Review Summary: The latest incarnation of an ever-evolving band.
Terje Vik Schei(Tchort) − Acoustic guitar
Tommy Jackson − Drums, percussion
Kjetil Nordhus − lead vocals, backing vocals
Kenneth Silden − Piano, rhodes, strings, mellotron
Bjorn Harstad - Tremolo guitar, slide, guitar effects
Stein Roger Sordal − bass, ebow, lead vocals, backing vocals
Michael Krumins − Acoustic guitar, semi hollow guitar, theremin
Terje Vik Schei AKA Tchort is probably best known to metal fans as the bassist on Emperor’s seminal album “In the Nightside Eclipse.”
Like most extreme metal musicians, Tchort has been involved in several bands, unlike most however, Tchort has been a part of three bands for over ten years. Tchort’s bands are all a bit different, there’s his black metal band Carpathian Forest, death metal band Blood Red Throne and his “other” band the most difficult to categorize. Green Carnation was founded by Tchort in 1990 but didn’t release an album until ten years later and Tchort is the last remaining original member.
Over the course of their five albums, Green Carnation have continuously evolved playing everything from doom metal to hard rock to progressive metal; the shifts in style by Green Carnation have much to do with all the personnel changes that the band has undergone. Green Carnation’s latest offering finds the band at its most experimental: an acoustic album that can best be described as progressive alt-rock.
A major departure from Green Carnation’s previous works, “Acoustic Verses”
is a soft, mellow, completely stripped down album whose acoustic elements emphasize Kjetil Nordhus’ lazy, Bono-esque vocals. Album opener ‘Sweet Leaf’ displays Nordhus’ sorrowful vocals accompanied by an acoustic guitar accented beautifully by powerful sounding, mid-tempo drums. The hauntingly depressing ‘Maybe?’ is a melodic track highlighted by the eerie, high-pitched theremin sounds but the it is only a warmup for the album’s best track. The gloomy ‘Alone’ is a song that takes its lyrics from the Edgar Allan Poe poem of the same name; with its intro complemented by a superb string section, it is the most memorable song on the album.
There is somewhat of a dropoff after the first four tracks with the overreaching ‘9-29-045’ which clocks in at over fifteen minutes. Green Carnation proved they could make a single sixty minute track interesting with “Light of Day, Day of Darkness”
but the three part ‘9-29-045’ seems more like three separate tracks that were thrown together especially with the instrumental part II.
is a daring experiment by a band that was coming off of two disappointing albums but they redeemed themselves to an extent with their fifth album; it creates a melancholic atmosphere with its soothing vocals. It’s hard to believe that the mastermind behind this album is also a member of extreme metal bands Carpathian Forest and Blood Red Throne but it seems to be a softer, more mellow creative outlet for Tchort from the brutality of his other bands. Although it’s a rather front loaded album, there are enough great moments in its first half that you’ll want to loop the first four tracks and listen to them over and over.