is a well done project!

 Light of Day, Day of Darkness by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.15 | 372 ratings

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

Review by lukretio

5 stars Green Carnation's 2000 debut Journey to the End of the Night was a difficult affair: a dark, hardly penetrable album, shrouded in pain and desperation, that only occasionally opened up to reveal the genius of Tchort's musical ambition. Light of Day, Day of Darkness is where Tchort's art finds its full expression, resulting in a masterpiece of dark progressive metal that any fan of cerebral, ambitious music should listen to at least once in their lifetime.

When you put this record in your CD player for this first time, two things jump at you: 1) the album duration is just above 60 minutes and 2) the album contains only one song. Yes, that's right: Light of Day, Day of Darkness consists of one, 60-minute long song. Some of you will just write this off as pretentious crap ? and there's no denying that pretentious is a word not unheard of in the realms of progressive rock/metal. But Light of Day, Day of Darkness is the real deal. It's where wild ideas and ambitions somehow, and miraculously, are pulled off.

For the occasion, Tchort gathered together a whole new set of musicians compared to the debut album: Anders Kobro (In The Woods?) on drums, Stein Roger Sordal on bass, Bjørn Harstad (also In The Woods?) on guitars and Kjetil Nordhus (Trail of Tears, then Tristania) on vocals, with Tchort himself also playing guitars. The list of guest musicians is also long, and includes vocalists Synne "Soprana" Larsen and Jan Kenneth Transeth (both In The Woods?), pianist Bernt Moen, saxophonist Arvid Thorsen, and producer Endre Kirkesola who played sitar, keyboards, strings and Hammond organ on the album. As it should be clear from the list of names and instruments, there is a lot of talent and colour on this record, with a myriad of instruments and sounds meticulously interwoven to realize Tchort's vision.

The 60 minutes of the album can be roughly divided into two sections. The first 30 minutes develop around a slow-winding tempo and a repetitive, melancholic guitar riff that firmly root the song in gothic/doom territory. Kjetil Nordhus' crooning vocals add a dramatic outlook to the music, with a beautiful, recurring melody that gives continuity to the song and creates a mellow, reflective mood, further heightened by interspersed clean guitar arpeggios and languid keyboard parts. The second part of the album is more experimental and progressive. It contains a long section with saxophone and female vocalizations, a children's choir, some impassioned male vocals that reminds me of experimental band Manes, before the song ends in a gorgeous landscape of electronic sound effects with vocoder-filtered vocals.

Light of Day, Day of Darkness is an immersive listen. Although the monumental nature of this musical piece requires time and patience to be fully appreciated in all its nuances and details, strangely it also works well at an epidermal, instinctive level, as the gorgeous doomy riff and vocal melody that open the song return over and over throughout the composition, lulling the listener for its entire 60 minutes. The sheer ambition of this musical project is astonishing. It is even more impressive that Tchort managed to pull it off, creating an album that is filled with brilliant ideas, great performances and that works at multiple levels. I cannot say this of many records out there so if you are a fan of ambitious progressive music this is a "buy or die" kind of album.

 Journey to the End of the Night by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.41 | 78 ratings

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

Review by lukretio

3 stars Green Carnation's first full-length album is a frustrating affair. There are glimpses of greatness that however struggle to emerge from a sea of meandering songwriting and underdeveloped arrangements. The Norwegian band is the brainchild of Tchort (aka Terje Vik Schei) who, after a past playing bass and guitar with Emperor and Satyricon (and a stint in prison), put together Green Carnation as an expression of a musical vision that combines elements of gothic metal, doom, avant-garde and progressive rock. For this ambitious experimental project, Tchort recruited an excellent score of musicians. The Botteri brothers (In The Woods?) played bass and guitars, while the relatively unknown Alf T. Leangel was recruited on drums. A score of guest vocalists (both male and female) also appeared on the album, including Vibeke Stene (Tristania) and Synne "Soprana" Larsen (In The Woods?). Meanwhile, Leif Wiese (Opus Forgotten) played violin on a handful of tracks.

