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GREEN CARNATION

Experimental/Post Metal • Norway


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Green Carnation picture
Green Carnation biography
Formed in Kristiansand, Norway in 1990 - Hiatus from 1992 to 1998 - Disbanded in 2007 - Regrouped in 2014

GREEN CARNATION was initially founded by Terje Vik SCHEI (aka TCHORT) as a vehicle for playing Progressive Gothic/Doom Metal. Having recruited brothers Christian 'X' BOTTERI (guitars), Christopher 'M' BOTTERI (bass) and Anders KOBRO (drums) to the cause, the band took a year before issuing their demo "Hallucinations of Despair", by which time, TCHORT was offered the position of bassist with leading Doom Metal band EMPEROR. It seemed as though GREEN CARNATION was dead in the water, when the remaining members teamed up with Oddvar 'A.M' MOI to form Avant-Garde/ Post metal band, IN THE WOODS.

Throughout the mid 1990's, in addition to his involvement with EMPEROR, TCHORT also contributed material toward a number of other Doom/ Black Metal bands, including SATYRICON, EINHERIER and CARPATHIAN FOREST, however in 1998, he took the decision to resurrect GREEN CARNATION with the help of the BOTTERI brothers, and Alf Tore RASMUSSEN (drums). With the help of five guest vocalists and LEIF on violins, they recorded their debut, "Journey to the End of the Night" (2000), a 70 minute concept album, inspired by the tragic loss of TCHORT's daughter. The result was an emotionally laden, folk-inspired, Progressive/ Doom opus which took over 6 months of rehearsals before recording began, then a further 2 years before it was finally released, through German label, Prophecy Productions. After recording, the other band members departed, leaving TCHORT to find a completely new line-up for the follow-up.

Happily, Anders KOBRO returned to join up with TCHORT, providing the foundation and arrangements for the whole song which, after 2 years in the making, became "Light of Day, Day of Darkness" (2001). Endre KIRKESOLA (bass) was drafted in during pre-Production to help out, convincing former IN THE WOODS. guitarist Bjorn HARSTAD , Stein Roger SORDAL (bass) and Kjetil NORDHUS (vocals) to join the band in time for the studio recording for the album, a single 60-minute track, this time inspired by the birth of TCHORT's son. Employing thirty musicians as well as a children's choir, there is no denying the audacious scope and ambition of a project, producing arguably the longest single progressive metal track ever recorded.

Strong sales, critical acclaim and a growing reputation within the festival circuit e...
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GREEN CARNATION discography


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GREEN CARNATION top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.43 | 68 ratings
Journey To The End Of The Night
2000
4.13 | 338 ratings
Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness
2001
3.66 | 119 ratings
A Blessing In Disguise
2003
3.38 | 100 ratings
The Quiet Offspring
2005
3.89 | 146 ratings
The Acoustic Verses
2006
4.00 | 27 ratings
Leaves of Yesteryear
2020

GREEN CARNATION Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.25 | 11 ratings
Alive And Well... In Krakow
2009

GREEN CARNATION Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.10 | 15 ratings
Alive And Well... Who Am I?/Live in Krakow
2004
4.39 | 35 ratings
A Night Under The Dam
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
Last Day of Darkness
2018

GREEN CARNATION Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

GREEN CARNATION Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.07 | 20 ratings
The Burden Is Mine...Alone
2005
5.00 | 1 ratings
Leaves of Yesteryear
2020

GREEN CARNATION Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 A Blessing In Disguise by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.66 | 119 ratings

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A Blessing In Disguise
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by UMUR
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars "A Blessing in Disguise" is the 3rd full-length studio album by Norwegian progressive metal act Green Carnation. The album was released through Season of Mist in June 2003. Green Carnation was formed in 1990 as a death metal act, but was initially a short lived project which ended in 1991. Guitarist Tchort then joined black metal act Emperor and played bass on their now legendary debut album "In the Nightside Eclipse (1994)". Tchort shortly after left Emperor and layed low for a couple of years before reuniting with some of the original Green Carnation members, who in the intermediate years had kept themselves busy in In the Woods.... The band´s debut full-length studio album "Journey to the End of the Night" was released in 2000.

