Green Carnation - Light of Day, Day of Darkness
The End Records
Dark Orchestral Epic Metal
1 songs (60'08")
Release year: 2001
Green Carnation, The End Records
Reviewed by Alex
Album of the month

Monumental albums demand monumental efforts to review them. I have been thinking about this review for the last three weeks. How could I not? How does one describe in a couple of succinct paragraphs the work that went into making a 60 min long epic? Yes, you read it right, folks, this album is a 60 min long ONE epic song.

Green Carnation’s latest installment is the brain creation of Tchort, the former bass player of Emperor, and the current member of Blood Red Throne and Carpathian Forest. The truth is, he has been with Green Carnation before, prior to joining Emperor. Without Tchort, other band members changed the name, changed the style and became In The Woods, whose Omnio album is one of my all-time favorites. Well, now Tchort is back, and Green Carnation is back with their second full-length. Don’t be fooled for a second, though. Green Carnation has nothing to do with Black Metal or Tchort’s current aforementioned bands. This Norwegian outfit plays a brand of dark, melancholic, orchestral and epic music. It is rooted in doom, but has definite Pink Floyd moments about it, employs a string section, children’s choir and electronic effects.

When I listen to Light of Day, Day of Darkness I think of a person’s life. Just like someone’s life the album has black and white stripes in it. One minute it could be dark and sad, another minute it could feel uplifting and beautiful. Yet, at all times, there is this enigmatic mysterious aura about the album.

The album is slow and deliberate in its pace. Why rush – we got a whole life to live! It starts slowly with the electronic voice effects a la Pink Floyd, and then, I am going to call it The Main Theme, plays over percussion. Bass lines add on along with the violin arrangements of The Main Theme. Child’s voice and almost moaning vocals complete a sad picture. The first heavy guitar riff, with the children’s choir sung over it, appears only at about 3:40 into the album. Quite quickly it becomes a heavy doom riff harmonized with The Main Theme melody. The whole composition accelerates into a fast beat popularized by such artistic melodic doom bands as Yearning. The buildup reaches culminating proportions at about 7:00 only to die abruptly into an atmospheric keyboard and percussion driven progressive section. If it was all to end right there, the music in these 7 min alone would be worth the price of the full CD. Doom riffs make appearance in many places throughout the epic. The one at about 18 min reminds me so much of the one that starts War Pigs on Sabbath’s Paranoid! Guitar sound in these sections is so thick you can cut it with the knife. St. Vitus and Candlemass would be so proud. Lead guitar ranges from distorted (20:47) to acoustic (11:30, 38:00) to a 2 min soul ripping solo (42:45), which ends with the funeral style choir and church bells. Drumming (Andreas Kobro is another member from the old Green Carnation line-up) can be Scandinavian folk inspired, almost timpani-like (11:30), or alternate between soft progressive beat and aggressive double bass effortlessly (18:00). Very often the band slowly adds layers by adding string arrangements and distorted keyboards to The Main Theme. When this mixture explodes over the swaying doom rhythm, plus it has chanting vocals in it, the parallels with the recent Therion offering Secret of the Runes are quite apparent.

Most of the time the vocals are clean and sung by a male vocalist named Kjetil Nordhuis. Only once some Black Metal style vocals make a brief appearance to contrast an atmospheric Pink Floydish section at 8:00. However, a listener is in for a surprise for almost 6 min around 32:00. All music stops for a female singer to vocalize her lines almost breathing into the sounds she is making. She is supported nothing but an oboe. To me this section projects both pain and joy of childbirth, a necessary part of life. Some may find these 6 min too long and distracting from the overall epic nature of the album-song. I read somewhere that Tchort dedicated this album to his son Damien. Once I learned that, I am even more convinced about my “childbirth theory” for the female vocs – oboe section. Same female vocal appears over an Eastern styled melody at 51:30 which transitions into The Main Theme. Sad acoustic outro coupled with children’s voices almost takes us all the way to the beginning of the album, thus completing the Circle of Life. Only in the end The Main Theme is interrupted with the harsh tone ominous double bass passages letting everybody know that Life is not a simple thing to deal with. The album ends with the quiet fading away sounds of the musicbox and the door being slammed shut.

At 60 min it was a great challenge for the musicians for the album not to become repetitive and boring. Although they frequently go to The Main Theme as a refrain I can attest that at no point I was bored or disinterested. Some heavier doom sections could be a little shorter and more melodic variation could be welcomed though.

As someone who personally experienced the birth and death of his child I feel Tchort’s rejoice in having his second child being born. Still, there is so much good and bad in life your child will encounter it makes you sad and leery when he/she is brought into this world.

Light of Day, Day of Darkness is original, unique and stunning travel into a soul of a talented musician that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Killing Songs :
One and all
Alex quoted 95 / 100
Other albums by Green Carnation that we have reviewed:
Green Carnation - The Acoustic Verses reviewed by Alex and quoted 94 / 100
Green Carnation - The Quiet Offspring reviewed by Alex and quoted 84 / 100
Green Carnation - A Blessing in Disguise reviewed by Alex and quoted 90 / 100
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