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Green Carnation - Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness CD (album) cover

LIGHT OF DAY, DAY OF DARKNESS

Green Carnation

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.13 | 322 ratings

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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.

Insin | 4/5 |

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