The album is dedicated to the memory of Tchort's late daughter and the music is inevitably dark, dense and desolate. Gothic and doom metal are suitable references, but Green Carnation are a strange creature that does not rest easily within the confines of a well-defined genre. Experimentation is the norm, and the album contains plenty of influences. Vaguely Floydian psychedelic progressions and sound effects abound. The song structures are fluid and dilated, and rarely follow standard repetitions of verses or choruses. A lot of the vocal parts are improvised and the various vocalists experiment with different styles, from soprano singing, to gothic crooning, to spoken parts. At times, the album reminds me of the most experimental side of Tristania. But Journey to the End of the Night is much more desperate and obscure, and less refined compared to Tristania and other similar gothic metal bands.

In truth, the record makes for an uncomfortable listen. The vocal improvisations are somewhat hit and miss. Often, the singing is devoid of any melodic structure and rather difficult to follow (also because sometimes the vocals are mixed really low). The irregular song structures are also challenging, especially when you have songs that exceed the 10-minute mark (half of the songs on the album do so) with plenty of tempo changes and new sections that provide very few reference points to the listener. At their worst, these songs come across as plodding and directionless ("Under Eternal Stars"). However, when Tchort's genius finds the right spark, great things happen. It's the case of "My Dark Reflections of Life and Death", a fantastic piece of music that takes the listener on a dark, introspective journey interspersed with clean guitar arpeggios, repetitive doomy riffs, chilling vocal melodies, and ominous sound effects. Here the rough edges of Green Carnation's music are met with the right arrangements and melodies, providing a magical combination that feels spontaneous and sophisticated at the same time.

Alas, "My Dark Reflections of Life and Death" stands alone as a marvellous beacon of light in an otherwise rather difficult and uncertain album. Ultimately, Journey to the End of the Night holds the same morbid fascination as a car crash: it's hard not to star,e even if you do not like what you see. I feel the same towards this album: I struggle to penetrate its deep, complex musical armour and I can only enjoy it in small doses. But it possesses a special, dark aura that springs from genuine pain. And when this darkness finds the right voice, the music is sublime.

 Journey to the End of the Night by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.41 | 78 ratings

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

Review by Gallifrey

3 stars Listening diary 7th March, 2021: Green Carnation - Journey to the End of the Night (progressive metal, 2000)

I suppose if you twist your head a bit, you can hear glimpses of what would immediately follow this, a masterwork of long- form songwriting and modern progressive metal. But really, it's quite amazing how they managed to complete Light of Day, a 60-minute song, only a year after this, which makes most of its 10-minute songs feel like 60. Musically, this has some good moments, and it's got a nice gothic atmosphere which doesn't really come back as potent on any of the band's further releases. But it's just too long, and too repetitive to really justify it.

5.4 (2nd listen)

Part of my listening diary from my facebook music blog - www.facebook.com/TheExoskeletalJunction

 A Blessing in Disguise by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.67 | 127 ratings

BUY
A Blessing in Disguise
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Gallifrey

4 stars 16th October, 2021: Green Carnation - A Blessing in Disguise (progressive rock/metal, 2003)

I actually got into this one before Light of Day, Day of Darkness, which perhaps is why I still enjoy it quite a lot and don't unfairly compare apples with oranges. This doesn't even attempt to follow-up that album in a similar vein, and it's all the better for it. No epics here at all, as the band focus on concise and vocal-oriented songs, and generally they succeed. There are parts of this album that veer into some odd post-grunge/alt-metal vibes that would plague its successor, but for the vast majority of its run this is melodic, catchy, well performed and dynamic progressive metal. There are even some sections, such as the second half of "Lullaby in Winter" that could be up there with the band's best ever work.

7.8 (11th listen)

Part of my listening diary from my facebook music blog - www.facebook.com/TheExoskeletalJunction

 The World Without a View by GREEN CARNATION album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2020
3.60 | 6 ratings

BUY
The World Without a View
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by RadlyGnarly

3 stars This release shows an impressive construction and order to the song. Melodic passages intertwine perfectly with heavier riffs that ebb and flow like the tide, with sailors seeking the tantalizing hope of a lighthouse in stormy weather. The lyrics seem to reflect the lack of hope an experience adventurer has before leaving on another expedition. This old sailor speaks of the influence his knowledge has, and how he does not envision the trip to be as magical as he hopes or expects it to be. The music's ebb and flow between soft and hard is the mental battle the protagonist is experiencing. However, the meaning is quite abstract, so I recommend taking a listen to find how the meaning unfolds for you.

