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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 | 380 ratings

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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.

lukretio | 5/5 |

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