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Green Carnation - Leaves of Yesteryear CD (album) cover


Green Carnation


Experimental/Post Metal

3.92 | 116 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

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.

BrufordFreak | 4/5 |


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