The structure of the song is based on their new sound, which is seen in their new release, Leaves of Yesteryear. I dare to say that the band has noticed the success of Swedish band Ghost (Tobias Forge), and taken some influence from their newer albums. While at the same time Ghost has most certainly taken a page from the late 90's nordic metal scene as well, and we can see this homogenization and interconnectivity in these new releases by Green Carnation. This release sounds great in my ears, however, I can see how fans of the group can be left wanting more progressive depth as showcased in their earlier works, such as Light of Day, Day of Darkness. If this is a single from their next release, it will be interesting to see how this song connects with the rest of the passages, and if the more "mainstream" sound will continue.

TLDR: Reminds me of a relatively mainstream Ghost ballad, but I like Ghost and Green Carnation so that is fine with me. Great flow between melodic and heavy. 8/10 for the song and 3 stars as this single may become a part of the next large release.

 Leaves of Yesteryear by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.93 | 109 ratings

BUY
Leaves of Yesteryear
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Fourteen years we had to wait to have another album from Green Carnation!

But the wait was worth because the quality of the music included in "Leaves of Yesteryear" is superior. Their usual moody, sad and prog metal is back here in three new tracks with a masterful quality, very fine produced and shining specially in the vocal sound and the great guitars.

Sadly, the other two tracks are not new, because the long and complex My Dark Reflections of Life and Death is a re- recording of a track of their first album and Solitude is a very good Black Sabbath's cover. So "Leaves of Yesteryear" definitely leaves us wanting for more!

But in summary, this album is a must for every fan of Nordic metal and I hope they will be back soon with some new music. Welcome back, guys!

Best Tracks: Leaves of Yesteryear, Sentinels and Hounds are true masterpieces of prog metal!

My rating: ****

 Light of Day, Day of Darkness by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.15 | 372 ratings

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

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars My expectations come from my 2020 discovery of the band through their 2020 release, Leaves of Yesteryear, which I really loved.

"Light of Day, Day of Darkness" (60:06)

This is a difficult song to review because it is not broken down into parts as many bands do (including commons-membership band In The Woods). I will have to say that there is very little in the first 24 minutes that wows me; it is all more simplistic and straightforward (and less engaging, less-charged) than I was expecting. The vocals and music are quite underwhelming. The instrumental section beginning in the 25th minute, however, is awesome; it's as if the band has finally clicked into full sync and full and enthusiastic engagement. Even the group vocals that follow are more spirited than anything that came before. Since the Bandcamp edition that I'm listening to won't let the album exist as one 60 minute song, has it split into two parts, I'd give the first half, (32:45) a score of (55/65)

The second half (27:20) opens with six minutes of minimalist Latin soundtrack mood music over which guest vocalist Synne Soprana vocalises Clare Torry style. Fellow metal band HYPNO5E used the same palette and style as these first thirteen minutes to great effect in their own 2018 masterpiece soundtrack Alba - Les ombres arrantes. At 13:11 a series of "church bells" signals a shift toward more thick metal-like walls of sound--as well as the first time we here this lead vocalist with his Greg Lake-like tone and presence. All instruments play in sync during the sixteenth and seventeenth minutes until some guitar effects and growlish-chorale vocals enter and take us deeper into the darkness. Porcessed lead vocal at the end of the eighteenth minute gives an eerie robot/machine-like effect. Then the sound palette suddenly shifts over the bass and drums to a Middle Eastern style wiht sitar, string synths, and operatic female vocalise. By the 20:00 mark, we have somehow seemlessly morphed back to metal (the appearance of the Hammond and slide guitar helps). Machine gun bass drum in the 22nd announces a kind of crescendo. A prolongedly slow start leads to a very entertaining and satisfying middle and sad, pull-on-your-heart-strings ending. I can't say this is great music but I like it; it's eminently listenable--and truly proggy. (50/55)

Total Time 60:06

B+/four stars; an excellent addition to any prog lover's music collection.

 Leaves of Yesteryear by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2020
3.93 | 109 ratings

BUY
Leaves of Yesteryear
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by nick_h_nz
Collaborator Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

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 | 109 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.

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.