Green Carnation

Journey To The End Of The Night

Green Carnation - Journey To The End Of The Night ©2000 Prophecy Productions
1. Falling Into Darkness
2. In The Realm Of The Midnight Sun
3. My Dark Reflections Of Life And Death
4. Under Eternal Stars
5. Journey To The End Of Night (Part I)
6. Echoes Of Despair (Part II)
7. End Of Journey? (Part III)
8. Shattered (Part IV)

Not too long ago the news broke that In the Woods would be breaking up, culminating in an end of year gig featuring a marathon performance of the majority of their music. However, In the Woods will be highly missed with their extremely unusual, heady music and that has caused quite a bit of discontent among the ranks of their fans. Fortunately, for those fearing ambitious music withdrawal symptoms, Green Carnation exists. Green Carnation is actually the project of bassist Tchort, who replaced Mortiis in Emperor and appeared on the landmark album In the Nightside Eclipse. Moreover, Tchort has recruited some of his friends from In the Woods, as well as members of Tristania and a host of other Norwegian acts, to help record the extremely ambitious Journey to the End of Night.

Those who were fans of In the Woods' last two releases should immediately take note of Journey... due to many similarities between them. With influences ranging from Pink Floyd's sense of song atmosphere to doom and the ethereal realm where In the Woods found their muse, Green Carnation offers up a lengthy debut that will require many listens before you can completely assimilate what they are up to. The songs are very long, allowing for meandering passages and explorations not possible for bands working under shorter song terms. The vocals are very similar to what In The Woods performed on their Strange in Stereo release from last year. Naturally, considering their vocalists make appearances throughout, this makes sense. Geir Sollied handles the majority of the vocals, though, and his style is fairly emotive and melancholy.

Journey to the End of Night is indeed a journey and you have to dedicate quite a few listens before the album begins to make any sense, but that is not unexpected if you've ever grown to love an In the Woods record. The musicianship alone is impressive and while I don't quite feel this is as good as the last couple In the Woods records, this is still a solid release. Just don't walk into with pop music expectations and give yourself awhile to grow into it.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 10/2000

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Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness

Green Carnation - Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness ©2001 The End Records
1. Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness

And you were thinking In the Woods was epic.

Hot on the heels of last year's debut effort, Journey to the End of Night, Green Carnation has resurfaced with an ambitious project that may redefine the terms "epic" and "grandiose" in regard to heavy metal. Gone are the ten to twenty minute songs of the first album as Light of Day, Day of Darkness is a single song, sixty minute affair. Step aside, Edge of Sanity! Green Carnation has taken the mantle as the world's best ultra-epic song makers.

As with any sixty minute song that acts as the lone track on a CD, there are concerns that the song won't sustain interest in listeners past the ten minute mark. Green Carnation, though some exceptionally brilliant songwriting, has created a song that magically flows from beginning to end as a resolute journey and completely seamless transitions between passages and movements. The album boasts of using one hundred and fifty tracks as well as six hundred separate samples in the studio. The production of the album is fantastic. Everything is crystal clear and still retains an organic, cozy feel. One could say it employs the ambience of some of the best progressive rock records of the past with a completely modern feel for technology. Choirs, classical orchestration and many other elements are included to flesh out the basic ideas. Unlike some contemporaries, which paste together various elements in a rough collage, Green Carnation weaves everything together like a fine tapestry. There are segments of quiet atmospherics with a lone female voice to heavy, crunch sections that use warm keyboard sounds of yesteryear. Most importantly, Green Carnation understands the power of creating music that goes through climaxes, builds and dropoffs to heighten the overall effect.

Needless to say, this CD has something for fans of modern doom, In the Woods junkies and people who wish to discover a truly progressive record. Light of Day, Day of Darkness will find scant few peers to which it can be compared because it truly breaks the mold. This CD utterly blows away the band's promising debut record and will stand as an enchanting, mesmerizing record for years to come.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 11/2001

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A Blessing In Disguise

Green Carnation - A Blessing In Disguise ©2003 Season Of Mist
1. Crushed To Dust
2. Lullaby In Winter
3. Writings On The Wall
4. Into Deep
5. The Boy In The Attic
6. Two Seconds In Life
7. Myron & Cole
8. As Life Flows By
9. Rain

Green Carnation apparently seems quite content to confound their audience with each release. The band's first release after a long hiatus found the outfit performing what may as well been In the Woods outtakes. For the followup, head Carnation Tchort assembled a new lineup and released an ambitious sixty minute song that captured the attention of metal fans worldwide. However, for Green Carnation's third effort, Tchort and his merry music makers seem content to cast aside unorthodox methods to release a very standard and quite unimpressive run of the mill rock record.

A Blessing in Disguise finds the band collaborating on the songwriting for a sound that has a 70s tendency, mostly because all the songs are accompanied with that signature sound of the decade, the organ. The songwriting structures, the arrangements and approach of the music are all very predictable, orthodox and expected, except for the fact Green Carnation are the ones responsible. A Blessing in Disguise does not try to be a mindbending record, but in its attempt to be standard, is also quite pedestrian. Granted, a couple of the songs here have some strong melodies, but one gets this impression this band is not playing to their strength by sticking to music that sounds common. Instead, it sounds uninspired, listless and being churned out by a band uncertain how to followup a landmark album.

This certainly is no Cold Lake as there isn't a sign of glamour anywhere in sight. However, A Blessing in Disguise represents a band seemingly wishing to avoid challenging themselves three records in a row. It's very listenable, but very bland in its overall impact.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 09/2003

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