Sea Of Tranquility is known for reviewing new albums, up to the minute music often before its public release. Rarely do we discuss older music here – that goes into the Past And Present Classics section. So there must be a really good reason for this evaluation of a 2-year-old CD.
Simple. It is probably the best metal music to enter this turntable since Opeth, the most progressive since Symphony X's V, and the grandest opus since Rhapsody's Dragonflame.
Norwegian Green Carnation is a post-death metal band. That means they used to grunt but don't any more (well – hardly), yet the distinctive death / doom / goth music chord progressions are plainly evident. But unlike other post-death rockers, Green Carnation's music is very progressive in every sense of that word. Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness comprises just one 60-minute epic rich in recurring and reprised themes, continually changing tempos, key shifts and mood shifts and imaginative sounds you've never heard on a metal album. And it all flows beautifully, revolving around a constantly evolving melody that holds the whole thing together. Besides the 5 piece band, no fewer than 9 guest artists contribute to this huge composition, along with two choirs comprising over 20 people. It is complex, layered, yet instantly accessible, and the CD was recorded using 150 tracks and almost 600 samplers. Production is wonderful.
The mood is often the dark gloomy doom of a goth metal opera. Imagine Dream Theater on Zoloft. But the whole composition is so wide ranging and deeply textured that you won't notice it. There's a long prog-metal instrumental rocker a la Dream Theater's "Stream Of Consciousness", and an almost a capella female vocal wailing session a la Pink Floyd's "The Great Gig In the Sky". There are restrained mid-range vocals a la Tiamat and a big adult choir and an equally big children's choir. The only missing element is a classic metal vocalist – yet it wouldn't fit here and it isn't really missed at all.
One of the nicest sounds in today's metal is a crunchy riff with light piano work floating over the top. There's plenty of that, and to add variety, similar effects are achieved with an acoustic guitar over pounding drums, a string section, a sax, a sitar and a rumbling B3.
So why review that 2-year-old record? Well it's been a very long time since such an ambitious yet beautiful metal album came along, and this one has not received the attention it deserves. And as one of the stricter reviewers on Sea Of Tranquility, it feels damned good to finally post another 5-star review. It's been a long time coming.
1). Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness (60:05)