Green Carnation - The Acoustic Verses
The End Records
Dark Acoustic Music
7 songs (43'32")
Release year: 2006
Green Carnation, The End Records
Reviewed by Alex
Album of the month

Green Carnation’s bandleader Tchort and I have the unwritten connection, only he does not know about it. It is amazing how two people who live at the different ends of the globe, do completely different things in life, and who, obviously, never met each other, can be so connected through the fate of their children, good and terrible things happening to our offspring at the same time in our lives. Tchort, however, being much more creative than yours truly, can commemorate both the death and the birth of his children with an album. Me, having suffered the same faith, I am only left with the feeling of admiration and that unwritten bond I always felt with Green Carnation, to the point that I could consider it my “personal” band.

With this tie I have been always heaping an enormous amount of responsibility on Green Carnation needing to deliver with each and every album. With shaking hands I would pick up their next output, hoping they would not let me down. And, finally, it happened, as The Quiet Offspring, although a solid album of commercially oriented rock tunes, did not live up to my expectation. It is possible, that going commercial has unwrapped the “personal” label away from Green Carnation, it garnered them a wider listening audience, but it also made me jealously share the band with many other listeners.

Their next album could have been light, heavy, death metal or commercial pop. Heck, Green Carnation keeps changing with every album, but they had to record the music which would have brought me back the feeling where I could call them “my own“ band again. They needed to reconnect and, amazingly, The Acoustic Verses did just that, restoring my faith in these Norwegians. Many will look at this album and shrug shoulders, and that is exactly why I don’t care, The Acoustic Verses just entering in the running for the Album of 2006 for me. I have my Green Carnation back.

The first four tracks of the album have managed to keep me stunned for about a month, for as long as I have the promo from the label. I have probably listened to The Acoustic Verses for 30 times now, and every time the music manages to touch me deep, the feeling never been dulled. Acoustic albums are always a risk, they can sound like the most boring version of MTV Unplugged, but Green Carnation avoided all of the traps. Different instruments brought along, percussion, not the drumming per se, augmenting the pieces only where necessary, different tones of acoustic guitars and different techniques of playing them, different band players composing different songs – all of this completely distinguishes one song from another, and I am not even mentioning the beautiful distinct melodies permeating these songs.

The opener Sweet Leaf is a less-than-hurried march, interplaying strings and ivory, mixing layered vocals with not, and throwing in an ebow, cello or oboe in the end. Maybe? takes a mid-song transition with an imitated cell phone call, “unleashing” the symphonic dancing under the strong, yet warm, winter winds. Alone distantly reminds Opeth’s Harvest with its riffing, the song, however, being just the right length. Less than 4 min is all it takes to translate a folksy feeling, violin playing alongside the banks of the crystal clear fjord somewhere up north. Childs Play Part 3 is a passionate instrumental piano part which does not have singer extraordinaire Kjetil Nordhus contributing, but when he does every word is so damn clear you do not need a lyrics booklet to follow. When he says that “The Burden is his … Alone” on the eponymous track I believe it.

Softer rock parts of the mid-album 15 min long 9-29-045 and the verse of the closer High Tide Waves are the only places on the album which may contain a little less luster. Pink Floydian tendencies on 9-29-045 and instrumental string break along with jazzy wandering towards the end of High Tide Waves manage to bring those songs back into the albums fold.

After probably 5th or 6th listen I usually start taking notes about the album, hoping they would shape my review. I could not bring myself to start scratching the pencil on paper with The Acoustic Verses. I ended up with no notes and simply wrote the review in one sitting, from the heart, and it is simply a payback for what The Acoustic Verses managed to do for me. Now I will have to wait with trembling heart on what journey Green Carnation embarks next, hoping that precious personal link they just restored will never be broken again.

Killing Songs :
Sweet Leaf, The Burden is Mine ... Alone, Maybe?, Alone, Childs Play Part 3
Alex quoted 94 / 100
Other albums by Green Carnation that we have reviewed:
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
Green Carnation - Light of Day, Day of Darkness reviewed by Alex and quoted 95 / 100
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