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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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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Let me tell beforehand a few historical facts being quite essential IMO for full acknowledge of this excellent album. In 1998 guitarist Terje Vik Schei (aka Tchort) after having played in death metal bands like Emperor and Satyricon for a couple of years joined forces once again with the Botteri brothers and Anders Kobro who released together quite a few great albums between 1995 and 1999 under the name IN THE WOODS. to record finally GC's debut (8 years after formation of this band). However during recording some problems occurred since their first two vocalists had to cancel studio duties. Finally the band managed to find 5 new completely different vocalists, Vibeke Stene, Atle Dorum, Geir Sollid (aka RX Draumtanzer), Synne Soprana and Linn Solaas who helped finishing the recordings in July 1999 very successfully completely relying on improvisation and talent. The album finally saw its release in late 2000 on the Prophecy Productions label. And the result was really more than remarkable and could be roughly described as a kind of psychedelic rock (due to the input of Christian "X" and Christoffer Michael "CM" Botteri who were the important minds behind the music of ITW) with a strong influence of doom/death metal brought in by Tchort. Latter one (who has been all the time the important mind behind GC's music in return) wrote as well all the lyrics for this album and dedicated it to his daughter who tragically died just before. I think taking into account all those facts it's not that much surprising that this album got such an extremely dark sound and reveals quite an obvious similarity to ITW's "Omnio"-album just with a more metallic sound.

As said already the music on here sounds extremely morbid and sorrowful on the one hand but as well very often majestic, even pompous at times and throughout spine-chilling on the other hand. Thus people who need their Prog to be mawkish, cheer- and delightful will hardly get pleased by this record. But even for those fellows (like me) preferring "the dark side of Prog" this isn't easy stuff at all and though being, besides their second masterly album my favourite one by GC right from the beginning the compositions on here are hard to memorize after listening. Track lengths of 10, 15 or even 18 minutes are a strong hint that it's definitely Prog we're dealing here with. Moreover rather lengthy introductory sequences of atmospheric synths sounds and the climactic structure of the mostly slow-paced doomy tracks will certainly appeal rather to the more intense and advanced listener than to the common impatient one. Though being deeply rooted in doom metal and despite their length the tracks don't sound repetitive or minimalist like it's usually the case in that particular sub-genre. Each one of the five vocalists is doing his/her job very well and there are as well quite a few sections with wordless vocals emphasizing well the moony and disembodied atmosphere of this album. Especially Synne Soprana, known already from "Omnio" shines as well here with her voice. But despite all celestial and beautiful female voices (there are in fact 3 different ones of them) nicely contrasted by two male apocalyptical sounding ones this record never comes close to any standard gothic metal band's ones at any moment but instead represents a highly unique work in the field of dark progressive metal. It's very difficult to name any highlights since all tracks are just awesome and build on each other within the concept of this album.

Unfortunately GC's debut will always stand a bit in the shadow of its terrific follow-up but actually I don't see (or better hear) no reason for that. Rather would I consider "Journey To The End Of The Night" one of the best debut albums ever done by a band and certainly an excellent collector's addition for any fan of dark and heavy progressive music.

hdfisch | 4/5 |


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