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Green Carnation - Journey to the End of the Night CD (album) cover


Green Carnation


Experimental/Post Metal

3.41 | 81 ratings

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3 stars The unplanned difficulties that led up to the recording of this album are fairly evident in the rather improvisational nature of much of the music. In many ways though this is a more progressive record than some of the later Green Carnation albums, which tend to be both more subdued and sound more polished (not necessarily a good thing, especially with ‘The Acoustic Verses’ that sounds like it underwent too many studio mixing sessions in my opinion).

This album has a rawer feel to it, particularly on the very long tracks such as “In The Realm of the Midnight Sun” and “Under Eternal Stars” which sound at times like death metal jam sessions. The various female vocals, seemingly ever-present in most Nordic metal, are always a welcome additional and give the music an even more majestic tone.

One complaint is the weak production quality compared to the later Green Carnation albums. This may sound like a contradiction after saying that those records sound too polished, but in this case it isn’t just a matter of the music not being heavily engineered – it’s really more that the sound quality is a bit rough in places, and particularly with the lead guitar which seems to suffer from a little more feedback and over-amplification than is necessary. This is in contrast to the drums which are exceptionally miked and sound great.

The other minor quibble is with the male vocals, which aren’t bad but are undistinguished. The lyrics are impossible to follow, which would be understandable if this were a growling album or something, but it isn’t so the seemingly intentional muddling of the vocals doesn’t seem to serve much purpose and detracts a bit from the overall experience. The female vocals are the other hand are crisp, clear and beautiful, especially on “Journey to the End of Night (Part I)” – the moody, eerie passage toward the end of this track is one of the album’s highlights.

The closing trio of song snippets are a bit disjointed, but I like the heavy tempo and majestic feel to all of them, especially the soaring closing track “Shattered”. This one is actually too short and could have made for a much stronger closing with an extended instrumental passage and maybe a heavy crescendo or two. Oh well.

All things considered this album should be seen as a positive sign of things to come for the band, and since I first heard this after listening to ‘Light of Day, Day of Darkness’ it makes the genesis of that album make a bit more sense. By the time the band put out 'The Quiet Offspring' they had really perfected the sound that began to grow here.

This isn’t the band’s best work, but it’s not bad either. A solid three star effort for sure, and likely to be considered quite good by metal aficionados and even post-rock fans who like a little metal in their music. Recommended for those kinds of folks.


ClemofNazareth | 3/5 |


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