The sophomore album "Light of Day, Day of Darkness" followed in 2001. Both of those relases feature a dark, progressive and doom/gothic metal style and both are concept releases (the latter solely features one hour long track). With "A Blessing in Disguise" the band have opted for a different songwriting approach and sound. The material on the 9 track, 56:19 minutes long album are still rooted in heavy metal, but the overall sound is predominantly a heavy progressive rock style, featuring "regular" rock instrumentation of guitars, bass, drums, and vocals, but also keyboards (predominantly vintage sounding). The tracks are melodic, relatively catchy, and while not overtly complex, they are still nicely intriguing and adventurous. The atmosphere is melancholic and dark, but not a pitch black type of darkness. Dark melancholy is a more fitting description. If I have to compare the sound on "A Blessing in Disguise" with another artist, I would pick the Dan Swanö led Nightingale as a reference. Although the two artists don´t sound alike, there are many similarities in the overall approach to playing heavy progressive rock.

The musicianship is strong on the album, with greatly skilled and organic instrumental performances, and a strong vocal performance by Kjetil Nordhus too. "A Blessing in Disguise" also features a powerful and organic sounding production, which suits the material well, so upon conclusion it´s a strong third album release by Green Carnation. Some fans of the first two releases may not be completely satisfied with the change of sound, but fans of heavy progressive rock featuring a melancholic atmosphere, should find this a greatly enjoyable release. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

 The Acoustic Verses by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.89 | 146 ratings

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The Acoustic Verses
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars On this last studio album by the lads, Green Carnation showcase yet another of their talents: moody acoustic tracks not far different from "Damnation" by Opeth. This album was successfully played live in its entirety with a couple of orchestra players,

The tracks are obviously much less agressive than on the last two albums, featuring more emotional and quiet vocals, acoustic or quiet electric guitars. The typical Scandinavian melancholy feeling is omnipresent and the album is recommended for rainy days.

"Maybe" is the first more epic track with extended uncomplex instrumental part, while "Alone" has a nice violin enrichment motive. The longest track brings with it several reflective moments and different moments with/without vocals.

"Child's play, part III" is a fantastic moody piano track, name me one doom/gothic metal band that can craft something like this. If you want more of this, go listen to the previous album with a similar piano mood but richer sound.

"High tide waves" has a vocal similar to Bono from U2 and some pleasant acoustic guitar.

A decent good-bye by the band and it's a pity that the creative force evaporated after that one.

 Alive And Well... In Krakow by GREEN CARNATION album cover Live, 2009
3.25 | 11 ratings

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Alive And Well... In Krakow
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars An average live albumw with some good moments, heavier sounding than the studio album and the focus is on the less challenging pieces, so the last album, nothing from the first album.

Guys are no big showmen, they speak only a bit and focus more on music. You will mainly remember heavy guitar riffs, some catchy melodies and metal drums.

The good thing is that the album does not go on for too long (the material was limited anyways).

It would have been better to have a live album after all their albums of their era that would make contrast between acoustic, doom metal and heavy metal tracks.

 A Blessing In Disguise by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.66 | 119 ratings

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A Blessing In Disguise
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Somewhat less ambitious than the previous records and much more streamline towards mainstream metal. Some songs are very accessible with average melodies and simple rhythms with usual guitar riffs. The strength of the album lies within compositional and sonic variety; next to harder tracks stand mellow acoustic or piano led songs with gentler voice. The weakness of the vocals is the lack of emotion and monotonous slight touch of depression, just like for Katatonia. There are no female vocals this time.

Instrumentation has been simplified with mainly guitars, bass, drums and Hammond playing, sometimes piano, violin. The first song "Crush to dust" can be considered a rock anthem by the band. "Lullaby in winter" is more ambitious with instrumental intermezzo and nice Hammond sound. "Writing on the wall" is a quite monotonous track. "Into deep" fares better with metal hooks and slight doomy mood. "The boy in the attic" has orchestral twist and various shifts. "Two seconds in life" can be considered a ballad with a catchy melody.

"Rain" is with its sound and ambition a bit related to the previous long album.

This is a good album for a metal fan but can be overlooked by a prog head without any concern.

 Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.13 | 338 ratings

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Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

4 stars The masterpiece by Green Carnation and one of the peaks of experimental Norwegian metal. This is a conceptual album, at least sonically, spanning 1 song of 60 minutes. The suite is very ambitious for a metal band and you can hear several influences from doom metal/black metal to progressive rock (Pink Floyd), progressive metal touches and even some world music with Arabic shades.

Music is well balanced and never dull. Interesting moments include growling during the chorus, something that Green Carnation hadn't done for a while, Arabic mellow part, acoustic guitar and keyboard section. There are also strings and brass instruments.

Compositionally, it is the biggest departure, together with "Acoustic verses" from a metal sound although there are several quite hard moments.

Listen to this multiple times to begin appreciate the meisterwerk.

 Journey To The End Of The Night by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.43 | 68 ratings

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Journey To The End Of The Night
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by sgtpepper

3 stars Green Carnation have enriched the progressive extreme metal almost to the equal level as "In the woods..." but were less influential and original at their time.

Their first album is the only one that bears some resemblance to their format period as "In the woods" with doomy and remote black metal echoes. All vocals are clean and the male ones do not display much range and emotions however, the female ones are shining while also being mournful.

Compositions are quite epic with unusual development, some acoustic parts thrown in and heaviness peaking with guitar/bass and fast drumming but still far away from being raw. This is a sophisticated avantgarde doom metal with some progressive traces and well worth exploring as the initial output of the band.

Fantastic gloomy atmosphere will not discourage you from enjoying the open mind by the band.

 Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.13 | 338 ratings

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Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by 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.

 The Quiet Offspring by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.38 | 100 ratings

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The Quiet Offspring
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Gallifrey

2 stars 10 Years On: Green Carnation's The Quiet Offspring

I don't think anyone really had a problem with A Blessing in Disguise, in the end. Sure, following up an album-long epic that has since become a prog metal classic with a song-oriented album is obviously going to get a bit of backlash, but what else were they going to do to follow it up? Retire? Do another one?

This, however, is not something that needed to happen. A Blessing In Disguise was an exercise in restraint, Green Carnation seeing if they could still make quality material after the non-restraint of Light of Day, Day of Darkness. And they did it well. That album had some incredible songs, with lengths that didn't make you nauseous, being progressive at the same time as being restrained, and was one of the best progressive albums of 2003, the only real sign of them slipping in quality was the really lazy "As Life Flows By" which sounded like a twenty-minute rush-job, with absolutely no complexity whatsoever.

The Quiet Offspring, unfortunately, offers no such compositional quality. Right from the intro we're treated to straight-up laziness. I mean seriously, how long did it take them to come up with the opening riff for the title track? Palm muted chugging in the most basic rhythm? Yeah, sure, this is exactly how we want to open the new record, let's show them how great we are at coming up with guitar riffs! The rest of this opening track is actually not as bad as the rest, aside from a rather edgy inclusion of a few swear words, but boy that intro had me rolling my eyes. It sounds like the sort of riff a 12 year old Slipknot fan would write after playing guitar for half an hour.

To call this album progressive metal is not just a push, it's a blatant lie. Whenever metal fans use the term "alternative metal", it's always with a bit of elitism, because that term has so often been synonymous with "metal I don't like", but I do like a great deal of alternative metal, and not only is this definitely an alternative metal record, it's a bad one. All the songs have that good old cruchy semi-industrial alt-metal guitar tone, and are chock full with riffs that involve nothing but palm mutes and power chords, and the vocals here go for some buttrock-esque tough guy gruff singing (with equally terrible lyrics). This isn't something I would complain about (too much) if the songwriting was good. But if you've heard the first half of this record, you know that it isn't.

"Between the Gentle Small and the Standing Tall" is without a doubt the worst song Green Carnation have come near, combining bad blues rock riffs with cheap post-grunge "Yeah!"s and "Bring it on!"s, with a rather disgusting pseudo-sexuality that reminds me of no other band but Nickelback. There's a little bit more skill here than most post-grunge bands, and the song's bridge breathes a bit of melodic prog into the mix that is refreshing, but there's no denying the majority of the songwriting is right the way down in the lowest-of-lows within rock music territory. "The Everlasting Moment" is another pretty poor track, as is "Dead But Dreaming", but aren't inexcusably awful like the second track. The former boasts one of the most cringeworthy riffs I have ever listened to, pushing beyond the Nickelback influence I mentioned before into some new territory of corniness that I really can't find a comparison point for. The rest of the song isn't too bad, but a bad riff repeated throughout can easily kill any moments of goodness. "Dead But Dreaming" goes straight back to buttrock though, but in addition to the Nickelback riffs, we get tryhard gruff "I'm a big guy" vocals, and one of the weakest choruses on the album.

