Released: 2006, The End Records
Ever since 2001’s one-track opus LIGHT OF DAY, DAY OF DARKNESS took the metal world by storm, the progressive sounds of Green Carnation have been inescapable. Their next two albums veered from the course set by their landmark album, but they always managed to remain vitally interesting. The fact is, fans may never know what to expect from Tchort and his crew, but what they deliver is always high quality.
2006 brings yet another change to the Green Carnation formula, as THE ACOUSTIC VERSES is, as the title suggests, entirely acoustic. It’s a tough task to make captivating acoustic music, especially when it comes from a metal band, but once the 43-minute album is over, any question of Green Carnation’s abilities are swept away. This is beautiful, beautiful music, which the band pulls off nearly flawlessly. Weaving acoustic guitars with atmospheric piano flourishes and strings (violin/viola/cello), the band create airy musical statements touched off with passionate vocals.
Much of the album is understated and very quiet, but it is fascinating nonetheless. Like all of Green Carnation’s music, these songs are deeply personal snapshots of the members’ lives (aside from Edgar Allan Poe poem “Alone”) and the music fits accordingly. It’s difficult to pick highlights from the album, but standouts for me are the melancholic dissonance of “Maybe?” and the epic beauty of “9-29-045”. The violin/viola and mellotron solos in the latter song are stunning to behold. Piano fans will love the key driven “Child’s Play Part 3”.
Like all Green Carnation music, THE ACOUSTIC VERSES is a challenging listen that requires more than a single listen to fully appreciate, but as always, the payoff is well worth the effort required.