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Green Carnation: The Quiet Offspring

The fourth studio album from Norway's Green Carnation is a drastic departure for the band, as they seemingly have stepped away a bit from their past, which included forays into death metal and moody progressive rock. On The Quiet Offspring, Green Carnation have centered on a sound that mixes alternative rock and goth with classic 70's keyboard/guitar driven hard rock styles similar to Deep Purple or Uriah Heep. While to listeners new to the band this will sound like a good combination, those who have followed the band from the beginning might be a little put off by the very commercial sounds that permeate this new CD. This is a band that has seen an opening, and wish to take a stab at mainstream acceptance. Gone are many of the melancholy arrangements (although they have stuck quite a few in the back end of this CD), lumering death metal dirges, and progressive rock flights that were major characteristics of their earlier albums. Instead, you get some accessible and well written rock songs that are accentuated by some metal guitar and proggy keyboard textures. They haven't forgotten their past, just progressed forward, which is all what this style of music should be about.

Make no mistake about it, this is a very good modern heavy rock album. Much like the recent album from Amorphis, Green Carnation have molded their past into a very commercial sound that will appeal to a broader audience. Take the song "A Place for Me" for instance. Here, the band sounds almost like modern day Marillion, as the the moody keyboard intro gives way to some crunchy guitar work and catchy yet melancholic vocals from Kjetil Nordhus. Some heavy guitar mixes with spacey arrangements on "The Everlasting Moment", reminding a little of the band Arena, while songs like "Between the Gentle Small & Standing Tall" and the bouncy nu-metal of the title track could seemingly find a home on US alternative rock radio.

Nifty keyboards saturate the driving rock of "Purple Door, Pitch Black", while the lovely "Childsplay Part I" sees the band moving in a Pink Floyd direction, complete with dreamy keys, acoustic guitars, and haunting melodies. To make sure you are on your toes, the band segues from that song into the blasting symphonic metal of "Dead But Dreaming", complete with chunky guitar riffs and waves of keyboards. The band dabbles a bit with technical prog-metal on "Pile of Doubt", thanks to some intricate guitar and keyboard passages, while the pleading vocals of Nordhus soar over the mix. For some flat out prog-rock, the spacey and atmospheric "When I Was You" is a dripping journey into severe melancholy, again reminiscant of Hogarth era Marillion or even Porcupine Tree. Here, the kayboards of Kenneth Silden play a major role, building passion and drama while the tortured vocals of Nordhus tear at your soul. It's easily one of the best songs on the CD, and proves to be a nice accompanyment to some of the more straightforward rock based songs on the album.

So, if you thought earlier albums like 'Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness or Blessing In Disguise were the be-all-end-all as far as Green Carnation goes, The Quiet Offspring might not be your cup of tea. However, if you give it a chance, you'll discover some great stuff here. Amidst some of the more commercial sounding pieces are some deep and riviting songs that bridge the gap between prog, metal, goth, and pop. I give Green Carnation credit for taking a chance like this, and I think it will work for them.


Track listing
1. The Quiet Offspring (4:05)
2. Between The Gentle Small & The Standing Tall (4:15)
3. Just When You Think It's Safe (5:18)
4. A Place For Me (5:26)
5. The Everlasting Moment (5:09)
6. Purple Door, Pitch Black (4:12)
7. Childsplay Part I (4:47)
8. Dead But Dreaming (5:26)
9. Pile Of Doubt (5:56)
10. When I Was You (7:22)
11. Childsplay Part II (4:23)
Total Time: 56:24

Added: February 13th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Green Carnation Website
Hits: 1969
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Green Carnation: The Quiet Offspring
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-02-13 17:22:17
My Score:

Green Carnation is an interesting band who when you begin to play their music will bring to mind a number of different Metal and Rock influences from across the gamut. Research into the band found me discovering that they seems to change their sound with each record and while that might not seem to be a smart thing it certainly allows for them to direct music at all levels of fans. It's been written that a heavy amount of Progressive and Death has been done by Green Carnation yet on this album you will find none of this. Instead there is a level of Atmosphere in its Gothic Hard Rock and Roll with a couple of moments of speedy Metal riffs. Crafted well, this fourth album from the group might be their most effective since it has a larger scale of appeal in its overall style. The Quiet Offspring itself is a nice track with some interesting Purple-esque keyboard work that one does not always find in Metal bands. The use of this across the board might have led to the labeling of this as on the Gothic side. "Pile Of Doubt" races by like your classic 80's Metal rocker while "When I Was You" comes off as something you might expect of Pink Floyd or The Gathering (it's also the albums longest song at 7 minutes). Like I said, this was one diverse album with almost every track and this made listening to it something fun and interesting at the same time. The rocking is done early on and pretty much ends with track 9. We are then treated to moody and slower tracks as the album closes out. The piano work on "Childs Play Pt. 2" is excellent and just has such a quiet power to it. The end of this release will be a good lead in to their next album which is to be an all acoustic release. Readers who are finding this intriguing might be interested in knowing that the previous album Light Of Day, Day Of Darkness was one long 60 minutes song that was all Progressive and Progressive Metal.


The band is made up of 6 members whose lineup consists of Kenneth Silden (keyboards), Steen Roger Sordal (bass/guitars), Michael Krumins (guitars), Tommy Jackson (drums), Tchort (guitars), and Kjetil Nordhus (vocals). Given this was my introduction to this band I can offer readers of similar background that this band is good enough to investigate. They bring a level of difference to an ever changing yet sometimes stagnant Metal scene with their experiments. Fans of the genre can only offer up the support for those who choose to keep this music fresh in a time where there are forces that would silence it forever at hand. Find yourself some Green Carnation, and wear it proudly that you support intelligent Metal and Rock.




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