Obviously there are little blips of goodness in this section of the album - "Purple Door, Pitch Black" has a really nice chorus, with a melody that reminds me greatly of Amorphis. It's pretty much the first time on this album I feel Green Carnation have done something good, but the rest of the song, being weak and cliched, tries its hardest to contradict that.. "Just When You Think It's Safe" and "A Place for Me" also aren't bad songs, but they not really good ones either. There are no godawful riffs or cheap radio-rock gimmicks in those tracks, but at the same time there's nothing that pulls them out as being a great songs, they're just kind of better than what surrounds them.

But it wouldn't be a bad album without a sudden transition to good for the last few songs. Part one of "Child's Play" hints at this finish, with its use of violin and fingerpicked acoustic guitar being considerably more artistic and sonically interesting than anything else on this record, but the album only really gets good at track nine, "Pile of Doubt". The opening few notes of that track alone have a better chord progression that the entire first eight songs combined, and even when it goes into a bit of power metal-esque riffing which isn't really warranted, it retains that strong melody and emotional link that I feel this album has been missing. The song has a weak verse, as well as some cheap parts reminiscent of the shortfalls of the first half of the album, but a pretty great chorus and an excellent lead melody progression remind me so clearly of the Green Carnation of the past. "When I Was You" continues this progression, being the first actually solidly good song on the album. A slow, building, progressive track, it again shows signs of what Green Carnation were two years prior, and then the album closes off with "Child's Play", part two, another pretty solid piece. None of these songs are groundbreaking or amazing, and in the context of a record like A Blessing in Disguise, they would actually be pretty lowly ranked, but they do show that Green Carnation still have some compositional skill left in them for this record.

The Quiet Offspring is truly a sad record. It's not the worst thing I've heard, and there are some pretty nice parts in it, but it shows Green Carnation regressing entirely from great epic prog metal to great non-epic prog metal to hard rock songs with aims at 30 year old midlife crisis blokes who go out to the pub every night to score underage girls. Or whatever Nickelback's current demographic is. Aside from the choice moments in the last few songs, this album runs between inoffensive boredom and absolutely disgusting degeneracy. Really sad to see coming out of a solid band.

4.8

Originally written for my Facebook page/blog: www.facebook.com/neoprogisbestprog

 The Acoustic Verses by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.89 | 146 ratings

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The Acoustic Verses
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Memo_anathemo

5 stars This is an incredible album by the band :GREEN CARNATION. I can't deny that I loved it since the very first time I listened to it. It has wonderful acoustic arrangements and all the instruments used are very well managed by the musicians. All the songs include a combination of melodic voices, great violins with folk influences, great and soft drums that enhances the atmosphere of the songs. My favorite tracks are without any doubt the first two, "Sweet Leaf" (listen to it and tell me if one of the singers doesn't resemble Bono of U2) and the beautiful "The Burden is Mine ... Alone". Very good album, indeed.
 A Blessing In Disguise by GREEN CARNATION album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.66 | 119 ratings

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A Blessing In Disguise
Green Carnation Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Memo_anathemo

4 stars I have always thought that every album has its time and moment to be listened to, it's just that sometimes it's difficult to find the time and the moment for many of us to hear a particular album that sometimes we just hear the albums without the appreciation each album of music deserves. A Blessing in Disguise is an excellent example of this. I had listened to it a couple of times and just enjoy it, yet the last time I listened to it, it was the perfect moment, in my car, with an adequate volume, windows rolled up (because it was raining) and yes, the rain. That made me appreciate it entirely and to discover that indeed, it is a real good album. Some of the songs are really good metal songs with great guitar riffs. The rest of the songs combine the melancholic sound with excellent progressive passages. I think everyone who likes Pain of Salvation, or who likes a good combination in metal music should try it at least once!
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