Review Summary: Musical accompaniment to anyone interested in Medieval literature or the Middle Ages.
Green Carnation is the brainchild of former Emperor bassist Terje Vik Schei, better known in the metal community as Tchort. Begging as a death metal band that through their subsequent albums transitioned into a more gothic inspired doom/progressive act with their middle albums, Light of Day, Day of Darkness and A Blessing in Disguise, that by the time 2005 had rolled around Green Carnation had nearly ditched all their darker, metal moments with The Quiet Offspring. Whereas that album was perhaps more concerned with commercializing their sound but yet retaining a slight hard rock edge, later that same year they dropped an EP that would be an indication of where they were heading as a band.
The Burden Is Mine… Alone was released to little fanfare but yet produced four tracks that would demonstrate the band's gentler and warmer side. Starting things off with the title track, the composition is an old-fashioned, historically gothic sounding acoustic track. Tchort and Stein Roger Sordal pluck their strings creating a simple yet effective melody while Sordal handles the vocal duties. Some slight keys come into play late into the song, riding it home. "Sweet Leaf" incorporates more of the band as one of the more fleshed out arrangements on the EP. Nordhus showcases his deep robust voice in combination with Tommy Jacksonville's straightforward drum work. The EP constantly airs on the genteel side here as Green Carnation's lighter compositions demonstrate a sort of middle age aristocracy but without any of the ostentatiousness. That sentiment is perhaps most felt in the subsequent tracks as "Transparent Me" uses a delicate piano melody united with strummed chords and backing female vocals to take the listener six hundred odd years back in time. Although, sometimes it feels like the harmonies between Nordhus and Sordal are a bit stretched when attempting to create a forced grandiose chorus. While the Jon English, of Australian TV fame, cover "Six Ribbons" cements that feeling with all the chivalric romance of a High Medieval or Renaissance form poem. However, there are slight drawbacks to this EP one being that half of the songs presented here would find themselves on the band's next album The Acoustic Verses. The other being that at just barely over fifteen minutes in length, many listeners would forgo the EP likely considering it only for the diehards. Overall, if you are a fan of Green Carnation's last album The Acoustic Verses, then you would likely find pleasure in this release as well--if only for the lovely last two tracks.