Green Carnation has been around the scene for quite a while delivering their mix of progressive rock, hard rock, metal, and folk styles. Yet, this veteran band from Norway are not regulars on the US concert scene, so when it was announced that the band would be making their way over for a short tour, Sea of Tranquility's Ken Pierce was on the scene. They would make their New York City stop at the famous club The Knitting Factory-read on for Ken's full review of the show!
For those who are as new to the music of Green Carnation as I am you will be surprised to find that the band itself is celebrating a 15 year existence. Constantly displaying an interesting combination of music the band has changed their style on every album released merely because it is what they feel must be done. The changes are not due to record companies restrictions or what "is hot" at the moment. My first exposure to the group would be with 2005's The Quiet Offspring which was a collection of Hard Rock tracks with some progressive melodies mixed in for good measure. It was a solid recording that when you listened to it would make you wonder why more people were not aware of them. Their latest effort entitled The Acoustic Verses is indeed that, a well-thought out and moody release with many Pink Floyd undertones. The overall catchy nature to this band and this release as well had me wondering why it has taken so long for them to come to the USA and play. Tonight that would no longer be an issue and the setting for this evening would be the Knitting Factory "Tap Room" in NYC. The club is more known for jazz and blues bands but of late has given sway to some great Metal performers. Tap Room is a smaller section of the club and provided fans an intimate setting to enjoy the music, a perfect setting for the level of music one expects on the acoustic release. Sadly, when I spoke to leader T'Chort and singer Kjetil I was asked what songs would I play if I were in the band for it seemed that the acoustic guitars were still in the UPS office back in Oslo. "What can Brown do for you?"; ruin your tour apparently. As a result the band would play different music than that which was planned and it seemed as though their heavier music fan base was more in attendance so perhaps for NYC that this would work best.
Opening the show would be Metal Blade's Beyond The Embrace and after seeing them perform with Amorphis and Therion to some larger capacity crowds I am sure this was a bit strange given its size and smaller capacity for attendance. The band however rocked through some of their material from Insect Song (a must have Metal record) and their previous release as well. The band would be minus a guitarist this time around and singer Shawn Gallagher joked that he would be mad if he found out a little effects box now replaces him. There was also a new drummer since I last saw them. Beyond The Embrace is an energetic group who play with a level of hunger that more bands need to use. Some of the songs they performed were "Insect Song", "Plague", "Bastard Screams" and "My Fall". I recommend you look into them as I have enjoyed them each time I caught them and find there is some pure Metal to them that a lot more people should enjoy.
Green Carnation hit the stage after some small break time and announced before they began to the audience about the acoustic guitars issue. Instead we would be treated to a lot more different material and this would be decided by a contest between members. Kjetil joked and said whoever picks the amount of merchandise sold correctly would be able to choose the next gigs set list and this evening the winner was T'Chort. He then said that his guess for the evening sale was 1000 so please help him win for tomorrow by purchasing as much as you can. From there the band kicked into gear and played a fair amount of tracks from The Quiet Offspring which sounded excellent in the live setting. Given the acoustic numbers were not able to be done they gave the fans almost half of their album Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness. This album is one long song and a progressive Metal and Rock fans dream since it is so detailed. An extensive jam session was done that allowed Kjetil to run offstage and grab a beer. The guys were all smiles and it showed from their enjoyment of the reception they were being given and the energy from the audience. The spoke of their interest in coming back and playing again and after seeing them this time it is something I look forward to. I recommend this band as there is more to them than you might expect at first listen. Check out the reviews of their CD's on this website and decide for yourself.
Photos courtesy of Peter M. Parrella
Green Carnation Set List
1. Something To Happen
2. Quiet Offspring
3. Crushed To Dust
4. Just When You Think Its Safe
6. Writings On The Wall
7. Dead But Dreaming
8. Myron & Cole
9. Purple Dog Pitch Black
10. Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness
11. Lullaby In Winter
Official Web site: www.GreenCarnation.no
Official Web site: www.BeyondTheEmbrace.com