Green Carnation have officially slated themselves in the annals of talented metal bands.
Every album manages to surprise me, even when I think they’re reaching their creative limits. “Light of Day, Day of Darkness” was a towering monument to musicianship and progressive metal, just as “Blessing in Disguise” and “The Quiet Offspring” demonstrated their ability to stray from their original path in remarkable ways, forging such standout tracks such as “Into Deep”, “A Place for Me” and “The Everlasting Moment”.
And now we have “The Acoustic Verses”, an album worthy to be placed among the ranks of Pain of Salvation’s “12:5″ with the added bonus that all the songs are new.
The album is all-acoustic (as implied by the title) and exceptionally touching. From the bleak and somber “Sweet Leaf” to the crippling “The Burden is Mine … Alone”, each note resonates with the emotional power behind both Tchort’s songwriting and Kjetin Nordhus’ increasingly touching voice. The folk-heavy “Alone” is a real treat, giving listeners a dance between acoustic guitars and a violin.
The cryptically titled “9-29-045″ is by itself worth the price of the album. The 15-minute, 3-part song is astounding. Beginning with “My Greater Cause”, it explores many guitars and Nordhus’ soft croon with great economy. The second part, “Homecoming”, is instrumental and builds to a lovely crescendo before ending the painfully beautiful song with its third and best part, “House of Cards”. Few songs can capture the overpowering emotion in the songs final minutes …
My confidence in these Norwegian metalheads rises exponentially with each release. “The Acoustic Verses” proves yet again that Green Carnation can and will continue to amaze.
See also: Green Carnation – “The Quiet Offspring”, Pain of Salvation – “12:5″